Weekly Roundup of History, Archaeology and Writing Wisdom March 14-20

After the crazy preparation for and participation in the Tucson Festival of Books, I was thrilled to spend a quiet week writing–actually editing, but the stage of editing I’m in is mostly dumping overboard scenes that I know aren’t working well and rewriting them largely from scratch. That’s going productively. I think my mystery about the Hittite Queen Puduhepa (actually future queen in this first of the series) will actually turn into a good book one of these days!

Here are the links I found interesting this week, a mix of archaeology/history and finds in historical fiction.

Boudica Haranguing the Britons, John Opie

Boudica Haranguing the Britons, John Opie

For Women’s History Month Faith Justice has done a good job of bringing us Boudica, who took on the might of the Roman Empire. She’s been heavily mythologized and this is a good overview of what the historical evidence says and the contradictions therein. Click here for “Boudica Warrior Queen” on Faith Justice’s blog Historian’s Notebook. 


A cartoon for the dinosaurs among us who remember reading the encyclopedia with avid interest long before Google. Via Janet Rudolph Click here for cartoon on Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare.


Entertaining article in the BBC’s History Extra “Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Romans” by scholar Harry Sidebottom. Via Alison Morton Click here for BBC’s History Extra “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Romans”

Wicked Women Chris EnssThis sounds like a fun book about egregiously badly behaved females in the Old West—haven’t read it, but Mirella Patzer via “History and Women” loves it. When a review mentions both lively writing and meticulous research, I’m willing to take a look. Click here for History and Women “Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West by Chris Enss” 

Elegy for the lost city of Hatra: We lost this ancient place in recent days. Another archaeological disaster discussed by Adam Haviaras, who set his fiction in this once beautiful, now bulldozed archaeological wonder. Click here for Adam Haviaras post “Hatra the Sad Death of an Historic Site” 

historical-fictionGreat post by Kate Forsyth: “Historical Fiction: How do you stop it from being a history lesson” My favorite quote “The research should make the world come alive for you, so that it inhabits your imagination. It should not be dripped into the text like big lumps of undigested fat.” Excellent advice and sense of humor. A post enjoyable for both readers and writers of HF. Click here for Kate Forsyth’s article “Historical Fiction: How Do You Stop It from Being a History Lesson” 




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