Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle

Hell Kettle: n. A deep abyss or bottomless pool The deep pools in Darlington, Co. Durham in England are a part of fearsome local legend. These mysterious pools are said to have inspired Lewis Carroll’s endless rabbithole, where Alice tumbles into another world – in his classic book Alice in Wonderland. They are known asContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle”

Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels

Great historical novels are fully immersed in time, place and have a tangible effect of bringing you into a time period that you may otherwise never know. This is what’s truly exhilerating about the historical novel. The setting and surroundings become like a fully formed character in the novel. Whether we’re talking about a BritishContinue reading “Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels”

Book Review: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky: A London Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton

*No spoilers Patrick Hamilton isn’t really as well known as he should be, which is a crime and a shame. He is a fantastic and yet underrated British writers of the post-war era. You may recognise his work in the play Rope which was turned into a well-known Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.Continue reading “Book Review: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky: A London Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton”

Mark Forsyth’s Elements of Eloquence Part 2: The Cheat Sheet

Here are the classical rules of rhetoric, illustrated and made simple. Based on Mark Forsyth’s Elements of Eloquence. I hope that you enjoy them and that this handy cheat sheet helps you to improve your writing.

Book Review: The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth – Part 1

Mark Forsyth is the witty and effervescent writer of several books on the history of language, etymology and linguistics. The Elements of Eloquence explains the timeless art of crafting memorable one liners. In other words, the rules of classical rhetoric.   This is a great guide for writers who want to master the subtle artContinue reading “Book Review: The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth – Part 1”

Ancient word of the day: Arachnid

According to ancient Greek myth, the first spider to ever live was a once human girl named Arachne. She lived in the ancient city of Lydia in Turkey and was famous for her ability to weave beautiful clothing. Arachne gained fame for her weaving and became boastful of her ability, telling people that her weavingContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Arachnid”

Book Review: Weatherland by Andrea Harris

Weatherland by Alexandra Harris is a sweeping panorama and magic carpet ride through the history of England using a quirky weathervane to measure the changing culture – the weather. Author Alexandra Harris’ debut book won The Guardian’s Book of the Year. It’s no surprise either because this is a far-reaching, expansive book written in anContinue reading “Book Review: Weatherland by Andrea Harris”

Unusual augurs of thunder in medieval England

In times of yore ( yore occurring around 1389) the appearance of thunder was a mixed bag. Thunder during January augured bumper crops, along with war when it crackled over the sky. However, thunder in December heralded abundant fruit trees, provisions and harmony among people. Harry the Hayward’s Thunder Prognostication Chart (1389) Sources: The BodlieanContinue reading “Unusual augurs of thunder in medieval England”

Omnia tempus habent: a delightful medieval rhyming calendar

Omnia tempus habent – All things have their season. Ecclesiastes Here is a medieval rhyming calendar depicting the labours of the months in the fields, designing in rhyming couplets dating from 14th century England. And yes the mis-spelling of the words is intentional. This is how it was spelt in Old English of medieval times.Continue reading “Omnia tempus habent: a delightful medieval rhyming calendar”

Book Review – Word to the Wise by Mark Broatch

Although I am an experienced writer, sometimes I get it wrong, either through laziness, tiredness or ignorance. The first two are under my control which is why I tend to circle back the day after I write, to re-edit professional work before I send it out. I’m the first to admit that I make mistakes.Continue reading “Book Review – Word to the Wise by Mark Broatch”