September 30, 2009

HMS Victory's Future is Secure

Author Julian Stockwin reports in his e-zine BOSUN'S CHRONICLE that the Victory (Horatio Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar) will not be sold but instead will be included as part of the new Museum of the Royal Navy. To celebrate, Victory launched an impressive rolling broadside. Here's Julian's report:

Victory herself launched this new initiative with an impressive firing of 64 cannon on September 18. The rolling broadside was launched by the ship's commanding officer and consisted of 50 random gunshots running from forward to aft. After a short delay this was followed by a further 14 shots using each of these guns in an impressive finale. Amazingly, given the spectacular nature of this event, the amount of gunpowder used was less than the gunner onboard at Trafalgar would have used for a single shot.

By the way, an estimated 6,000 trees were used to build Victory, 90 per cent of them oaks.

September 22, 2009

Author Douglas Jacobson talks about historical research

Douglas Jacobson, author of Night of Flames, posted a guest article for "As the Pages Turn" book blog. In it he discusses what it takes to write good historical fiction, and describes his own research into WWII.

Getting it Right . . . Doing Research for Historical Novels

As the old saying goes, “The devil is in the detail.” One of the reasons I have always loved historical fiction is that it is a truly marvelous way to learn a bit of history. Some authors of non-fiction (Stephen Ambrose comes to mind) have a flair and style of writing that make their work enjoyable and easy to read. But, in my humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like curling up with Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance or Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth for the ultimate reading experience . . . and, a great way to learn history.

And that brings us to the issue at hand. Writing good historical fiction places a special burden on the author, the burden of getting it right. (Read more at "As the Pages Turn.")