I think history runs through my veins. The past is, in the cliché, a foreign country and maybe that’s what attracts us. It’s distant so it’s safe to travel there vicariously. No lobster-back Hanoverian British soldier or Greek hoplite is going to grab us, nor are we going to be press-ganged or sent to India as part of the bridal ‘fishing-fleet’, nor condemned to the drudgery of a Victorian tweenie. On the other hand, we won’t achieve the almost dictatorial powers of a Roman governor or the subtle influence of a medieval crowned queen or the high courage of Boudica or Xenobia.
But what if? Liesel Schwarz was hailed by The Independent as ‘The soon-to-be high-priestess of British steampunk’ and she writes a rattling adventure with a sparky heroine deeply embedded in that world. Steampunk grasps the inventiveness of the Victorians and takes it off in an entirely interesting direction, a good distance from the standard timeline, but with niceties and courtesies within the darkness. Is it alternative history? You might find this post helpful to tease out the differences. But I was thrilled when she read AURELIA and gave it a lovely endorsement. I thank you, Lady Liesel! (curtsies).
David Ebsworth, finalist for the indie Historical Novel Award in 2014, writes epic stories. His latest tour de force, The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour focuses on two women, one a tough cantinière, a provider of food, drink and other supplies to front line soldiers and commissioned officially by the French army, and the other a dragoon. He explores how these two women participated in that last great Napoleonic battle – Waterloo. So it seemed obvious to ask him to read another military heroine’s story… Thank you, David, for your kind words.
And Anna Belfrage, the author of the Graham Saga; eight books of multi-faceted survivors set in Scotland, England and the New World, but with a pull back to the present and the deeper past. Anna knows a thing or two about writing heroines with steel backbones – just read about Alex Lind! It’s a pleasure benefitting from her vivid imagination when talking history with her and shaping plots. She has given AURELIA a great reference!
Along with my Roman colleagues, these writers have read and reviewed AURELIA and they rather seem to like it…
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