Books Features

Christmas Books: Great Medieval Fiction Reads for the Christmas Holidays!

Medieval Underpants and Other BlundersMedieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer’s (& Editor’s) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths

Author: Susanne Alleyn

Published: July 17, 2013 (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)


This is not a book on how to write historical fiction. It is a book on how not to write historical fiction. If you’re hard at work writing your historical novel, but you’re wondering if your medieval Irishmen would live on potatoes, if your 17th-century pirate would use a revolver, or if your hero would be able to offer Marie-Antoinette a box of chocolate bonbons . . . (The answer to all these is “Absolutely not!”) . . . then Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders is the book for you. Medieval Underpants will guide you through the factual mistakes that writers of historical fiction—both beginners and seasoned professionals—often make, and show you how to avoid them. From characters crossing streets that wouldn’t exist for another sixty (or two thousand) years, to 1990s slang in the mouths of 1940s characters, to South American foods on ancient Roman plates, historical novelist Susanne Alleyn exposes frequent goofs, stresses the hazards of assuming too much about details of life in past eras, and offers tips on how to avoid errors and anachronisms while continually reminding writers of the necessity of meticulous historical research. Second edition, revised and expanded “I’ve been writing historical fiction for several decades, and I found this book immediately useful. I wish it had been published long ago. Written with humour, knowledge and common sense. An essential!” Sandra Gulland, author, MISTRESS OF THE SUN and The Josephine B. Trilogy

Dominic's Quest (Historical Fiction Action Adventure Book, set in Dark Age post Roman Britain) (The Dominic Chronicles)Dominic’s Quest (Historical Fiction Action Adventure Book, set in Dark Age post Roman Britain) (The Dominic Chronicles)

Author: F J Atkinson

Published: December 3, 2013 (Amazon Digital Services, Inc.)


Rome’s protection had been withdrawn. Britain’s underbelly was exposed. The Dark Ages had begun…… Ranulf, the Saxon, was a callous raider. Griff, the Briton, a heartless profiteer. Both were driven by a lust for gold. Their business was slaves; in particular, slave children who commanded a high price in Hibernia. But Ranulf had raided too deeply into the west; had taken children precious beyond mere gold. Worse still, he had taken from Arthur’s people, and Arthur did not tolerate thieves. Arthur turned to the one man in Britannia with the guile to follow the intricate slave trail—he turned to Dominic, and so set him upon his incredible journey through the dark, unforgiving lands of Britannia and Hibernia.

Medieval - Blood of the Cross Medieval – Blood of the Cross

Author: Kevin Ashman

Published: August 12, 2013 ( Silverback books)


AD 1270…

Antioch has fallen, Tripoli is under siege and Sultan Baibaars targets his Mamluk hoards against Krak des Chevalier, the Crusaders’ greatest stronghold in Syria. The Holy Land is in turmoil and desperately awaits the arrival of Edward Longshanks and his relieving army of French and English Crusaders. This is a time of brutality, an age of chivalry. A time of strong men with stronger hearts, an era with no place for the weak. Yet a thousand miles away, a fourteen year old boy learns a disturbing secret that drives him on a Crusade of his own. A quest to avenge his family, save his brother and in the process recover the holiest relic in the history of Christendom.

The Creation of Anne BoleynThe Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen

Author: Susan Bardo

Published: April 9, 2013 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships. Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto “mean girl,” feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.

The Women of the Cousins' War - The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's MotherThe Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King’s Mother

Author: Phillip Gregory

Published: January 8, 2013 (Touchstone)


#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory teams with two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history. In this groundbreaking work, Philippa Gregory and her fellow historians describe the real lives of the heroines of her Cousins’ War novels: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor dynasty. In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king of England for love; and Michael Jones, fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor. Beautifully illustrated throughout with rare portraits and source materials, The Women of the Cousins’ War offers fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction and will appeal to all with an interest in this period.

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