Blog

Digging up the Detail – 19th Century burial fees

My current work in progress, The Shackletons of Whitehaven, has a scene where a mother and daughter - Dolly and Becky - discuss the cost of burial in Whitehaven. The customary fee for a four foot grave was a shilling (1/-) because the gravediggers only had to go down four feet. After that it was… Continue reading Digging up the Detail – 19th Century burial fees

The Willow Woman, A Philip Ye novel by Laurence Westwood – Book Review

Another winner from Laurence Westwood following on from The Balance of Heaven and Earth and to my mind even more enjoyable. There is greater substance to this novel and the author uses his characters to make some interesting observations about modern day China. The author weaves just the right amount of Chinese history and explanation… Continue reading The Willow Woman, A Philip Ye novel by Laurence Westwood – Book Review

D. H. Lawrence, poetry and dialect – The Collier’s Wife.

A few personal thoughts on writing in dialect. The thing I most admire about D. H. Lawrence is his use of langauge, not just the written word but also his spoken dialect. He must have had a very musical ear for his characters always sound "right". Writing historical fiction I struggle over whether to use… Continue reading D. H. Lawrence, poetry and dialect – The Collier’s Wife.

Tastes of Honey: the Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution – Selina Todd

Written in 2019 this is a biography of Shelagh Delaney the author of "A Taste of Honey" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taste-Honey-Modern-Plays/dp/0413316807/ "A Taste of Honey" play by Shelagh Delaney Delaney wrote "A Taste of Honey" when she was 19, and it premiered on stage in London in 1958. It was one of the first plays to be written… Continue reading Tastes of Honey: the Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution – Selina Todd