Posts Tagged ‘Liberty’s Fire’

  1. ‘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


  2. LIBERTY’S FIRE reviews

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    May 19, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    L's F & Absinthe

    ‘remarkable…a novel of extraordinary resonance and power…Both as a gripping narrative which defines the meaning of ‘page-turner’ perfectly and also the bringing to life of a historical event of crucial importance…Liberty’s Fire works superbly.’ Armadillo

    Telegraph ‘best YA book of 2015′: ‘Lydia Syson does another fine job of bringing to life sometimes neglected periods of the past. . .the detail is great. . .’ Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online

    ‘a brilliant milieu for such a story, at a time and place that feel familiar – through stories of the French Revolution and Les Misérables – but which are both distinct and novel. Political ideas and agency are broached; themes of personal, class and gender liberation are all developed in an incident-packed plot. The main protagonists are faced with decisions of moral ambivalence relevant today…an unusual mixture of hard-hitting story-telling and subtle discourse on adolescence – and on the courage needed to face an uncertain world. Highly recommended.’ Historical Novels Review

    ‘Syson brings this pivotal episode of 19th-century history glowingly alive…a great read for young people – and adults for that matter – irrespective of gender.’ Morning Star

    keep reading


  3. 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


  4. 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


  5. Find out more about about the history behind Liberty’s Fire

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    March 2, 2015 by Lydia Syson

    PCBookshelf

    ‘What is the Commune, that sphinx so tantalizing to the bourgeois mind?’ (Marx:The Civil War in France)

    Simply put, the Paris Commune was the radical municipal government elected to run the French capital in March 1871, immediately after the Franco-Prussian War and the Siege of Paris – not to be confused with the first French Revolution in 1789, or the July Revolution of 1830, or indeed the small uprising of 1832 featured in Les Miserables, or even the 1848 revolution which brought in the short-lived Second Republic. It lasted for 72 days, and historians have been debating exactly how to define it ever since.

    keep reading


  6. Map of Paris, 1871

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    March 1, 2012 by Lydia Syson

    Fetridgecroppedspine

    ‘Harper’s Map of Paris’ can be found in the back of W.P.Fetridge’s 1871 The Rise and Fall of The Paris Commune (see Find out more about the history behind LIBERTY’S FIRE). keep reading



"An intelligent, beautifully written book about a dysfunctional family in a sinister paradise" THE TIMES (BOOK OF THE MONTH)

"Powerful, intense and beautiful" HISTORICAL NOVEL REVIEW

"This tense, evocative, richly-imagined novel conjures the voices of a strange time and place, and makes them universal" EMMA DARWIN

"A wonderful book" CAROL DRINKWATER

"A fantastic historical fiction debut" THE BOOKSELLER

"Syson brings history alive" THE OBSERVER

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