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Writing medieval women’s lives: the case of Katherine Swynford, Lady of Kettlethorpe (and Duchess of Lancaster)

Few topics are as challenging and yet ultimately rewarding for writers than writing stories about the lives of medieval women. Not only was the period particularly muscular with regards to its approaches to public life, but patriarchy was pervasive to the point of occasionally obliterating traces of even the most elite women from records. Or…

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Toby Clements’ “Winter Pilgrims”: identity, love and the War of the Roses

There are plenty of historical novels about that are dealing with the War of the Roses (let’s face it, the story sort of writes itself), but Toby Clements’ King Maker: Winter Pilgrims nevertheless stands out. Winter Pilgrims is the first part of a series ostensibly centring on Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (1428-71), but in contrast to Conn…

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‘(Truth is ) the Daughter of Time’: Josephine Tey and the ‘reputation’ of King Richard III

The topicality of writing about Richard III in the week leading up to the celebrations surrounding his reburial seems rather obvious- and possibly a bit of overkill, really- but nevertheless, in the hype surrounding the details of the events planned for Leicester between 22- 27 March 2015, and the excitement about Richard III’s updated image,…