This is the excerpt for your very first post.
I love Animal Farm! An interesting look at it here
I recently watched an Intelligence Squared debate between two inimitable men of letters, Will Self and Adam Gopnik, on the motion entitled “Brave New World vs Nineteen Eighty Four.”
But the real purpose behind the debate, much more than a simple literary analysis of two great novels, became clear immediately with the moderator’s introduction. “Rarely can a debate [such as this] claim to be so urgently topical. And yet somehow with two novels, one written in 1931 and the other written between 1948 and 1949, you nevertheless have two works that speak to us in our own time with great urgency and topicality.”
Ah, yes. The great urgency and topicality, always, of dystopian fiction.
In one sense it’s a completely ridiculous statement to make. The world today is far from a dystopia; and, in fact, it’s becoming increasingly less like a dystopia. Consider just a few key metrics: Poverty, Literacy…
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I have a special treat for you today! Mary Anne Yarde, author of the Du Lac Chronicles series, has a greed to do a post for me on Lord Tennyson and his influence on Arthurian Legend. I know you will enjoy it. Lord Tennyson and his influence on Arthurian Legend. In 1846 William John Thoms, a British... Continue Reading →
I had the please of attending a concert the other night that traced the history of music over the last 2000 years. When the they sang a song in Middle English, I was reminded of the fact that the language in England has not always been one that most of us today understand. I resolved... Continue Reading →
I love the Tudors. A new dynasty rising from the brutality of a bitter war with the joining of two houses. The desperation to provide heirs to provide a continuous line of Tudors that, in the second generation of Tudors, created turmoil for so many. The pressure was on six women in particular: Katherine of... Continue Reading →
I mention the weather ALL the time. I don’t think we realise how much influence it has over what we do
MyAnglo/German ancestors led ordinary lives in extraordinary times.
When writing about their history, I embellish the hard facts from the archive. I imagine how they lived. Family stories, cards, letters and memoirs, inform my imagination. This, mixed with a very large dose of social history, makes up my writing resource.
Why have I written about my family, in historical fiction format? I hear you ask.
Well, to be honest, my research left family members, unimpressed. My accumulated pile of documents and certificates left them cold. They just could not see the exciting story he records revealed to me.
So I decided that the facts presented in a story might grab their attention. To my delight, my family now love the story of their ancestors. And to my surprise and joy, so have hundreds of readers from around the world.
Many readers have asked me, why I mention the weather…
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How are you doing today, you guys? Let that be the first thing you tell me in the comments below!
So this is what I have in store for you today: what I learned from my experience as a first-time author. My debut book was called Philippa. It was a period drama and heavily family-centric, geared toward an all-inclusive audience, published in 2013. It’s been five years since, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Additional details, summary, blurb, and the cover of my book can be found on my website’s book page here. It’s a quick read; you can head on there and come back to continue with this post in less than 30 seconds. I won’t use up all this space to just repeat all that minutiae again here. Instead, I’m going to utilize it to tell you the things you came here for…
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I love genealogy. It delivers me history and plots all in the one package. The novel that I am working on (in between short stories that is) is the fictionalised story of one of my ancestor couples. Note I said fictionalised. Part of that fictionalisation is name changes. I have many reasons for making the... Continue Reading →
A very comprehensive list
I had stated it before but the Victorian era was really all about death. They dealt with it, they lived with it, and they mourned it. They were professional mourners and purveyors of all things to do with the dying experience. With this means that most of their superstitions revolved around death and they were a superstitious lot. My father is rather superstitious and my mother as well. You know, no opening an umbrella in the house, don’t walk under a ladder, and don’t you dare break a mirror. Yes, I come from a superstitious family and yet I don’t believe in a single one of them. Here are some from the Victorian era, do you still practice some of these?
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© S.J. Carver
Originally published as ‘1888’ in VETO III (2009).
This is another relatively old piece that kicked around quite a while before someone published it, supposedly because of the colourful language. (I remember one editor telling me it was her policy never to publish anything she wouldn’t want her grandmother to read.) I’m pretty sure it was originally written sometime in 1999. It’s interesting to me as an ancestor of Shark Alley, because it was my first attempt at writing a ‘Victorian’ scene, while you can also already see the preoccupation with nested narration and ghoulish storytelling, the profession of Jack Vincent, the ‘Death Hunter’ hero of the novel.
The nights were drawing in now, and dead leaves were mingling with the shit and the sludge on the streets. The year drew towards a merciful end, marred only by the certain knowledge that 1889 would just be…
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