Truth or Rumour or Truth, or Both

In DARK SOVEREIGN, the character, Truth, introduces herself to her audience. She encounters difficulty because the audience has met Truth’s identical twin, Rumour, and cannot tell the women apart. So, Truth or Rumour? The audience must decide. When that is settled, Truth explains how the queen, Elizabeth Woodville, has caused many of the domestic troubles during the twenty years… Read More

The Red Shoes

It's the summer of 1949. I'm approaching my sixth birthday. Mother and I are watching The Red Shoes in the cinema on the Cunard liner, RMS Queen Elizabeth. This is my second trip to my stepmother’s family in New York. The Red Shoes flashes up in my memory from time to time. Almost like a bad… Read More

Dark Sovereign: Calming a mob

Drawn from 'Dark Sovereign', ACT 3, SCENE 7  When news spread that the dukes, Richard Gloucester and Harry Buckingham, had seized young Prince Richard, the heir to the throne, Londoners began to choose sides and take up arms. Mobs formed, weapons came out and men drank heavily to build up their courage. Confronting one such mob on… Read More

Old Lights on New(ish) History

It’s extraordinary the way things happen: Think of a set of events that occurred in the dark days of ancient history.  Then loose your mind to wander. Likely you will find parallels, not slight similarities, but actual parallels. It has happened to me a few times. The best example I recall took place when I was writing about… Read More

Musing on Damory Oak

In the tumultuous year of 1812, around the time the French were freezing in the ruins of Moscow and American troops were burning Fort York (Toronto), a London printer issued a quiet little book entitled Arbores Mirabiles, a collection of “curious Anecdotes” about “the most remarkable Trees, Plants, and Shrubs, in all Parts of the World.”… Read More

Rumour explains herself

Key questions for anyone writing about the life of Richard III are: Were ‘the little princes in the Tower’ of London foully done to death? If so, who killed them? On whose orders? Answers have eluded historians for four centuries. At this remove in time the truth may never be revealed. That is the opening challenge in ‘Dark… Read More

‘Monster jellyfish invade Dorset coast …’

From: The Mirror, UK News, 24 May 2015. Headline: ‘Monster jellyfish invade Dorset coast and surround swimmer and his 10-year-old grandson’ ‘Record numbers of the giant jellyfish, which live off plankton, have swarmed on the UK's south-west coast this year' South West News Service (SWNS) Steve Trewhella took the amazing image when he and his ten-year-old… Read More

The Biosphere meets Vernadsky

Добро пожаловать, Вернадский вентиляторы || Ласкаво просимо, Вернадський вентилятори I hope that the Cyrillic text above reads, in Russian and Ukrainian, 'Welcome, Vernadsky fans!' — or something very similar. The concept of biosphere exerts a powerful tug on people these days. In pre-technological times humanity lived within it; might be overwhelmed by it; and knew it… Read More

Whose Pig? or The Fecund Sow

These are the opening paragraphs in my Wessex Tales story, ‘Whose Pig?'  At the end of an especially  hard winter, two starving peasants emerge from their huts at dawn to find a large, pregnant sow. Who owns her? The men almost come to blows. ‘Whose Pig?' is set on Okeford Hill above Shillingstone in the Late Stone… Read More

The Tree of the Field is Man’s Life

If the tree of the field is man’s life (Deuteronomy 20.19), what is the nature of a tree? Not in and of itself, but from the human perspective. Through history and the changing imperatives of human societies, there have been many modes of viewing trees. The perspective of time and social evolution changes the view; it… Read More