Ice Houses

I’ve mentioned the work that’s been done on the beautiful Georgian villa of Marble Hill in Twickenham. Along the way, though, I’ve heard some very strange things from the ‘garden historians’ who advised English Heritage on restoration work. One of the strangest was...

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Journal of the Covid years: a quiet anniversary

Here's the latest instalment of my beloved's covid diaries. We've both been pleasantly surprised at the positive comments we've had about them, but we won't be able to keep up the weekly posts much longer. As life opened up, there was more going on and keeping the...

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The British Invasion of Buenos Aires, 1806

The British Invasion of Buenos Aires, 1806

On 27 June 1806 Buenos Aires fell to the British. It's one of the least well-known campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars but the first of the James Burke books, Burke in the Land of Silver, centres on the run-up to this battle (not that there was really a battle) and its...

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Journal of the covid years: our first social gathering

Journal of the covid years: our first social gathering

June 2020 and it's been over three months since we've seen our friends who we would usually see every week. With restrictions on outdoor gatherings lifting, we could finally meet up. We were excited. Sunday 22 June 2020 The event of the month - the summer solstice...

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Shrewsbury (Photo essay)

Shrewsbury (Photo essay)

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen that Tammy and I spent a couple of days in Shrewsbury last week. It’s somewhere that we have been meaning to visit for years and we have finally got round to it. Like so many people, I was attracted to the place by reading...

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The siege of Cawnpore

The siege of Cawnpore

Last week I outlined the historical background to the siege of Cawnpore, as described in the second of my John Williamson novels, Cawnpore. The siege ran from 6th to 25th June 1857, so last Monday was the 165th anniversary of its start. General Wheeler, the officer...

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Journal of the Covid Years: Ups & Downs

Every Thursday I post an excerpt from my wife’s journal written two years earlier. Two years ago this week, there were signs of life returning to normal, but also intense nervousness amongst those who thought it was too soon. The Second Wave was just a vague...

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India, 1857

India, 1857

This is the time of year when my thoughts turn to Cawnpore and the events of 1857. Although the British had been establishing themselves in India for some time before 1757, the battle of Plassey is often seen as a turning point, marking the beginning of British rule...

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