Kernow bys vyken!

Cornwall has had something of a mixed week. On the plus side, there was the government’s decision to grant it national minority status. Now, whatever the legalistic merits or demerits of such status, there’s no doubt that Cornwall is, and always has been, a very different place. That was immediately apparent to me after I […]

Cover Story

I’m delighted to be able to headline this week’s post by revealing the cover of the new Quinton novel, The Battle of All The Ages, which is number five in the series and is due to be published in the UK in June. Thanks to my publishers, Old Street, for doing such a tremendous job, and […]

Going Dark

This will be the last post for a few weeks, unless [a] I get particularly worked up about some idiocy or other and decide to rant about it, [b] something really interesting emerges from my research, or [c] some of my potential guest bloggers send in contributions. Regular readers will know that I did this […]

Every Man Jack of Them

When we think of the great movies of the sailing navy, we think of the likes of Gregory Peck stiffening his upper lip to notable effect in Captain Horatio Hornblower; of Laurence Olivier’s Nelson romancing Vivien Leigh’s Emma in That Hamilton Woman; of Russell Crowe’s Jack Aubrey bearing a remarkable resemblance to his Robin Hood and […]

The Dai is Cast

All novelists have a secret fantasy. Actually, it’s not terribly secret. It’s the cast list. Yes, admit it, my fellow authors, you know what I’m talking about. That cast list. The one for the film of your book – the lavish Hollywood spectacular or BBC mini-series based on our purple prose, the prize that we all dream about. […]

Enter the Lion

A short blog this week, but one that marks a big event – The Lion of Midnight, fourth of the ‘Journals of Matthew Quinton’, is due to be published in the UK on 23 April! You can read the first chapter on my website. Lion marks a bit of a departure from the previous books in […]

Endless Poetry

‘…this damned war: the mud, the noise, the endless poetry.’  (Lord Flashheart, Blackadder Goes Forth) There are very, very few similarities between the First World War and the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-7). One of them, arguably, is that both wars generated a substantial amount of memorable poetry, albeit of very different kinds. Having known and loved […]

Pepys Show

I was going to have a week off blogging. After doing five posts in a week for the Orkney and Shetland road trip, then another extra one to mark the rediscovery of King Richard III, I thought I deserved to put my feet up, or at most to do a nice short light-hearted post about […]

Orkney and Shetland Road Trip, Part 5

On one level, Orkney has more heritage than it knows what to do with. Great monuments that would be major tourist attractions in the south of England sit in remote fields, virtually unknown: ‘oh look, that big mound must be yet another Neolithic tomb / ho hum, yet another virtually intact World War II gun […]

Merry Christmas, Restoration Navy Style

Henry Teonge, a Warwickshire clergyman, was fifty-five when he first went to sea as a naval chaplain, presumably forced into the job by the extent of his debts. In 1675 he joined the Fourth Rate Assistance, commanded by William Houlding, which was despatched to the Mediterranean as part of Sir John Narbrough’s fleet, operating against […]