To celebrate the launch of ‘Edward II the Man: A Doomed Inheritance’, join me for a 30 minute talk and book signing at Waterstones Birmingham New Street on 18 January at 6.30pm. Find out who Edward II really was. What was his character like? Was he murdered in 1327, or did he find himself living … More Join Me: Waterstones (Birmingham New Street) Book Talk & Signing, 18 January 2018, 6.30pm
On this day, 2 January 1315, Edward II, most likely highly emotional, finally buried his longtime favourite and lover Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, who had been murdered some two-and-a-half years earlier in June 1312. Gaveston, his boon companion since 1300, had risen sharply in status since Edward’s accession in July 1307 and had remained … More A Solemn Affair: The Funeral of Piers Gaveston, 2 January 1315
So like all good adventures, there eventually comes journey’s end. After many years of planning, researching and then a good two years of writing, the book is now, well, a book having been published on 15th November 2017. For those of you who have been following ‘A Writer’s Journey’ series, I last wrote an update … More A Writer’s Journey #8 Adventure’s End…well, kind of!
Interview with The History Geeks (December 2017) whose page on Facebook and Twitter covers all things that is wonderful about history. They asked some tough, but great questions… HG: What got you into history? SS: I have always been interested in history. I used to sit on my mum’s lap when I was little and … More Talking All Things Edward II with The History Geeks
Located on a limestone promontory overlooking the River Wye, Chepstow Castle, even today, dominates the landscape and takes the breath away. It’s both magnificent in its medieval might as it is in its beauty and attention to medieval craftsmanship. Built initially by William fitz Osborn and later William the Conqueror himself, Chepstow saw a succession … More Chepstow Castle: A Bastion of Medieval Craftsmanship
STOP PRESS FOLKS!! At 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd November, my book ‘Edward II the Man: A Doomed Inheritance‘ will be launched at the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral, the burial place of Edward II, and you are invited. Join me for an evening talk as I re-examine Edward II both as a man and a monarch, set against the … More STOP PRESS: Edward II Book Launch & You Are Invited (7.30pm, 23rd November 2017, Gloucester Cathedral)
Aymer de Valence is not a name that leaps out of the annals of history. Many would be hard pressed to place him, let alone have a sense of his many achievements. But his achievements were great, and he had an impressive pedigree; his great-grandfather being William Marshall, one of Christendom’s greatest knights. His career … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part One)
When is a book a book? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times in the last few months. For those of you who have been following my blog series, ‘A Writer’s Journey’, will remember that my manuscript, ‘Edward II the Man: A Doomed Inheritance’ was submitted to my publisher Amberley at the end of … More A Writer’s Journey #7: When is a book a book?
There have been many medieval kings who have produced a string of illegitimate children. Henry I is perhaps the most infamous of them all. He was so prolific in exercising his sexual appetites, that the number of bastard children is almost impossible to know for certain. At best guess, the suggested numbers are as high … More Medieval Bastardy: Adam, Son of Edward II
In my career in heritage, I sometimes get very special access to off limits or behind the scene spaces in magnificent medieval buildings. Recently, in my capacity as a lay member, I was given access to Gloucester Cathedral. This magnificent building is currently undergoing a major multi-million pound HLF funded programme of restoration, not to … More Project Pilgrim: Behind the Scenes & Heavenly Heights at Gloucester Cathedral