Historical Writers Association

Congratulations to the Historical Writers Association, who’ve just launched what is clearly going to be a gorgeous website full of goodies. It’s early days yet and they’re still gathering info from their members to fill the pages – I can say this very smugly, as I’ve sent mine – but I love the idea of the choose-your-era timeline. HWA members include people who write ‘real’ history, as opposed to the rest of us who enjoy dancing round it.

…not to be confused with the Historical Novel Society, which brings together readers and writers and is THE place to find out what’s what in historical fiction.

8 thoughts on “Historical Writers Association

  1. Historical Writers site looks interesting – shame they have to entitle the post-Roman pre-Conquest section the ‘Dark Ages’. Was it really?

    Nor would I regard ‘dancing around’ an apt description of the Ruso novles. A lot can be gleaned that is missed by ‘serious’ historians.

    1. I guess they’ve gone for a term that everyone would recognise, even if not everyone likes it. (Incidentally, where does Dark Age end and Early Medieval start? I thought they were roughly the same thing. Silly me.) But as for what happened after the Roman system fell apart here… well it does seem awfully hard to put anything coherent together. I’m always baffled by archaeologists’ insistence that pottery production more or less stopped. You’d think that something to cook in/eat and drink from would be a basic necessity of life, no? Maybe they all started using wooden bowls that haven’t survived?

      I take your point about the ‘serious’ historians. I know that Harry Sidebottom, who’s an expert on ancient warfare, finds that although he writes fiction in his own specialism, he has to go and find out the sort of things that he’s never needed to know before – like what the Romans ate for breakfast. Personally I think that’s the stuff that’s interesting.

      1. I think what is meant by ‘pottery not being produced’, is that pottery isn’t produced on such an industrial scale as previously. The Romans had a sophisticated economy (including the first European – and wider – currency), and that all but collapsed sometime in the 5th century in Britain. However, pot experts, rather than saying 410 as a cut-off are coming round to realising that the pottery industry may have gone on bit longer than that, with grass tempered wares and the like up in t’north, for example.

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