A first for me – a feature in a German newspaper

Torgau paperYesterday a link dropped onto my FB author page which, once I’d realised it was a link (several hours and someone’s comment later) took me straight to an article in a German newspaper, featuring the research visit I’d made to Torgau in Saxony just over a year ago. I was travelling in the footsteps of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who became Martin Luther’s wife, in order to paint an authentic background to my novel Katharina: Deliverance. Although I can’t read German, and have to rely on the less than idiomatic FB translation, it seems a lovely article and I’m chuffed to bits.

Yesterday I also discovered, in the spam folder of my email, that Torgau Information Centre had written to me two weeks ago, wanting a photograph to go with the article, but  by the time I found it the piece was written and published. Moral of the story – check your spam folder more than once a month! I am hoping that they might be able to send me a scanned copy of the article that I can print out and keep – to join my wee archive of newspaper coverage that I’ve had over the last few years. For those of you who can read German here’s the link

For those who can’t,  google translate gives the gist!

So my thanks to Anja, Ursula and Katrin of Torgau Tourist Information Centre and to Sebastian who wrote the article.

 

Britain’s Tudor Maps

Some time ago I was invited to a Book Group which had just finished my second novel A House Divided as their monthly read. I gave a wee talk and they were able to ask me questions and I had some for them which gave me some really useful feedback. After a lovely evening, including a supper (of which I probably ate too much!) they very kindly presented me with a book token as a thank you for coming.

I wanted to save it to buy something special that I wouldn’t have bought for myself and last week I found the absolutely perfect book for anyone interested in history and especially for an historical novelist. So to give a wee flavour of it, here are some photos. I took them on my phone so they don’t do this stunning book justice for the maps are gorgeous, and they cover every county in England, Wales, the whole of Ireland and include one map covering all of Scotland. They were drawn by a man called John Speed in the late 16th century and as you’ll see include town plans, and coats of arms of important people / families in each county as well as other quirky things, such as sea monsters.

It is fabulous and will provide hours of reading / pouring over / enjoyment time (not to mention the possibility of displacement activity… I’m going to have to ration myself.) So far though I’ve just been sitting stroking the pages and thinking how lovely these maps are. 2016-11-18-18-22-39

 

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Aside from their beauty, the skill in surveying that these represent is amazing, given the equipment available at the time. Somehow, a bit like modern versus classic cars, modern maps don’t have quite the same appeal.

A Primary Source that wasn’t – despite credentials

For those interested in historical research – a salutary lesson from USA – if anyone knows of similar examples from the UK I’d love to hear about them.

http://readingthepast.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/a-puritan-maidens-diary-early-american.html?fb_action_ids=10200821907822115&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210200821907822115%22:462096447241028%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210200821907822115%22:%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Now if I’d only known about this example before my workshop in the Previously Festival…