Richard and Judy ask Antonia Hodgson
London, 1727 – and Tom Hawkins is about to fall from his heaven of card games, brothels and coffee-houses into the hell of a debtors’ prison. The Marshalsea is a savage world of its own, with simple rules: those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. …
Antonia talks about A Death at Fountains Abbey
Spring 1728. After eight painful years, Georgian England is still reeling from the disastrous effects of the South Sea Bubble, the first financial crash of the modern age. For all this time, former Chancellor of the Exchequer John Aislabie has remained in exile, banished to his grand country estate in Yorkshire, …
How has publishing changed in the last 300 years?
In the winter of 1716 Alexander Pope – the most celebrated poet of his age – deliberately poisoned a bookseller. It’s fair to say that this was a low point in author/bookseller relations.
My new novel, …
Antonia Hodgson discusses the background to her new novel A Death at Fountains Abbey.
I’ve always loved country house murder mysteries. The screams in the night. The ingenue with a secret history. The vicar falling dead in his soup. And then, at last, the gathering in the drawing room, where the detective solves the murder with exquisite precision. It’s a deeply satisfying reading experience. …
Antonia Hodgson talks about the art of writing a sequel in reference to her new novel, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins.
My new novel, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, is a sequel.
There are many advantages to writing a sequel, especially for a historical novelist. All that general research has already been done: what people wore, what they ate, how they travelled. I knew how many people were living in London in 1728 (approximately 600,000). …
Antonia Hodgson on Street-Level History
I write about the early Georgians. Someone has to.
I confess I stole that punchline from Bill Bryson. But it’s true – it’s a neglected period. Hardly any-one writes fiction set in the early to mid 1700s. Is it the wigs? The Whigs? (Now that’s my kind of joke – historically accurate, …
The Night Before The Hanging: Antonia Hodgson Talks To Crime Time
Back in January last year, I received an email from Harry Bingham, author and founder of the Writers’ Workshop. I’d last seen Harry at the York Festival of Writing. Somehow, he’d persuaded me to give a last-minute key note speech to four hundred other writers. Why I agreed to that anxiety dream brought to life, …
Antonia Speaks With Historia
Antonia Hodgson’s new novel, A Death at Fountains Abbey, is released on 25 August. Continuing the award-winning Thomas Hawkins series (The Devil in the Marshalsea, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins) the book finds our eponymous hero blackmailed into investigating a murder threat, forced to leave London for Yorkshire, where he must hunt down those responsible or lose the woman he loves. …
Antonia Hodgson: Bookseller Interview
Antonia Hodgson’s advice on getting an honest, unfiltered view of a society? Look at its porn.
The Little, Brown editor-in-chief has turned novelist and her first book—the cracking thriller The Devil in the Marshalsea—is set in the hubbub of London in the 1720s. One of characters is a scurrilous publisher/bookseller and spy, …
Cock-fighting and Animal Cruelty
Reading fiction is an act of empathy. As we step into another world – whether it’s set in the past, present or some distant future – we disappear into other lives. We meet characters we might avoid or not even notice in real life, and as we turn the pages, …