Sharing the Wisdom: My Eight Top Writing Tips

I’ve been asked a lot recently about how I wrote my first book, which was published at the end of 2017. Years of research, copious amounts of coffee, endless drafting and redrafting finally resulted in my manuscript. The manuscript eventually became the book. I wasn’t given a manual when I first decided to put pen … More Sharing the Wisdom: My Eight Top Writing Tips

The Murder of Piers Gaveston: A Fourteenth Century Account

The murder of Piers Gaveston, lover and confidant of Edward II on 19 June 1312 is well known to many. The story of his rise to the earldom of Cornwall, and subsequent clash with the mainstay of England’s nobility is also well documented.[Click here for:- Piers Gaveston: Life, Love & Death (An Overview)] But one of … More The Murder of Piers Gaveston: A Fourteenth Century Account

Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have many defining features, yet one in particular stands out for its political significance. Unlike the preceding centuries, politics in England became increasingly violent, especially among the nobility – the earls and baronial class. While rebellions had occurred at key times during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – notably with … More Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

‘Risen from the Dust’? – The Real Heritage of Piers Gaveston

It was Walter of Guisborough who first poured scorn on the supposed heritage of Piers Gaveston, favourite and lover of Edward II, declaring that the then earl of Cornwall was ‘raised up as if from nothing’.(1) Historians for the best part of the last 700 years have run away with this assertion, until academics like … More ‘Risen from the Dust’? – The Real Heritage of Piers Gaveston

A King & His People: The Controversial Coronation of Edward II, 1308

The Coronation, marks an important moment in kingship. For in that ancient service, the monarch is set above his people spiritually through the act of unction – the application of Holy Oil imbuing the sovereign with quasi-spiritual power. In the medieval mind, the coronation confirmed the king’s status as ruler: it bequeathed him the right … More A King & His People: The Controversial Coronation of Edward II, 1308

STOP Press: Book II ~ Robert the Bruce: Champion of a Nation

I am delighted to announce that following the publication of my first book, a biography of Edward II in 2017, I have been offered and accepted a second publishing deal with Amberley Publishing. ‘Robert the Bruce: Champion of a Nation’ will be my second biography, this time focussing on the life, reign and reputation of … More STOP Press: Book II ~ Robert the Bruce: Champion of a Nation

My Podcast Interview with Medieval Archives, 30 January 2018

Last week I was interviewed by Gary Ekborg, who runs the internationally renowned blog and website Medival Archives. It was good fun and filled with many great questions. Please click on the link to hear the recorded interview: Podcast Interview MAP#78: Edward II The Man with author Stephen Spinks To accompany the podcast interview, Medieval Archives … More My Podcast Interview with Medieval Archives, 30 January 2018

A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part Two)

Aymer de Valence, by the close of 1312, had regained the king’s confidence. The murder of Piers Gaveston at the hands of the Blacklow earls as they became known had shocked contemporaries. The earl of Pembroke would from this moment do everything in his power to serve Edward II, but in doing so, provided a … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part Two)

A Writer’s Journey #9 Edward II on the Road:~ Waterstones Book Signing

You know when writing a book has become real when you go on the road and start promoting it. I was fortunate enough to be invited to give a talk about Edward II at Waterstones Birmingham New Street last week. For me, this was quite a special event, because I have been visiting their bookstore … More A Writer’s Journey #9 Edward II on the Road:~ Waterstones Book Signing