52 items

Christmas on Trial: Frances Hardinge Invites You to a Seventeenth Century Yuletide

Forget pudding, carol-singing and cosy nights by the fire, welcome to the twelve day feast of yuletide; a time of excess and hedonistic pursuits overseen not by jolly St Nick but by the devlish Lord of Misrule. As Makepeace, the heroine of the darkly atmopsheric mystery, A Skinful of Shadows, knows only too well, Christmas is a dangerous time for a country in the midst of Civil War and bitter religious division. Here, the novel's author Frances Hardinge introduces readers to the wild, hedonistic danger of a 17th Century English Christmas.

A Waterstones Exclusive Interview with Dilys Rose, Author of Unspeakable

"This is not a story which has a surprise ending; the interest has to be in the route taken to that ending."

In Unspeakable, acclaimed author and poet Dilys Rose reimagines the life of Thomas Aikenhead, crafting a novel thick with the political intrigue and religious fervour of 17th century Edinburgh. Waterstones Angie Crawford caught up with the author to discuss breathing life into a notorious figure and the period's acute resonance for modern readers.

An Exclusive Waterstones Q & A with Amor Towles

'It's all too rare to find a fun, glamorous, semi-literary tale to get lost in.’ So said The Guardian of Amor Towles’ first novel, Rules of Civility, an assured and evocative account of Manhattanite life in the Thirties. Going on to win the French 2012 Prix Fitzgerald, Towles now returns with his effortlessly urbane A Gentleman in Moscow, the tale of a somewhat singular man - Count Alexander Rostov – who finds himself under house arrest after sentence from a 1922 Bolshevik tribunal. What follows is decades of imprisonment through the most tumultuous decades of Russia’s history and the slow, fascinating rebirth of the Count’s sense of purpose. We caught up with the author to discuss the novel’s genesis and where its fiction met fact.

We Were The Lucky Ones

We Were The Lucky Ones

Posted on 7th Feb, 2017 by Sally Campbell

Unlike millions of their Polish compatriots, Georgia Hunter's Jewish ancestors managed to survive the gulags, ghettos and pogroms of 1940s Europe. Her debut novel, We Were The Lucky Ones, weaves the facts of their remarkable stories into a first-person, fictional narrative that, as Publishers Weekly notes, 'side-steps hollow sentimentality and nihilism, revealing instead the beautiful complexity and ambiguity of life in this extraordinarily moving novel.’ Here, Hunter explains in more detail the genesis of the book.

On Golden Hill with Francis Spufford

On Golden Hill with Francis Spufford

Posted on 21st Jun, 2017 by Sally Campbell

It has been immensely satisfying over the months to watch Francis Spufford’s first excursion into fiction Golden Hill hoover up the literary prizes. We saw its potential back in the autumn and crowned it our Fiction Book of the Month for October, and since this rollicking tale of a nascent Manhattan has gone on to nail both the Costa First Novel Award and the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the latter fittingly awarded to works that particularly evoke the spirit of a place. Now winner of the prestigious Desmond Elliott Prize 2017, Francis Spufford – both in words and his own video, shot on the city’s streets – takes us to the very heart of New York.

Female characters in Historical Fiction

Female characters in Historical Fiction

Posted on 6th May, 2016 by Sally Campbell & S. J. Parris

S. J. Parris is the author of Conspiracy, the latest instalment in the bestselling Giordano Bruno series of crime novels set in the sixteenth century. Here, she discusses female characters in historical fiction.

Video: Alison Weir

Video: Alison Weir

Posted on 6th May, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Bestselling historian Alison Weir introduces the first book in her new six-part series on Henry VIII's wives, Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen.

Andrew Taylor: The Ashes of London

Andrew Taylor: The Ashes of London

Posted on 8th Apr, 2016 by Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is the number one bestselling author of The American Boy and The Silent Boy. Here he shares insights into creating his newest historical thriller, The Ashes of London, set during the Great Fire of London.

Beauty is your Duty: Red lipstick, an official weapon of WWII

Beauty is your Duty: Red lipstick, an official weapon of WWII

Posted on 4th Apr, 2016 by Lucy Ribchester

To mark the publication of her new novel set in Bletchley Park, The Amber Shadows, author Lucy Ribchester has written an article about beauty and the role of red lipstick during WW2.

Six reasons why you should read When The Doves Disappeared

Oksanen’s writing sizzles – as you read you will revel in beautiful turns of phrase and be pulled deep inside the devastating story, desperate to know what happens next.

The 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction shortlist

As well as being one of our booksellers, Richard Lee is also the chairman of the Historical Novel Society. When the Walter Scott Prize shortlist was announced, there was only one person we could turn to.

In conversation: Simon Scarrow

In conversation: Simon Scarrow

Posted on 7th May, 2014 by Waterstones

Simon Scarrow talks about the twelfth book in his Cato series, The Blood Crows, why he was drawn to historical fiction in the first place, and why Hollywood has a lot to answer for in the modern understanding of Rome.