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  1. WELCOME

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    July 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    Liberty's Fire Cover… you’ve reached the website of Lydia Syson, author of LIBERTY’S FIRE, THAT BURNING SUMMER, A WORLD BETWEEN US, & the biography DOCTOR OF LOVE: DR JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED. Do click on ‘Reviews‘ to discover what other readers have thought of all these books, and then scroll down 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 THAT BURNING SUMMER here
    Buy A WORLD BETWEEN US here
    Buy DOCTOR OF LOVE here

    Or better still, order from Hive.


  2. In the footsteps of Communards

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    July 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    Int Schl Prospectus 1890(2)

    What happened to the revolutionaries who managed to escape Paris after the bloody fall of the Commune? Over three thousand ended up in London, men, women and children too. I’ve blogged about following the trail of some of those exiles today at The History Girls.  Follow the link to find out more about what I found, including ’bloody foreigners’, police spies, chemistry lessons and Louise Michel’s International School in Fitzrovia.


  3. ‘The Red Virgin’

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    June 23, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    Louise_Michel_home later years

    There is a character in Liberty’s Fire who is not named, but can be easily identified as Louise Michel, the best known of a number of impressive citoyennes featured in this blog post last month. Michel was one of many Communards who took refuge in London, and Fitzrovia in particular, to escape political repression in France in the aftermath of the Commune – even after the ‘Amnesty’ – and it was here that she met my great-great grandmother, N.F.Dryhurst, a member of the English Anarchist group. keep reading


  4. Meet the archivist…at the Marx Memorial Library

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    June 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    MML1

    This interview first appeared on The History Girls blogsite on June 6th 2015: 

    In April I wrote about the Conscience and Conflict exhibition of British artists’ responses to the Spanish Civil War, which closes tomorrow. If you’ve been lucky enough to see it, either in Chichester or Newcastle, you may have noticed some wonderful loans from the Marx Memorial Library, home of the British International Brigade archives.  This rich and varied collection is just one reason to visit the Library, which now offers twice-weekly guided tours. I’ve been talking to the MML’s new(ish) archivist and development officer, Meirian Jump, pictured here at work in the reading room in front of a mural by Viscount Hastings, painted in 1934. keep reading


  5. Blog tour roundup. . .

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    May 12, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    AuthorsforNepal

    Liberty’s Fire is now out in the world, and the first reviews have even appeared – you’ll find links to all those online here.  Oddly enough, I find that even when a book is printed and published, it’s only when people who’ve read it start to ask me questions that I really begin to know what I think about it.  Last week I was keep reading


  6. Citoyennes: women of the Paris Commune

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    May 5, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    LouiseMichelNatGuarduniform

    The mythical figure of the pétroleuse, hideous or heroic depending on your point of view, has now almost been forgotten. For decades it was the most abiding image of the 1871 Paris Commune, and undoubtedly helped to hide the true history of real women’s involvement in France’s last nineteenth-century revolution. Edith Thomas broke new ground in uncovering this history with Les Petroleuses (1963), angry yet almost apologetic about the need for a corrective to misogynistic accounts of events coming from both sides of the political divide. I’ve written about the ‘women incendiaries’ for The History Girls keep reading


  7. Coming up…

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    April 12, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    annefrank2

    Lots of good things happening this month and next…

    On Tuesday 14th April the Anne Frank Trust will be at the British Library launching a new campaign called #notsilent to mark the 70th anniversary of the death of the world’s best known diarist. The organisation was set up twenty-five years ago with the aim of using Anne Frank’s life and her diary to encourage young people everywhere to combat prejudice and challenge hatred and discrimination, working through educational projects with young people in schools, prisons and communities throughout the UK. The idea behind the campaign is that instead of remembering Anne Frank with one minute’s silence, we all spend time talking about her as much as possible. keep reading


  8. Conscience and Conflict

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    March 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    spanishprisoner

    A ground-breaking exhibition exploring British artists’ many and varied responses to the Spanish Civil War transfers tomorrow from Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.  On The History Girls today I’ve blogged about the show and the accompanying book by Simon Martin, which is also excellent.  Henry Moore’s lithograph Spanish Prisoner (above – see below for details) was made to raise money for the thousands of Spanish refugees held in detention camps in France – almost as many as had already been killed in combat, and as many again as were executed by Franco’s regime after the war.  The outbreak of World War Two intervened: Camberwell School of Art shut with Moore’s work trapped inside and there were no funds to pay the printer. Moore later returned to the theme in three-dimensional form. keep reading


  9. Bees not fleas

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    February 24, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    HelenGrantUrbanLegends

    Fellow YA author Helen Grant and I struck up conversation on Twitter at the weekend after reading a couple of responses from disgruntled male writers to the YouGov poll which found – surprise, surprise – that most people would rather be writers than go down the pit. To counter the prevailing myth that writing books is always a miserable, lonely profession, we collaborated on this book blog for The Guardian. keep reading


  10. Proof Fever

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    January 27, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    Liberty's Fire Cover

    ‘At first the children thought ‘the proof’ meant the letter the sensible Editor had written, but they presently got to know that the proof was long slips of paper with the story printed on them.  Whenever an Editor was sensible there were buns for tea.’

    The Railway Children, E. Nesbit

    In our house, buns for tea celebrate a contract.  The arrival of the page proofs means the work begins, and everyone is head down for a while.  Proof fever is raging this week for Liberty’s Fire. keep reading


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Events

10 October 2015: UKYA Extravaganza, Nottingham - more news on September 4th!

16 November 2015: Author visit to City of London School for Boys

17 November 2015: 'Book Banter' event at Simon Balle School, Hertford