Should TV Dramas Be Historically Accurate?

VERSAILLES – VICTORIA – POLDARK – RIPPER STREET – PEAKY BLINDERS – MAD MEN – REIGN – LINCOLN – THE BIG SHORT – SPOTLIGHT – BRAVEHEART – THE IMITATION GAME – THE BUTLER These are all high profile historical dramas/films. But here’s a question for you: “…should TV dramas & movies be historically accurate?” ——————————————————– As you…

Read more...

The Real History Behind The VERSAILLES TV Drama

Introduction Hello! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed watching BBC Two’s lavish import, the Versailles TV drama. Coming from the quills of noted showrunners David Wolstencroft and Simon Mirren, both known for gripping series with a conspiratorial bent (i.e. Spooks), it was no surprise when this drama arrived with a hearty dollop of sex, violence, tension, and intrigue. Speaking as a…

Read more...

The Surprising History of Champagne

Yesterday was #NationalWineDay, so I thought I’d post an extract from my book A Million Years In A Day on the surprising history of Champagne. If you enjoy this chapter, I hope you’ll perhaps take a look at the rest of the book, which charts the history of daily life across a modern Saturday. It’s fun, honest! 7…

Read more...

MY NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT! The History of Celebrity

Greetings! Depending on how you felt about my first book, I come bearing good/terrible news. Yes, the fine people at Weidenfeld & Nicolson have commissioned me to write a second history book, and this one is all about… *drum roll* …The history of celebrity! Yes, given the huge pervasiveness of celebrity culture in the modern…

Read more...

Who Was Worse – Henry VIII or Ivan the Terrible?

This recent survey by the Historical Writers Association has declared Henry VIII the “worst monarch in history”. I, like many historians on Twitter, find this a fairly ridiculous thing to state – not least because what is being measured when we say “worst”? Is it a moral question, or one of political success? And is…

Read more...

Greg’s Top Writing Tips

I was recently asked in this interview to give my top writing tips for budding bloggers and history writers. I don’t profess to know anything at all, and there are much better people to ask, but, based on the fact I’ve read thousands of books, I thought I’d have a crack at a vaguely amusing…

Read more...