Journal

Historical fiction, ancestry and artefacts

 

My most recent novel, TESTAMENT, contains five chapters of historical fiction – a prologue set at the time of the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC, two chapters set during the British Abyssinia campaign of 1868-9 and another two chapters at Bletchley Park in 1943. That emphasis on historical fiction continues the pattern of my eight previous Jack Howard novels, all present-day thrillers but with settings ranging from the earliest seafaring in the Neolithic to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the final days of the Nazis at the end of the Second World War.

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Wrecks and wrecking at Gunwalloe: fact and fiction

Click on the image below to read a piece I've written for the National Trust's Natural Lizard blog, devoted to the natural history and history of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, England. My blog is about the influence of my shipwreck discoveries in these waters on my novels, and the fine line between reality and imagination in creating archaeological fiction.

 

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Brothers in Arms: General John Lawrenson, 17th Lancers (1802-83), and Colonel George Lawrenson, C.B., Bengal Horse Artillery (1803-56)

My account a few postings back of the military career of Captain Thomas Edward Gordon, 14th Light Dragoons (my great-great-great grandfather), has led me to look at the careers of two of his wife’s uncles, one an officer in the East India Company Army and the other in the British cavalry. Together the careers of these three men cover most of the big wars of the earlier part of Victoria's reign– the first Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-6 and the second of 1848-9, the Crimean War of 1854-6 and the Indian Mutiny of 1857-9. They encompass some of the most glorified moments of war in the Victorian age, epitomised in Crimea by the 'Thin Red Line' of the 93rd Highlanders and the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava ...

 

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A 5th century BC Greek shipwreck excavation off Turkey

I wrote this article for  the 2000 edition of the journal Antiquity, following the first season of excavation by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) of a classical Greek shipwreck off the west coast of Turkey at Tektas Burnu. I was very fortunate to participate in both the 1999 and the 2000 season at this site, carrying out more than a hundred dives to 45 metres and excavating some wonderful artefacts - including intact painted Greek vases of the 5th century BC ...

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