Entries by Michael Wills

Historical Novels: the fact and the fiction

Today I had the pleasure of giving an illustrated lecture to the Shaftesbury Historical Society. The subject of my talk was “Historical Novels: the fact and the fiction”. Shaftesbury, in the county of Dorset, is oldest and at 219 metres above sea level, one of the highest towns in England. Alfred the Great founded a […]

The Magna Cartas

For the first time for eight hundred years the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, the Great Charter, have come together. The Magna Carta dates from 15th June 1215, when an unpopular monarch, King John, was forced by rebel barons to agree to a long list of fundamental rights. After the charter had […]

The poppies at the Tower of London

The spectacle of 888,246 hand-made ceramic poppies lining the whole moat of the Tower of London is an indescribably poignant reminder of the exact number of British and Colonial soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives in the First World War. The scene is a field of red with one corner of a tower […]

The Final Act at Saratoga 1777

Two hundred and thirty seven years ago this week the second of the battles of Saratoga took place. After the costly British victory of 19th September there had been a military stalemate. For over three weeks the two armies had been watching and waiting. Throughout this period the American army had increased in size as […]

Read a sample of the “Wessex Turncoat”

From Chapter 16 The Serjeant led the men, who were forced to go in single file, through a skilfully disguised entrance into the enclosure. They stood staring with amazement at the building in front of them. “The likeness is to a giant woodlouse,” he said as he slapped the shell of the large building. It […]

The Frontier War

My latest book, The Wessex Turncoat, will be published at the end of June. It tells the story of a redcoat soldier in the American War of Independence. Researching the background for the book was a fascinating task. It really illustrated to me the resilience and gallantry of men on both sides of the conflict. […]