Monday, 16 January 2017

New paperback book - The Female Pope: The True Story of Pope Joan

The Female Pope: The True Story of Pope Joan

For many centuries it was accepted almost without discussion that the priesthood, and pastoral work more generally, was exclusively a male domain. Women had a role within the Christian Church, as nuns or lay workers, but the giving of the sacraments was seen as a male preserve. And yet for centuries rumours and legends have swirled about that one woman did get to be pope in Rome. The Catholic Church has always denied the stories, but they refuse to go away. It is now time to look anew at these old stories and try to discover the truth that lies behind them. In this book Oliver Hayes looks at the legends of a Female Pope and uncovers the startline truth that lies behind them. 
Chapter 1 - The Legend of the Female Pope 
Chapter 2 - The Legend under Scrutiny 
Chapter 3 - The Real Female Pope
Buy it HERE

Thursday, 12 January 2017

NEW BOOK : The History of Buttons

We tend to take buttons rather for granted these days. They are the ubiquitous fastener in all our wardrobes. We do them up in the morning without much thought. But in fact the humble button has been essential to the Western World for centuries. It made possible tailoring and fashion as we know them today. Without the button we would be quite undone.
We use buttons on shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses, suits, overcoats and a host of other clothing. These days they are so cheap that many people give them little regard. When you buy a shirt, blouse or jacket it comes with buttons already on it. When the garment wears out most people chuck out the buttons along with the item of clothing. Only a few of us bother to keep the buttons - mostly on the grounds that they "might come in handy one day". They rarely do, of course, because the next garment we buy also has buttons.
The modern wardrobe would be lost without buttons. It can come as a bit of a shock, therefore, to learn that humans had been coping without buttons perfectly well until fairly recently. Indeed, buttons are a surprisingly modern invention.
Not so very long ago nobody used buttons to do up their clothes. And when buttons did first come in they were not treated as lightly as they are today. Time was when buttons sent out important social messages about status, occupation and wealth.
The button has a long and distinguished history. But to understand just how crucial the button is, we need to start back before it had been invented.

Title:               The History of Buttons
Author:           Rupert Matthews
Format:           196 x 132 mm landscape
Extent:            58pp (10pp colour)
Photos:           60

How to Order:
Send a cheque made payable to "Rupert Matthews" for £5 per book, plus £2.90 postage and packing for up to 7 books, to:
Book Orders
8 Fir Tree Close
KT17 3LD.
The books "The History of Christmas Food" and "Winter God: The Authorised Biography of Father Christmas" are also available at £5 each.

Friday, 6 January 2017

1066 Harold's Way - the Website

Imagine 1066, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s epic journey to his date with destiny.

Imagine being part of King Harold’s army, did it rain, was it dry? Three days of marching, the nights were drawing in, the noise, the fear and a battle to face – a camp at Rochester, a camp at Bodiam and a final climb to Caldbec Hill.

The 14th October 1066 is one of the most emotive dates in English history and Harold’s march to the Battle of Hastings is the stuff of legends.

You too can follow in King Harold’s footsteps, along his most likely route to the Battle of Hastings, by walking 1066 Harold’s Way, a walk that starts at Westminster Abbey and finishes at Battle Abbey, East Sussex.

Accessible by public transport, there is nothing to stop you sharing the experience of 1066 Harold’s Way, through London, Kent and East Sussex.

The guidebook for this 100 mile long distance walk is readily available from Waterstones, Amazon, Foyles and other bookshops.

Find out more HERE

AWARD winner

Our author Michael Evans has won a prestigious local award for his book "East Anglia at War".

Monday, 12 December 2016

An Interview with Derek Hayes, author of Maid of Turpin’s

As regular Linda’s Book Bag readers know, I’m always happy to support less well known authors and publishers so it gives me great pleasure to introduce Derek Hayes today. Derek’s latest book  Maid of Turpin’s was published by Bretwalda Books on 16th July 2016. Maid of Turpin’s is available for purchase here.

Maid of Turpins

Young Sybil Turpin is an innkeeper who caters for the unsavoury underworld of 18th Century London. When she gets involved in a fiendish plot about spies and political intrigue her life is suddenly in danger from the most ruthless of men.
The year is 1720 and the government of Prime Minister Robert Walpole is overwhelmed by a criminal scandal which threatens to bankrupt the country. Richard Hamilton secret agent of the crown is sent to investigate. The story centres around the notorious tavern in Honey Lane; a lawless neighbourhood within Cheapside.
Turpin’s is ruled by a feisty young Sybil Turpin; an eccentric character who bathes daily in a hogshead barrel and rides like a highwayman.
She and Richard, himself an unconventional character, start as adversaries but when more brutal criminal activity unfolds, they join forces and their quest leads them around the streets of London, from Tyburn to the Bank of England; through Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to a prison vault under London Bridge.
Richard Hamilton may have met his match with this bold young woman but the Maid of Turpin’s has a further challenge ahead, far beyond her comprehension or ability.

