DON'T MISS A THING! SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER HERE
trailer for The School of Night
trailer for The Certainty of Doing Evil
Tagsa better man a good man Alexander the Great Anastasia Aztec books Braveheart cleopatra Colin Falconer ernest hemingway famous authors Famous Women fathers fictional characters funny videos harem Hemingway Historical Fiction history Hollywood humor Indian history inspiration Isabella men and women music mystery notorious women Opium psychology publishing secrets Shakespeare sports Stigmata the Olympics the power of story the Silk Road triads vampires videos William Shakespeare women in history writing writing tips
A couple of months ago on this blog we all had fun playing a trick on a homeless veteran.
The prank raised over forty thousand dollars for the guy.
Where did the money go?
You can find out right here.
Life was so different when Shakespeare was alive.
There were no problems with religious fundamentalists.
People weren’t furious with the government over their immigration policies.
Not like they are today.
Or were they?
In fact, during the time that Shakespeare started writing for the theater, London’s population had grown alarmingly with the growing number of asylum seekers fleeing their persecutions in France and the Low Countries.
It was all people could talk about; taxes would be raised, they would take the jobs of all honest Englishmen, they would steal their wives and our daughters, they would bring the plague.
Anti-immigration slogans were scrawled on the walls and posters appeared all over the city:
“You strangers that inhabit this land, Note this same writing, do it understand, Conceive it well for safeguard of your lives, Your goods, your children and your dearest wives.”
The political temperature was raised at Westminster when a new Bill ‘against Alien Strangers selling by way of Retail any Commodities’ was introduced.
‘This Bill should be ill for London, for the riches and renown of the City cometh by entertaining of Strangers and giving liberty unto them’, said Sir John Wolley.
Master Fuller added ‘the exclamations of the City are exceeding pitiful and great against these Strangers who had not quiet times in their own countries, otherwise they would have returned home of their own accord.’
Other lawmakers opposed any notion of welcome or charity and wanted these ‘unholy foreigners’ deported without further delay.
The unholy foreigners in question were the Huguenots, a religious minority escaping persecution at the hands of the Catholics in France. In those days, if you didn’t believe in the Pope and his Church, it was a good Catholic’s duty to slaughter you. It was what God wanted.
There were political motives behind the killings, of course, masquerading as religion.
It’s good to appreciate how far we’ve all progressed.
The research was sobering for me personally because my brother can trace his family line to the Huguenots. One of his ancestors was one of those despised immigrants. But three hundred years later these same Huguenots were still living in the East End, as Cockney as you could get.
But that’s the one thing that writing history has taught me.
The human race has never learned a damned thing from it.
If you sign up for my newsletter before midnight Wednesday 17 December (EST) I’ll send you a Kindle, EPUB or PDF copy of book 1: The School of Night!
Every month my subscribers get news and exclusive offers on my books - no matter where they’re from or what their religion is.
So sign up today. I don’t even care if you’re a Huguenot!
This man is my hero.
He doesn’t write books. He’s not a character in a book.
And I have a sneaking suspicion he does not even exist. But hey – no one’s perfect.
But long ago in another lifetime, before I became a full time writer, I had dreams of playing in goal for Manchester United.
The closest I got was playing Home Counties as a schoolboy and trialling at Southampton, a rival premier league club.
I once played in front of thirty thousand people in Bangkok’s Lumpini stadium in an Asian regional tournament, but that was as good as it got. At the end of the day – I just wasn’t good enough for the big time.
I didn’t have the talent, luck and fortitude of this guy.
Take a look at the video and you’ll understand why Scott Sterling is my hero.
So if your inbox was inundated with Colin Falconer blog posts on Monday, I apologize.
I was housekeeping the blog, editing a few old posts and I pressed the publish instead of the update button.
How did I know what WordPress was going to do? It has a mind of its own.
Still, letting some people run their own blog is like giving a toddler a gun, frankly.
Anyway, my apologies if it was a nuisance. I have left a stick-it note on my laptop: “Do not be dumb any more this week.”
Be one of the first 20 people to sign up at OH MY BOOKNESS and they’ll send you a FREE digital copy of ANASTASIA.
Post an honest review before December 26 and you’ll get a signed copy!
It’s that easy.
Certainly easier than updating your blog and inundating your subscribers with old posts.
But then you’d have to be me to do that.
I’m always intrigued by life’s mysteries; like, what’s another word for thesaurus and why can’t you shorten “abbreviation”?
And tell me this – why is bra singular and panties plural?
Here are some of History’s more weighty mysteries. I love #7 – how you can lose an an entire battalion of soldiers through a clerical error; seems to me, if you employ people with bad handwriting in the War Office, there goes an entire war.
#9, the Dyatlov Pass mystery is interesting and not many people have ever heard about it. You can check it out on Wikipedia.
Before I wrote SILK ROAD, I thought Xanadu was something Coleridge dreamed up during one of his opium-induced reveries.
Unfortunately someone interrupted him before he finished the poem, and he lost his flow. It has been suggested by some scholars that the person was actually his dealer. Others have suggested that this was just a fiction, an excuse Coleridge invented for not finishing and – as can happen to pantsers – he just lost impetus a third of the way through. We will never know!
But Xanadu – or Shang-tu – did exist, as the summer palace of the Mongol ruler Khubilai Khan. It was destroyed by the invading Ming army in 1369 and today just a few ruins remain in Inner Mongolia, about 350 kilometres north of Beijing.
The palace is described in detail in my best selling SILK ROAD.
To whet your appetite, here’s a Xanadu that Coleridge, even in one of his drug-induced stupors, never dreamed – the Lego version!
All this talk about guardsmen falling over reminded me of India – and a visit I once made to the headquarters for the Ministry of Silly Walks.
I was staying in Amritsar and the travel desk at my hotel convinced me that I just could not leave without seeing the flag lowering ceremony at the Wagah border, which was nearby. What was so special about running a flag up and down a pole? But I agreed to go and take a look.