A friend recently sent me this link to news of MASTERPIECE, a “reality show for writers” soon to be broadcast on Italian television. I read the article with mounting amazement, wondering, who on earth would go in for something like that? And then I remembered. It started with a conversation over the wine and peanuts … Continue reading Writing – a spectator sport ?
We woke this morning to the news that James Gandolfini had died. It felt like losing an old friend of the family. We came late to The Sopranos in our house. We missed the start of the first episode and it was a while before we realised that behind the violence and the overweight men … Continue reading A sad loss
Sorry about the title of this post but I couldn't think of a cunning way to join up several completely disparate pieces of news. (It's been a long day.) Firstly - Thanks to Linda for getting in touch "to alert folks to the fact that Bettany Hughes' television series "the roman invasion of britain" is … Continue reading Bettany Hughes invades Britain in the U.S., Semper Fidelis will be on audio, and…
I'd heard of Monte Testaccio. I'd seen photos of it. But I'd never appreciated how truly enormous and wonderful it is until Mary Beard took us to Meet the Romans on Tuesday evening and clambered down a ladder into the middle of it. This is what it's made of: Yes, really. This one is in … Continue reading Rome’s enormous rubbish dump
'Meet the Romans' seemed a more dignified title than 'Rome from the bottom up,' but that's what Mary Beard is promising in her new BBC2 series, which I'm really looking forward to watching. It starts next Tuesday (17 April) at 9 pm, and here she is talking about it to Classics Confidential at the kitchen table. … Continue reading Meet the Romans – with Mary Beard
Seems the Romans were more successful than their descendants at defeating the Welsh. Here's another BBC video, with some nice footage of Caerleon amphitheatre 'then and now', and some shots of sunny excavations that make me eager to get back in the mud with a trowel. Watch out for the boat being rowed by zombies.
Thanks to the excellent Ben Kane, who put this on the Historical Writers' Association forum. How I love the BBC.
Today we're taking a brief excursion forward in time from the Romans, and I’m delighted to welcome a guest who not only writes marvellous novels, but is also in demand as a tutor to other writers. Sarah Bower’s first novel, THE NEEDLE IN THE BLOOD, was Susan Hill’s Book of the Year in 2007. Her … Continue reading Meet Sarah Bower
A bit of a change from the Roman Empire coming up, although still very much in the same area - we'll be taking a brief trip forward in time to visit the Borgias. My first brush with them came in the 1980's, courtesy of the BBC. I was making Christmas decorations at the time and … Continue reading Coming soon – meet Sarah Bower
I came late to Rome wasn't built in a day, but Channel 4's attempt to build a Roman villa using only authentic Roman methods seems to offer all the entertainment value of Grand Designs, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Time Team rolled into one. Last night's episode was in some ways less about the villa than about … Continue reading Auf Wiedersehen, Puella