An Interview with Derek Hayes

Hi Derek. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing. Firstly, please could you tell me a little about yourself?
I’d describe myself as a well-fed bookworm, people-watcher, storyteller and an expert at make believe. They are lifelong attributes and still as useful now as they ever were. I read a lot and have quite diverse tastes. I usually have two or three books on the go at the same time.
I was a child of the fifties, but I hasten to add a very young one. I live in Wiltshire with my wife Jennifer and lots of grandchildren nearby; still able to indulge the story telling.  I spent most of my working life in the NHS and that was where the people-watching began. It was always a privilege being present through the critical times of other people’s life experiences; often of the dramatic and terminal kind. But then there was hospital humour; usually itself profoundly unnerving but always a palliative for the distress and sadness. Experience enough for several lifetimes.
(I bet!)
And tell us a bit about your Langford series of books.
This is where the people-watching became reality for me. Set in the 1950s Langford Follies are a study ...

You can read the entire interview HERE

Friday, 2 December 2016

First ebook sale of December - Winter God: The Authorised Biography of Father Christmas

Buy your copy HERE

Some people call him Father Christmas, other people name him Santa Claus, but whatever name he goes by we all know him.
He is the jolly, fat man who comes out only on Christmas Eve. He loads his sleigh up with toys for all the good children in the world. He wraps himself up in a warm, fur-lined suit of red cloth with matching hat and warm black boots. Then he hitches up his magic flying reindeer, leaves behind his workshop at the North Pole and takes to the skies. For hours he gallops across the wintry, frozen landscapes to bring toys to millions of excited children around the world.
He has become the living embodiment of the Christmas Spirit. But where did this loveable old boy come from? How old is he? Has he always been so jovial? And what about the elves, reindeer and North Pole?
Many people think that Santa was invented for an advertising campaign by Coca Cola. Others date him to Victorian times. A few may place him back in the 18th century or even Tudor times. But they are all wrong.
He is much, much older than that.
This book traces the development of our favourite Christmas character from his origins many centuries ago down to the present day. We learn when and how he started giving presents to children, why he is so fat and where the reindeer came from - among many other things.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

A History of Christmas Food - new ebook out now

- With over 20 historic recipes

Buy the ebook HERE

Christmas today is a time of feasting, drinking and all round merrymaking. We serve vast meals that cause our dining tables to groan with the weight and our families to gasp at the luxury.
But it is not just a matter of serving huge meals. Christmas - more than any other time of year - is associated with its own special foods, drinks and eating customs.
Most Christmas foods are widely recognised. Roast turkey graces most tables, which also feature sprouts, roast potatoes, parsnips, bacon rolls, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and bread sauce. All that is in due course cleared away to be replaced by Christmas pud and mince pies.
Others are very personal. I grew up in a household where supper on Christmas Eve was always sausages and mash, and where the adults began Christmas Day by trooping down to the kitchen for "Grandma's Special Christmas Tea", which was consumed with much lip smacking and joking. As a tot I found this early morning ritual a bit odd, but when I grew older I learned that "Grandma's Special Christmas Tea" involved my grandmother tipping a healthy dose of whisky into each mug before pouring out the tea.
We take so much of this for granted as part and parcel of our Christmas traditions that we indulge ourselves without thinking. And if we do spare a thought we probably imagine that Christmas has always been like this.
But it hasn't. Christmases of years gone by were very different. Oh, there has always been plenty of eating and drinking going on, but what has been eaten or drunk has varied enormously.
So what did our ancestors eat and drink on the greatest feast of the year?
Read on.

Please note that in producing the recipes included in this book I have adapted original recipes found in books and manuscripts dating back to the times in question. Earlier recipes often did not include either precise measurements or detailed instructions, so I have experimented to find what seems to work best for me. I have generally sought to avoid recipes using ingredients that might be difficult to find these days or have suggested easily obtained alternatives when I have - how could I possibly miss out Mrs Beeton's original Christmas cake of 1861? Enjoy trying out these recipes and your taste of the past.