40 Comments

Dan: I recently heard a podcast about evidence being recently uncovered about the Princes in the Tower not being murdered in the Tower. It reminded me of the claim(s) that Edward II actually went into exile on the Continent and lived as a monk. Without going into what you believe on the subjects, how is the “history” decided on such matters. What does it take for a consensus by historians to be arrived upon? And how would that work on history Middle Ages? How is fact discerned from propaganda, gossip or fiction? BTW- I have thoroughly enjoyed your podcast on the Plantagenets and am looking forward to Season 4! Thank you.

Expand full comment

Loved the proverbs! And video seems a good change up.

With all the renewed and enduring focus on the Princes in the Tower, what’s a lesser known Medieval Mystery (murder or otherwise) which deserves some more attention / is mildly interesting / we can show off as knowing about?

Good luck with the biography! Looking forward to reading it next year!

Expand full comment

What document from history have you been able to examine that you only dreamed of seeing in person!

Expand full comment

In Essex Dogs the Welshmen are constantly fucking off. Would you consider writing a short story or maybe a Substack post about exactly what they get up to? We see the end result of their adventures but I love them and would love to know the details!

Expand full comment

Hey Dan, I like the new video format. That's cool and adds considerably to the experience of the newsletter.

My question is as follows:

I notice that you were reading old books during your research for the Henry V biography. That's cool. I wonder, however, how much of the research resources are online these days? Do you find a lot of online resources, or are you still having to dig for old books and manuscripts? I'm interested in how you "make sausage" when you are writing a new book today. Thanks for your insights.

Expand full comment

Hi Dan: It didn't take William the Conqueror long to subdue Saxon England, but it took the Normans a few centuries to fully conquer Wales. Why and which Welsh prince stands out to you as their most successful?

Expand full comment

As a historian and now a historical fiction author, what is your opinion on historical fiction needing to be historically accurate? Is the responsibility on the author/creator to ensure that it is accurate or is the responsibility on the audience to critically engage with historical fiction (and with history in general) to ensure they have an accurate understanding of the past? How much creative liberty can be taken before it ceases to be historical fiction and becomes simply fiction?

Expand full comment

Hi Dan. No spoilers of course, but in Essex Dogs and Wolves Of Winter one of the characters develops a liking for certain chemical substances. How common was this type of drug taking in the middle ages? I've not seen it mentioned in many books I've read previously.

Expand full comment

Hey Dan, love the new video thing…. I was just wondering if you were making any new documentaries in the near future? Thanks, Annie

Expand full comment

Is it too soon for a Christmas themed question?

With a few caveats (immunity against any disease, decent hygiene, immunity against any arrest and prosecution) which medieval monarch would you like to go back and spend Christmas with?

Expand full comment

You writing on Henry V made me think of his (Shakespeare's) St Crispin's Day speech... what is a fabricated story about a historical figure that you WISH was true, even though you know it is not?

Expand full comment

As well as your excellent podcast, I listen to one by Alan Alda called Clear and Vivid about communication and connecting with people, at the end he asks his guests seven quick questions. These receive all sorts of wonderful answers - so here goes.

1. What do you wish you really understood?

2.How do you tell someone that they have their facts wrong?

3.What’s the strangest question anyone has ever asked you?

4.How do you stop a compulsive talker?

5. With strangers at a dinner table, how do you strike up a real, genuine conversation?

6.What gives you confidence?

7. What book changed your life?

Facebook Live was ace, don't forget to throw a book over your shoulder. #gfad

Expand full comment

Hi Dan, do you know when you’re coming for a (short) book tour to the Netherlands and Belgium?

Expand full comment

Would you ever bring your book tour to Washington DC?

Expand full comment

Dan: I look forward to the video! I just finished reading “The War of the Roses,” and I would love your candid thoughts about our friend Henry VI. The utter tragedy of his lethargy and mental illness echoes through the book and, indeed, the bloody chaos of the Wars of the Roses. Do you think he suffered from a recognizable mental illness? I’ve seen some historians speculate that he suffered from catatonic schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. We’ll never be certain, of course, but what is your best guess?

Expand full comment

Who do you think was the most powerful nobleman of the medieval era? William Marshall and Warwick the kingmaker spring to mind for me

Expand full comment