Thursday, April 17, 2008


Last weekend I spent a very enjoyable time in York attending the Historical Novel Society Conference. The conference was held at the National Rail Museum, so our breakout area had awonderful view of the museum exhibits: steam and diesel locomotives, huge monsters in iron and steel – a fitting backdrop for Andrew Martin, author of a series of books featuring murder and mysteries based around the Edwardian railways.

As well as Andrew, we had writers as diverse as Susannah Dunn (Queen of Subtleties - Elizabethan), Jude Morgan (An Accomplished Woman - Regency) and Elizabeth Chadwick (The Greatest Knight - Medieval), plus two discussion panels. I took part in a discussion with Jude Morgan and Mary Sharratt on whether women have been written out of history and how we should be redressing the balance (the conclusion was that we are now doing just that, with more and more novels placing women centre stage). There was also a discussion on the future of historical fiction (conclusion there – that no one can predict what is going to happen!)

It was a wonderful day and I met many old friends and made many new ones – always a pleasure at such conferences.

We followed up on Sunday morning with a guided walk around the city. Despite the rain we had a wonderful time looking at the old Roman walls, the remains of a Norman house and the medieval fortifications and buildings that abound in York – we didn’t even get to the Regency period! It was a fascinating tour and has convinced me that a much longer stay in York is necessary to explore its wonderful history. I am already planning my trip!

Melinda Hammond (Sarah Mallory)


Anonymous said...

Jane said ...

It sounds as though the conference was really interesting, and set in a fascinating location. If there is a drawback with weekend conferences it's that you simply don't have enough time to explore. On the other hand, a weekend taster may inspire a longer more leisurely visit.

Anonymous said...

Jane, this weekend taster certainly did that. However, York is not a place for cars. We plan to return to York, park up the car and spend a few days exploring the city on foot.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Melinda. This was very interesing, especially as I subscribe to the Hist Novel email list and can find their list of book reviews a bit too "highbrow" for my tastes.

Glad to see that they have you as a romantic novelist there. Hope more of you join!


Jan Jones said...

Sounds good. Isn't it York where they discovered streets underneath the present day streets? Or am I thinking of somewhere else?

Anonymous said...

I believe you can still see some of the medieval streets if you go to Jorvik. Because the water table is so high it has preserved lots of the buried buildings & artefacts.


Anonymous said...

Clorinda, I review for the HNS so I hope you don't find my reviews too highbrow! The HNS is a very diverse society and has lots of members who are also romantic novelists. My view is that historical fiction can be entertaining while still being accurate!