Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Viking King of England

Exactly 1000 years ago this month, England was conquered by a Viking army. The English king, Ethelred II, fled, with his place taken by Sweyn Forkbeard, the raider's commander. It was to be the fist of three conquests of England in the eleventh century.

Read more about it in my guest post over at Royal Central:

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Boleyn Women - A Nice Review

Carolyn Harris, a well-known royal historian over in Canada has just published a lovely review of The Boleyn Women. You can read it here:

When researching The Boleyn Women, I wanted to focus particularly on the less well known members of the family, in order to tell their stories and show the parts that they played in the rise of the family to power.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Talking History on Newstalk Radio

I've just been interviewed on Newstalk Radio's Talking History programme. I discussed my book, The Anne Boleyn Papers, which is a collection of the sources relating to Anne's life. It was interesting to go through what material survives, as well as reading some of the extracts from Henry VIII's letters to Anne. We also discussed the reasons behind Anne's fall and whether there was any truth in the accusations against her.

You can listen to the programme at

Saturday, 16 November 2013

West Midlands History

I spent today at the West Midlands History conference at Keele University. My academic work at King's College, London is focussed on the Blount family, who were a West Midlands gentry family, so it's always great to see what other researchers are working on. The papers spanned 1500 years of history and covered a diverse range of topics, from the Anglo-Saxon governance of Hereford to politics in the twentieth century.

I was particularly interested in a paper on local government in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which looked at the commissions for sewers - where groups of local men were appointed to take charge of flood defences.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Another nice Elfrida review

It's obviously a day for lovely reviews - this time it's Elfrida's turn I have been really pleased with the feedback from this book. Writing about a woman who lived 1000 years ago seemed to be a risk. However, I always thought that the story of her life deserved to be told, particularly given the myths that had built up around bad Queen Elfrida.

The Good Book Guide November 2013

Three of my books were featured in the biography section of November's issue of The Good Book Guide:

The Anne Boleyn Papers 'A very vivid picture of the infamous 'Mistress Bullen''.

The Boleyn Women 'Norton shows how the women connected with Anne Boleyn were important in the major events int he 16th century'.

Bessie Blount (paperback) 'This is a lucid, readable. intelligent account of the life of a woman who could have been queen' (the hardback was previously editor's choice back in April 2012).

It's always nice to get good feedback!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Talking History (Newstalk 106-108 fm)

Just a quick post to let you know that I will be featured on the Talking History show on Ireland's Newstalk radion (106-108 fm) on Sunday 17 November at 8pm. I will be discussing my book, The Anne Boleyn Papers, which is a collection of the main sources relating to Anne. I will be looking at the enduring popularity of Henry VIII's second wife, as well as the different portrayals of her over the century. Also, I will be outlining the extent of the surviving sources and how these can colour our interpretations of the Tudor queen.

Tune in, it should be interesting!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tudor London on BBC London News

I will be appearing on BBC London news today (at 1.45pm and 6.30pm) to discuss Tudor London. I've just come back from spending the morning filming at Pudding Lane and the monument for the Great Fire of London. It's a fascinating area and so interesting to think about the city that was lost to the flames.

So tune in at 6.30pm or watch the BBC I-player!

Elfrida, The First Crowned Queen of England

Check out my article on Queen Elfrida over at Royal Central. Elfrida was one of the most powerful people in tenth century England and ruled as regent on behalf of her young son, Ethelred the Unready.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Queen Elfrida on Nerdalicious

Following on from my interview on The Boleyn Women over at Nerdalicious, you can now read my interview on Elfrida there. You can also read my guest post (based on an earlier article that I posted here) on the similarities between Elfrida and her descendant, Anne Boleyn. It's always great to get positive feedback on my work!

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Anne Boleyn Papers Review

A lovely review of The Anne Boleyn Papers has just been published over at Impressions In Ink. It's always great to get feedback (preferably positive!). 

The Anne Boleyn Papers is a source book on Anne Boleyn, containing all of her letters and most of the sixteenth century sources detailing her life. If you want to read about Anne's life in her words and those of her contemporaries, then this is the book for you! It was originally published in hardback as 'Anne Boleyn In Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her', so don't buy two copies by mistake - the only difference is the title and the images inside the book (unfortunately the paperback doesn't have any).