Thursday, 2 October 2008


It's good to see an excellent shortlist for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award, which will be announced on 27th October. It includes Andrew Taylor's 'Bleeding Heart Square' and C. J. Sansom's 'Revelation'. I haven't got round to reading that one yet, but I mentioned I'd read 'Sovereign' in the summer and enjoyed it very much - I think Sansom is going from strength to strength. I read Andrew Taylor's 'The American Boy', which is set in Victorian times and features Edgar Allan Poe and remember liking it. It's funny to think that when I was writing 'The Chase' (which has some historical episodes in it), my agent was very uneasy and wanted me to take them out because at that time historical fiction didn't sell. I stuck to my guns - the episodes stayed. People really do enjoy being transported in time and place - it's wonderful that historical fiction of the highest quality is so popular now.

Mind you, a little historical jaunt doesn't need to be of the highest quality - one of my shameful pleasures, I have to confess, is watching 'The Tudors' on TV. It's daft, over the top, totally miscast, utterly cosmeticised, it's Dallas at Whitehall Palace, it's hammy, it is barely on speaking terms with historical accuracy - but it's beautifully filmed and weirdly addictive - and I don't think I'm alone in my addiction!

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