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 […]
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About Michael Wills
This author has yet to write their bio.Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Michael Wills contributed a whooping 45 entries.
Entries by Michael Wills
The biggest challenge when writing about the Vikings is that they left no written records in the conventional sense. Everything written about them was written by those who suffered at their hands. However, the Vikings did actually leave a form of written history. It is in an alphabet called “Runic” and carved on large stones. […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
Two hundred and thirty seven years ago this week, there was an uneasy standoff between the British and Americans at Saratoga. On 19th September 1777, the British army of 6,000 British, German and Canadian soldiers defeated an American army of 9,000 men at the Battle of Freeman’s Farm. But the victory was a pyrrhic one […]
During the American War of Independence, there were around half a million slaves of African origin in America, a sixth of the total population. They were enslaved mainly in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. George Washington opposed slavery, but he could not speak out as many members of Congress, including Thomas Jefferson, […]
A basic essential of an historic novel is that the facts on which the fiction is based are accurate. I needed really dependable people to help me to ensure that the plight of the regiment on which the story is based, was accurately portrayed. I had the great good fortune to find three experts in […]
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 […]
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. […]
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