After more than half a century, I can still remember snatches from A Child’s History of England, among my favorite books when I was a boy. There was Henry VIII, “one of the most wicked Kings who ever drew breath”; Danish marauders who raided abbeys, yelling, at sword point, “Get us gold, Bishop!”; and Richard the Lionhearted, who, while in captivity, drew inspiration from a spider.
Even at that age, I sensed that Charles Dickens–for he was the author–might have shortened the truth to lengthen the drama. I also understood, however dimly, that he was telling me whom to like and whom to hate, and that maybe I shouldn’t listen. I’d learned skepticism early; in my house, you had to.
But true or not, Dickens’s stories still enchanted me. They seemed alive, exciting, and, best of all, important. And maybe I have him to thank, partly, for becoming a historian, looking for the enchanting stories that actually happened, in the way they happened–and as a historical novelist, for those that didn’t happen but might have.
Welcome to my blog. If you too are looking for enchantment in history or historical fiction, I hope you find it here. Please let me know whether you do–what you like, don’t like, or want to see.