Over on Vulpes Libris I write enthusiastically about the Historic Fictions Research Network conference, how amateur historians rewrote the Battle of Trafalgar, and the invented town of Agincourt, Iowa, that teaches architecture in North Dakota. It was all about the fictions that history tells us, and it was great. Follow the Network @HFRN, and the Journal of Historical Fictions @journalhistfics.
One Day Without Us is a British grassroots campaign to celebrate the contributions that EU citizens and migrants from all over the world make and have made to daily British life. It culminates in a national day of action all over the UK on Monday 20 February 2017. See what else is happening in your area.
Over on Vulpes Libris I began the invitation list for a party to celebrate all the migrant authors who have made English literature what it is today. Who do you think should be invited?
Over on Vulpes Libris I wrote about a book pyramid scheme, though which I received James Baldwin’s classic, landmark novel of homosexual desire, Giovanni’s Room. Reader, I had mixed views.
I’ve wielded the hatchet over at Vulpes Libris, on a biography of William Wilberforce. Great subject, awful execution.
Over on Vulpes Libris I did a rapid round-up of nine Scottish novels for St Andrew’s Night. Which is today, 30 November. Once you’ve read them, get yer kilt on, and get thee to a ceilidh.
Over on Vulpes Libris I am wading through the 800 letters that Michael Carney used to construct his biography of Hilda Matheson. She was the BBC’s first Director of Talks, and Vita Sackville West’s lover (one of them) between 1929 and 1931. Her letters to Vita have ensured that her heroic struggles as a lesbian feminist operating at the top of the broadcasting hierarchy in its febrile, formative years have survived for proper appraisal.
I was persuaded by the excellent word of mouth praise for A Notable Woman: The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt, which is an unlikely-sounding smash hit. I was delighted. Also appalled by its weight and size: this is NOT a book for taking on holiday unless you do the ebook thing. A very absorbing, moving and impressive read, but over on Vulpes Libris I have views about the editorial choices made to get 45 diaries down to two inches of book.