Blog

  1. 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


  2. 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


  3. 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


  4. 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


  5. Epiphany

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    January 6, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    galettedesrois

    Twelfth night always seems a better time to start the year than January 1st. The decorations are back under the eaves, the tree is on the path waiting to be picked up and turned into sawdust, and no word could offer more promise than epiphany. So today, dear reader, I wish you many epiphanic moments in literature and life in the year ahead. keep reading


  6. Can I get there by Candlelight?

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    December 7, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    Tis Pity 002

    If you head over to The History Girls, you’ll find some seasonal thoughts on candlelight through time, how light can affect plot, and the magical experience of watching ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore from the Musicians’ Gallery of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.


  7. Hiawatha: Photographer

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    November 24, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    Hiawathphotographing

    As some of you may know from my most recent post on The History Girls, I’ve been doing a lot of research this year into nineteenth-century photography for my new book, Liberty’s Fire.  One day, just as I was despairing that I would ever get my head round the different processes involved in wet, as opposed to dry, collodion, or daguerreotype and tintype, or remember exactly how long each stage might take, or which chemicals would have what effect, let alone weave this seamlessly into a gripping narrative, I came across a wonderful poem by Lewis Carroll which made me laugh out loud. Since I am deep in edits, I thought I’d share it with you now. keep reading


  8. Stiff Upper Lips

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    October 28, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    'Shell Shock' by Nicholas Lens and Nick Cave at La Monnaie Opera House, Brussels http://www.lamonnaie.be/en/opera/

    A few days ago, a new opera called Shell Shock premiered in Brussels, just one of the huge number of commemorative events marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Works of art such as Pat Barker’s mesmerising Regeneration trilogy have already made a huge contribution to our understanding of shell shock, though sadly, not enough to ensure we are dealing with it effectively today.  You don’t ever get over it’ was the headline of a disturbing article in last week’s Guardian about the treatment – or non-treatment – of combat stress today, through interviews with British soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland. Names change - in the 19th century it was known keep reading


  9. ‘Maximum meaning, minimum means’

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    October 6, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    GamesGrowYourOwnFood

    Today’s my first post as one of the History Girls…from now on you’ll find me there on the 6th of every month.  Follow the link to find out more about the man behind this brilliant image. (Not an artist, but ‘a graphic thinker’.)


  10. School visits: bonus time

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    September 18, 2014 by Lydia Syson

    01-Fountain-pen-nib

    There’s something particularly satisfying about reading creative work that’s been produced by students after a school visit.  Last summer I went to talk to a group of Year 9 girls at Streatham and Clapham High School, who were – most impressively – finding out about the Spanish Civil War in Spanish.  I thought it was such an imaginative approach to learning a language, and it was fantastic to meet students so engaged with the history and culture of Spain.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to give my talk in Spanish. Even better, the project led to some wonderful pieces of writing in English, the best of which – by Anna and Lulu – you can read below.  keep reading


Welcome

This is the official website of Lydia Syson, author of A WORLD BETWEEN US, THAT BURNING SUMMER and LIBERTY'S FIRE

Lydia Syson"an outstanding debut novel for teenagers" THE GUARDIAN

"a fantastic historical fiction debut" THE BOOKSELLER

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