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Sinclair Extras – Onboard the Sherwell

This scene was almost entirely edited out of the final version of the book. I enjoyed writing it as I was developing the characters of Sinclair and Greenwood. In these scenes the men emerged as they appear in the final novel. The scene is based very loosely on the...

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Writers of Influence – Mary Wesley

I loved Mary Wesley's books. I think I read them all in the 1980s and 1990's before my children were born. I really enjoyed the TV adaptations too. Her work was refreshing, vivid and bitter sweet, her style was effortless. She is a great influence on me still. Mary...

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Princess Sophia – Seduced, Abandoned and Blackmailed

This is the sad story of Princess Sophia. An unworldly and shy woman who was seduced by a man 33 years her senior, gave birth to his illegitimate child, and was blackmailed by her son to pay his father's debts. According to biographer Christopher Hibbert, in her young...

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A Tale of Three Sisters

Julia Herdman writes historical fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon – Paperback £10.99 Kindle £2.42 Born in London in 1788, the poet George Gordon Byron, or Lord Byron as we know him,...

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Writers of influence – Hilary Mantel

Julia Herdman writes historical fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon – Paperback £10.99 Kindle £2.42   There is a poem by WH Auden, called “As I Walked Out One Evening”: 'The glacier...

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Turkish Delight

Julia Herdman writes historical fiction that puts women to the fore. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1. is  Available on Amazon – Paperback £10.99 Kindle £2.42 Turquerie was the fashion for all things Turkish. It started in the late sixteenth...

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The drinking dens of St James’s

For a city with little tradition of hot drinks chocolate was an alien, suspect substance drink associated with popery and idleness. The principal chocolate houses were Ozinda’s and White’s, both on St James’s Street, and the Cocoa Tree on Pall Mall. As befitted their...

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The pursuit of love and happiness

Voltaire (1694-1778), the French philosopher and author is one of my hero Sinclair's favourite authors. He takes his copy of Candide, Voltaire's satirical novel  to India with him and loses it when the ship goes down but once he's established himself in Tooley Street...

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The Jacobites – Romantic or Despotic?

The 18th century saw two armed insurrections in support of the ousted Stuart dynasty; one in 1715 and one in 1745. The whole Jacobite movement started when the Stuart King James II was deposed in 1688 and Parliament gave the throne of Great Britain and Ireland was...

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Darcy’s Letter to Elizabeth

This letter is the watershed moment in Pride and Prejudice. From this moment on Elizabeth Bennet knows she has misread Darcy. Oh, how her heart must have ached after reading it. It is an extra-ordinarily long letter for a novel these days. I wonder which of us who...

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Cristallo

We take glass for granted today but this fragile material was once so prized men were condemned to death for revealing its secrets. Without there would be no chandeliers and no sparkles to wear. The Venetians had been making glass since Roman times but by the late...

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Dancing through the bedrooms of Europe

Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg zu Beilstein otherwise known simply as Metternich was probably the greatest diplomat of the nineteenth century. As well as being a towering intellectual he seems to have been a very physical man, if not on...

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I want to sleep with common people

This story is about an Empress with a taste for the common man. Just like the Greek girl in the Pulp classic, 'She wanted to sleep with the common people'. Elizabeth Petrovna was born at Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, on 18 December 1709. She was the daughter of Peter the...

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Free Preview – Sinclair

Chapter 1 - Lies and Ambition ‘Gravesend, 1 January 1786’ It was dark when James Sinclair left the Anchor Inn and headed for the docks. As he walked across the cobbles towards the ‘Sherwell’, the bitter easterly wind flecked his coat with icy grains of snow. Moonlight...

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The Dundas Family – Money and Politics

Bankers and men of property are some of the richest men on the planet today. Their relationship with governments and the democratic process is a battle for power. Locked in a war of attrition; the bankers' desire is to operate unfettered while governments' desire...

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The History of the Love Letter

There would be no love letters without pens, ink and that luscious bright-red blob of sealing wax for the heroine of the story to crack open at her dressing table. A good goose quill was the letter writer’s standard kit until the invention of the metal dip nib pen in...

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Harsh Justice

The Poldarks are having their usual brush with the law this season. This time it's the life of Drake Carne, Demelza's brother whose life hangs in the balance. Justice in the 18th century was probably as rare as hen's teeth for the common man. 18th-century law...

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Imperial Crushes

Archduchess Maria Christina was born on her mother's 25th birthday at the Imperial Palace in Vienna, she was her fifth child and fourth daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. Maria Christina Johanna Josepha Antonia was born on 13 May...

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