Tag Archives: #amwriting #history #research #historicalfiction

The Real Witch Story #mondayblogs

Kirche-und-Teufel

Kirche und Teufel

 

Bamberg, Germany: The Early Modern Witch Burning Stronghold

Throughout the dark ages, Christianity had difficulties setting down roots among the Germanic tribes. Stories are told of saints who came to the German people and destroyed sacred trees and mystical places in order to show the people that their gods had no power. Even after Christianity took hold and the Catholic Church was established in the Germanic territories of the Holy Roman Empire, evidence shows that the Germanic people held onto their beliefs in goddesses, magic, herbal remedies, and pagan practices. Read more here

(This post first appeared at History…the interesting bits! Please check out this wonderful website !)

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The Dutch East India Co. #earlymodern

The Dutch East India Company

The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, the Dutch East India Company, was a trading company founded in 1602. Considered by some to be the first corporation in the world, the VOC was in any case the largest and most impressive trading company in Europe during the Early Modern Period. The Company ruled the trade zone between South Africa and Japan and was granted authority by the Dutch government to build forts, appoint a governing body and to form an army, as well as conducting trade and establishing colonies continue reading…

 
Painting: Willem van de Velde, The Cannon Shot (ca. 1670) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

 

What am I reading? #mondayblogs

 

Heather Richardson

I’m reading Magdeburg by Heather Richardson:

Link to Magdeburg on amazon.com
 
1631. Germany. As the Thirty Years War rages across central Europe, the Protestant denizens of Magdeburg are holding out against the armies of the Catholic Emperor Ferdinand.
Sweeping in its scope and ambition, Heather Richardson’s debut novel tells the intertwining and conflicting stories of the Henning family, their friends, their associates and their enemies.

 

 

And she’s here today to tell us a little bit about herself:

 
1.) Who are you and what do you do?
Well, for my day job I’m a university lecturer. I teach Creative Writing at the Open University, which is a distance learning university based in the UK.
2.) What project would you like to discuss today? 
My first novel, Magdeburg, which is set in Germany during the Thirty Years War.
3.) What inspired you to take on a project like this?
I first heard about Magdeburg on a BBC radio programme. An historian was talking about its destruction in 1631 – it was pretty much razed to the ground and around 24,000 people killed in one day. The historian explained that this had as powerful an impact on northern Europe as the 9/11 attacks had in our time. I was struck by this, and when I researched the story I found many echoes with Irish history. I’m from a Northern Irish Protestant background, and have long been intrigued by the Protestant mind-set. There were strong parallels between Magdeburg and the Northern Irish city of Derry. In the 17th century both were prosperous, devoutly Protestant, and besieged by the army of a Catholic king. The big difference was that Magdeburg was destroyed, while Derry – which was besieged sixty years later – was saved. The Siege of Derry is a big part of the Northern Irish Protestant identity, so I guess I saw the story of Magdeburg as a way of exploring identity without confronting it head-on.
4.) How do you find the time to write?
Like most writers I’ve had to fit it in around the other demands of life. I’ve adapted my approach over the years, depending on whether my days were occupied with full-time employment, child-rearing, caring for elderly parents etc. If I’m working on a big project like a novel, I do try to write a bit every day – often only 25 minutes. It doesn’t seem like much, but the words gradually mount up. Because I’ve always done it like that, I suspect I wouldn’t be able to sit down and write for days at a time.
5.) What fuels your fascination with Germany? Have you ever been here?
I didn’t have any particular interest in Germany before I started writing the novel, but having read so much about the place I’m a convert! I’ve been lucky enough to go to Germany several times, and stayed in Magdeburg for a few days when I was researching the novel. A couple of years later I made use of a family holiday on the Rhine to take a trip to Mainz. Several of my novel’s characters were printers, so I wanted to see the Gutenburg museum to help me understand the process.
6.) If you could time-travel, what time period would you want to live in?
Probably the future – I wouldn’t want to go back to any time that predates antibiotics, analgesics and anaesthetics! 
7.) Write me a story in three sentences, 100 words or less.
Her mind went blank. ‘I can’t,’ she said. And she didn’t.
8). When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
At the moment I’m on a textile arts and crafts kick – I’ve got a spinning wheel, I crochet, I embroider… It’s for the satisfaction of making a physical artefact that I can touch, wear or wrap myself up in. It’s a way of counterbalancing the ‘in the head’ nature of both my job and my writing. I also run – slowly. I completed my first (and last) marathon a couple of years ago. I was fifth from last, but I finished the damn thing. That’s a pretty good metaphor for writing!
9.) Where can we find out more about you and your books?
I am woefully inactive on social media, so my Amazon author page is probably the best place to go.
10.) What advice would you give to a budding writer?
Read a lot, including 19th century classics. Those guys (and gals) knew how to create a gripping story. Read outside your preferred genre. Don’t worry what your mother will think of your writing. Acknowledge the things that disturb you, and write about them. Write little and often. Finish something.
 
 
 
 

Hoydens & Firebrands #histfic

RECONSTRUCTING THE THIRTY YEARS WAR

Judging by the images and the books that are popular today, can you imagine how someone 400 years from now will view our society? How will they reconstruct our day in age based on the records we leave behind? That is, if they can even access our information. What impressions will they have of our culture? continue reading…  

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