Historical background

I thought it might be useful to put a few interesting bits of background here, so I’ll try to write up some short pieces on various historical topics which are related to my books. The newest ones are at the top.

– A guide to arming the knight in the fifteenth century
The ‘knight in shining armour’ of popular imagination.

– A guide to arming a knight in the thirteenth century
When we read about the Middle Ages we hear a lot about knights and how they fought. But what does armour look like and how does the knight put it on?

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– Guédelon castle project in France
In March 2015 I visited the wonderful Guédelon castle project in France where a thirteenth-century castle is being built from scratch. You can read a diary of the visit here.

– A guide to time in the thirteenth century
People in the Middle Ages didn’t measure time the same way as we do now.

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– Village life in the thirteenth century
We often read about the monarchs and nobles of the past, but what about the ordinary people

– Louis I, King of England.

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– Nicola de la Haye
One of the most overlooked heroes of the 1216-17 campaign was the female castellan of Lincoln Castle, Nicola de la Haye. She deserves a whole book to herself, but this short piece is a start.

– Archery in the thirteenth century
Taller than a man, it was not developed until after the period in which my novels are set. However, smaller bows and crossbows were in use earlier. Here’s a piece on archery in the thirteenth century.

– 1217 Battle of Lincoln
The Bloody City is set in and around Lincoln. Here’s an article I wrote on the 1217 Battle of Lincoln, which first appeared in Battlefield, the quarterly journal of the Battlefields Trust.

– Maciejowski Bible
One of my favourite primary sources is the wonderful Maciejowski Bible.

– Conisbrough Castle
Here’s a ‘tourist-guide’ article on Conisbrough Castle which I wrote a few years ago. Well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.


I hope to keep adding to this page, so please check back from time to time!