June 14, 2018 by Lydia Syson
… you’ve reached the website of Lydia Syson, author of the historical novel MR PEACOCK’S POSSESSIONS, the YA novels LIBERTY’S FIRE, THAT BURNING SUMMER, A WORLD BETWEEN US, & the biography DOCTOR OF LOVE: DR JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED. Do visit Reviews to discover what other readers have thought of all these books, and scroll down from there to find out more about the history behind the novels. For those on larger screens, on which this website works much better, apologies for any repetition. You’ll find the latest blogpost just below.
Find out about school visits and other author events here
Buy LIBERTY’S FIRE here
Buy DOCTOR OF LOVE here
Or better still, ask your nearest independent bookshop for the books.
Photograph by Gianluca De Girolamo, Adshot, London.
June 14, 2018 by Lydia Syson
I’ve been spending the week going through my notes and listening to sound recordings made on the HMNZS Canterbury in the Kermadecs earlier this year, reliving some magnificent moments as I write a number of features for various newspapers and magazines both on the expedition and the human history of Raoul Island. keep reading
May 3, 2018 by Lydia Syson
As I write this in London, the Kermadecs – the chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific where Mr Peacock’s Possessions is set – feel further away than ever. Here’s a photograph of me back in March saying a sad farewell to Raoul, reimagined in my book as Monday Island. I’d come within feet of its landing rock in a NZ Navy speedboat, flown over the island in a keep reading
Category Blog | Tags: HMNZS Canterbury, interview, Kermadecs, Kim Hill, Lydia Syson, Mr Peacock's Possessions, Ocean Sanctuary, Pacific islands, Pew Trusts, Raoul, Sir Peter Blake Trust, volcanic islands
February 24, 2018 by Lydia Syson
A book cover, an expedition, a story. keep reading
June 23, 2017 by Lydia Syson
Raise money for residents affected by the Grenfell Towers fire through the Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund and get a bookish bargain at the same time. There’s so much on offer here from tea with authors, a cookery lesson – even your entire family in a children’s novel!
Bid generously and frequently. Buy for yourself! Buy for others! Get ahead with Christmas, birthday, wedding presents…endless options. It’s incredibly easy to bid and you can do it from all over the world. Just enter the amount you’d like to pay in sterling in the comments section.
I’m offering help with your writing – fiction or non-fiction. Full details here.
Thanks for your support and for spreading the word.
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June 6, 2017 by Lydia Syson
Authors aren’t just for World Book Day, and the positive effects of an author visiting a school continue to have an impact long after books and banners have been packed up. (Here I am at Sidcot School, Somerset, where bookseller Books on the Hill kindly looked after sales and signing.) Not that the author always sees this. Happily, some of the schools I visited in March this year have sent me a selection of the writing their students produced in response to our sessions. I promised to send a hardback copy of the US edition of That Burning Summer to the author of the story I liked best. Little did I realise how hard it would be to choose.
Category Blog | Tags: author visits, books to introduce children to politics, historical fiction, Island of Last Hope, Liberty's Fire, Rainham Mark Grammar School, Sidcot School, That Burning Summer, The Mount School, winner, World Book Day, World Book Week, writing competition, YA for Sarah Waters fans
January 31, 2017 by Lydia Syson
The new Sky Pony edition of That Burning Summer will be on the shelves of American bookshops from today, in beautiful hardback, introducing a whole new set of readers to the tensions, excitement and quirks of life in Britain in World War 2. Invasion, spyfever, fear of flying, pacifism, betrayal…and love, all in a corner of England so close to France you could hear the fighting across the channel: Romney Marsh, often referred to as the Fifth Continent.
This new edition doesn’t just have a striking new cover. It’s got a whole new penultimate keep reading
December 14, 2016 by Lydia Syson
A report earlier this year concluded that the number of civilians around the world killed by explosive weapons had risen by 55% in five years. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has finally hit the headlines this week – a crisis that has been building for nearly two years due to a proxy war in which the UK government is directly implicated. Today, the evacuation of Aleppo has been delayed, and airstrikes continue. It’s hard for young people in the UK to make sense of any of this. It’s harder still, now that what was once called ‘total warfare’ has become commonplace, to imagine what it was like in the 1930s when, during the Spanish Civil War, the first cities in Europe were attacked from the air.
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September 6, 2016 by Lydia Syson
80th anniversary commemorations and conferences have been taking place up and down this country as well as Spain to mark the Spanish Civil War, initiated by a right-wing military coup in July 1936, followed by Franco’s long dictatorship. It’s a measure of just how involved Britain was in the conflict which many see as a rehearsal for World War Two. Giving a paper myself about the evolution of my YA novel A World Between Us at the fascinating ‘Spanish Civil War in World Literature’ conference at London’s School of Advanced Studies, I mentioned the iBook edition which was put together in 2012 with the generous help of vast numbers of archives and libraries in the UK and US (thanks here). The image above of a young female anti-fascist donating blood to be sent to the front lines for wounded Republican soldiers was provided by the London School of Economics. The iBook keep reading
May 8, 2016 by Lydia Syson
Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Louise Michel, teacher, poet and revolutionary heroine of the 1871 Paris Commune, but she’s not exactly a well-known figure in the English-speaking world. Yet. If The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, the new graphic biography by Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot, has anything like the success of their remarkable first collaboration, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes – and it certainly deserves to – that could be about to change.
Michel is hardly obscure. In fact she’s legendary. She’s iconic. In France (and indeed New Caledonia) there have been schools and streets and squares named after her, not to mention two International Brigade battalions and a Metro station. She romanticised her own life in her keep reading
Category Blog | Tags: Bryan Talbot, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, Graphic novel, Liberty's Fire, Louise Michel, Mary M Talbot, Paris Commune, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, Utopia