Welcome

Welcome to the world of adventure, love and war. You’ve entered 17th century England. It’s a time of civil war, social upheaval, conspiracies and intrigue. In the world of historical fiction, this is gold. Explore my blog and discover articles about 17th century Britain, creative storytelling, and my writing. Be sure to sign up for my 17th century Broadsheet, to keep abreast of news and special features. Join me in this journey. I intend to pique your interest.

Pepys’s Passion for the Theatre: A guest post by Deborah Swift #17thcentury #StuartAge

One of my favourite series in recent years has been Deborah Swift’s Pepys series. Samuel Pepys is a famous 17th century diarist who wrote about his day to day life, his business, and yes, even his sexual indiscretions. Thanks to Pepys, historians have excellent insights into life during Restoration London. Deborah Swift has quite brilliantly written a trio of books based on women mentioned in Pepys’s diary. I loved the first two novels, Pleasing Mr Pepys and A Plague on Mr Pepys, so it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the final book in the series, Entertaining…

Elizabeth St.John’s Lydiard Chronicles – Written in their Stars #NewRelease #KeepItStuart #StuartAge @ElizStJohn

It is my very great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth St. John today on the blog to talk about her latest novel, Written in their Stars, the third and final instalment of the Lydiard Chronicles about three dynamic women: a spymistress, a rebel and a courtier. Liz and I share a love of the 17th century and the War of the Three Kingdoms. She has a unique insight into this turbulent time as she writes about her famous ancestors who had a ringside seat to the troubles and often found themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. Without further ado, welcome…

Creating Characters: An Author’s Inspiration #writingtips #creativity #writerslife

Ask a writer if their characters are real, and they will probably say, “Define real.” Characters are real in every sense, except being flesh-and-blood. They become a writer’s constant companion even when the writer isn’t hunched over a computer screen tapping furiously away. See that faraway look in a writer’s eye when you’re talking to them? They’re probably thinking about these characters and what they’ll put them through next. So how do these characters walk into a writer’s life and become as immediate as flesh-and-blood friends? Are they constructed through a writing exercise or is there an organic method to…

Prince Rupert of the Rhine: Pirate Prince of the Caribbean #17thCentury #StuartAge

One of the most dashing and iconic figures of the War of the Three Kingdoms is Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The son of Frederick V, Elector of Palatine, and Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James VI of England, he fought for King Charles I’s against Parliament. The force and swiftness of his cavalry charge usually struck terror in the Parliamentarians (although it could have been more disciplined). To this day, portraits of Rupert still causes hearts to flutter.  While Rupert is mostly known as a Royalist cavalry commander, he did enjoy a brief sojourn as a Pirate Prince, sailing…

The Life of Indentured Servants in Colonial Barbados

The English Commonwealth in 1651 had a challenge on their hands. During the third English Civil War, their commander Oliver Cromwell defeated the forces of Charles Stuart (the future King Charles II) first at Dunbar, and then precisely a year later, at Worcester. But Parliament was left with a pressing concern: What to do with the thousands of Scottish prisoners that they had captured?  Catch and release, even with exacting a promise not to raise arms against them again, wasn’t a viable option, and Parliament didn’t have the resources to keep thousands of Scottish prisoners indefinitely. After the Battle of…