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Alan Hamilton - Author & Editor

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Alan Hamilton author & editor
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I read a lot. Seldom without a book, or e-reader in my hands.

 

Fiction, especially well-written general stories by writers such as Howard Jacobson, Martin Amis, Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, Tom Keneally, Robert Harris, William Boyd, and Lionel Shriver. And historical fiction, think Hilary Mantel and C J Sansom. Spy stories by Charles Cumming – and of course – John Le Carré. Well-plotted, beautifully written thrillers come high on the enjoyed list, too, Gerald Seymour is for me 'the daddy of them all'. Books of or on biography, history, war, politics, religion, geographical discovery, psychology, all overflow my bookshelves and seldom evade me on my visits to the library.

 

In my mid-teens I read Josephine Tey's 'The Daughter of Time', in which the black myths around Richard III are subject to the forensic examination of a hospitalised police detective. This was the first time I realised that the historical record and truth are not one and the same, and that to challenge the record makes people uncomfortable – even (perhaps particularly) academics.  

 

 

 

I read Murray Kendall's biography of Richard III as a sixth-former and was captivated by the writing. This was history, written by someone who did not only know his subject but who loved it and knew how to 'make it sing'. His description of the battle of Bosworth – outdated as it now is – is nevertheless a piece of fiction in the service of serious history that, at the time the book came out had young would-be historians like me, spellbound.

 

Perhaps it's not so surprising then that having cut my teeth on Stalemate and the (as yet) unpublished Nobody's Children, and confirmed to myself that I can write, I'm fulfilling an almost lifelong calling to weave a story round this most contentious and complex of English kings.

 

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