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Tag: history

Medievalist Miriam

Medievalist Miriam

And the internet said to Miriam, “Tell me the story of the Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel in a way I’ve never heard it before.” And Miriam said, “Not difficult that, since you’ve never heard it at all. But is this the day for such a story?” The internet replied, “Yes.” “As in today?” The internet looked at Miriam and said, “It would be a poor poet who could not tell us the story of Da Derga’s Hostel.” “Yes, but…

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Colour, Inspiration, and My Own Ghost

Colour, Inspiration, and My Own Ghost

I sort of thought, when I started university, that being in Cambridge would be inspiring. You know — all those old buildings, beautiful gardens, and the history that comes along with it. All the authors who have lived and written there, the pubs where important discussions were held, the sheer number of bookshops, some of them very large, that exist in the town. But that didn’t actually turn out to be the case. I’m not sure whether it was just…

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Nobody Knows: My Degree Is Unteaching Me

Nobody Knows: My Degree Is Unteaching Me

All pictures in this post are illustrations from the 1912 edition of T.W. Rolleston’s “Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race”. Hi. Not dead yet. First exam is Monday, it’s the only one I feel even vaguely prepared for and I’m still terrified. While I was revising Irish Lit earlier I decided to take a shortcut and, rather than reading the translation of the stories that I needed to look over, I thought I’d read the summaries in a wonderful…

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Death, Fairies, And Degrees

Death, Fairies, And Degrees

One of the reasons I chose to study Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at university is because many of my ongoing novels and other writing projects have their basis in Celtic mythology and history, particularly my Death and Fairies series. For those who are unaware, D&F is a huge project I’ve been working on in some form since 2010. By huge, I mean it consists of eight books, the last three of which are the first ones I wrote when I…

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The Fury And The Blogger

The Fury And The Blogger

Sorry for my absence. Uni got kind of hectic the past couple of weeks — this week, I wrote two essays in four days, finishing one of them at 3am and the other slightly earlier at 1am. Not to mention the fact that I was ill and basically stuck in bed for five days last week: that wasn’t much fun. All my energy’s been going into work, but now that lectures have finished for the term and I have no…

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Backstory: Hints Of A Corpse

Backstory: Hints Of A Corpse

Recently, it’s come to my attention that I’m now one of the older ones lurking in the teen writer groups of which I’m a member. Maybe it’s the whole school-uni divide that made me notice it, or perhaps it’s just that I’m two months from my nineteenth birthday and dude, that’s old. I think one of the reasons this is a new and weird experience is because when I started participating in writing communities (more than five years ago now…

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Here There Are Ghosts

Here There Are Ghosts

When I walk through the college gardens at night it seems indubitable that there are ghosts there. Maybe ghosts is the wrong word. Memories — imprints of people who were once here, and are now gone. ‘Ghosts’ is too morbid a word, suggesting that they’re dead. Some of them were here a month ago. Some of them a century. They leave traces. I feel it in the day time too, this idea that I’m surrounded by history (it’s hard not…

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History Breeds Fiction

History Breeds Fiction

For those who missed my last post, I’ve been on a camp this week called Re-Fresh, and while I’m not going to talk about it in detail, I thought I’d draw on some of the experiences that stood out. Yesterday we went up to Hadrian’s Wall to a particularly well-preserved section near Housesteads Fort. I’ve got a vague idea that it might have been on our specification for Roman Britain back when A-Levels were still a thing (I’m so delighted…

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Icelandic Sagas In London

Icelandic Sagas In London

I think it’s fairly common knowledge that I’m a massive nerd. Well, I’m actually quite a small nerd, measuring barely over five foot three, but my nerdiness is without limits and far transcends the physical boundaries of my petite height. So, I’m a massive nerd. And in true keeping with the nerdiness of my existence I went yesterday to an event at the British Museum called Viking Sagas (somewhat confusingly, since it was originally advertised as being called Icelandic Sagas)…

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Travelling Through Time With Maggie Stiefvater

Travelling Through Time With Maggie Stiefvater

Today, we’re going to travel in time. Our time machine is the book Lament by Maggie Stiefvater. Go on, pick it up. It’s right there. Pick it up, open it, and breathe in that smell. That’s it. We’re back. Let’s have a look at what we can see. October 2009 Look — it’s me! I’m thirteen years old. I’m in year nine at school, finally leaving behind my frustrating form group who were always getting put in class detentions to…

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