La Mode à la Cour de Marie Antoinette

How beautiful is this book? I was pleased as punch when I got La mode à la Cour de Marie-Antoinette from my brother in law as a Christmas present, and also rather astounded by how big it is as it is HUGE. Which can be a bit annoying when it comes to finding it a space on my many bookcases, […]

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Wolf Hall – 1. Three Card Trick   Recently updated !

Well, like no doubt millions of people I tuned in last night for the first episode of the long awaited BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2). As you might imagine, as a HUGE fan of the books and the RSC play, I was pretty much pre-disposed to absolutely love […]


A War of Flowers – Jane Thynne

I’ve already reviewed the first two brilliant books in Jane Thynne’s Clara Vine series and had to come back and let you all know how much I absolutely loved A War of Flowers, the third instalment in this gripping and darkly evocative series of books set in the glittering but dangerous world of pre-war Berlin, where people are already scared […]

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Edinburgh here I come

Marie de Guise, Corneille de Lyon, c1537. Photo: National Galleries of Scotland. Ooh la la, or maybe that should be och aye the noo? It’s okay, simmer down, I’m born and bred Scottish so I’m allowed to say that. Even if I somehow managed to grow up without the slightest trace of a Scottish accent and so say it in […]


Tatty Devine goes a bit Tudor

As you’ve probably all guessed by now, I have a tremendous soft spot for jewellery and especially like the designs of London based company, Tatty Devine. Those of you with long memories may recall that I posted last year about their amazing collection of Georgian eye jewellery inspired pieces (there’s some in their sale so hurry if you want to […]

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Museum of London Docklands

As a huge fan of the Museum of London and someone with an interest in, shall we say, the grittier side of London’s rich and chequered history, I can’t believe that it took me so long to finally pay my first visit to the Museum of London’s Docklands site, which inhabits a wonderful old building by the river in the […]


Wolf Hall: Costume and Authenticity

My recent post about the upcoming series of Wolf Hall sparked a bit of a lively debate about the costuming over on my Facebook page, with some criticisms of the ‘Victorian mourning bonnet’ hoods and wrinkled bodices. Personally, I think it looks great but then I’m not a massive stickler for total authenticity when it comes to costume dramas. Oh, […]

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Fury

The Worst First Day At Work Ever is usually a rather pleasant cinematic or literary trope, wherein a usually hopelessly naive young thing starts a new job and finds them up against all manner of terrible obstacles, either amusing or terrible. It usually ends well and is generally a bit of a character building exercise for the main character, in […]


Ripper Street Season Three

It’s hard to believe that just a year has passed since the end of the second season of Ripper Street and the terrible news that the stupid BBC had decided to cancel what was one of the best series on television. Thankfully all of the resultant fuss and campaigning paid off and the show was taken over by Amazon instead […]

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Goodbye 2014

I can’t believe that 2014 is already almost over and we’re now hurtling towards 2015. I have had SUCH an amazing twelve months that I’ve started and abandoned this post several times over due to having FAR too much to say about it all – this was, after all, the year where I turned forty, confronted a whole bunch of […]


Wolf Hall on BBC2

As you probably all know by now, I am a MASSIVE HUUUGE fan of Hilary Mantel’s series of books about Thomas Cromwell (in fact, I’ve been a MASSIVE HUUUGE fan of Hilary Mantel since I picked up A Place of Greater Safety a couple of days after it was first published) and have been beside myself with excitement about the […]

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Marie de Guise announcement

Marie de Guise, Corneille de Lyon, c1537. Photo: National Galleries of Scotland. I am very very pleased and happy and thrilled and EXCITED to announce that I have been commissioned by Pen and Sword Books to write a full length biography of Marie de Guise, the mother of Mary Queen of Scots alongside the series of novels that I am […]


Light up the Palace at Hampton Court

It was one of the happiest days of my life when I found The Tudors on Netflix. Okay, I also own it on DVD, but there’s something really satisfying about spending a few hours lazing on the sofa, remote control in hand isn’t there? Anyway, I’ve been binge watching it all over again over the last few days and enjoying […]

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Swallows and Amazons at Bristol Old Vic

Swallows and Amazons: Photo: Bristol Old Vic/Simon Annand. I’ll admit that thanks to a combination of depression, illness and other assorted woes, I haven’t been feeling as festive as I might otherwise have done as we hurtle through December. I’m a bit upset about this to be honest as I usually love this time of year and really like to […]


From Whitechapel Book Launch

From Whitechapel has been well and truly launched! On a dark and gloomy evening last week, a group of various misfits gathered together in the historic Gun pub next to Spitalfields Market to celebrate the publication of my fifth novel, which is set during the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. The location was extremely apt as most of the […]

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Joséphine crowned, 2nd December 1804

Sunday, the second of December 1804 was the coldest day of the year, with snow overnight and freezing rain the next morning, which turned the streets of Paris to slush. Spirits in the French capital were still high though for it was the much anticipated day of Napoléon’s coronation at the hands of Pope Pius VII himself, who had been […]


Stormbird – Conn Iggulden

‘King Henry V – the great Lion of England – is long dead. In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king -Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de […]

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Marie de Guise

Marie de Guise, Corneille de Lyon, c1537. Photo: National Galleries of Scotland. It’s probably no secret that my next novel, The Thistle Queen will be about Marie de Guise, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots. I actually set out to write about Mary but then found myself pushing the start of the book further and further back so that […]


A Real Life Sherlock – Guest post by Angela Buckley

On the evening of 6 December 1886, Arthur Foster left the Queen’s Theatre, Manchester, with a pocket full of gold and a bejewelled lady on his arm. He hailed a hansom cab and as the couple settled into the carriage, a shadowy figure slipped in beside them. The yellow light of a gas lamp revealed him as an older man, […]

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