Happy Birthday Lady Diana

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Lady Diana St John nee Spencer, born on 24th March 1734. Lady Diana was a very talented artist who, after her divorce from Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, supported herself creating designs for Wedgwood pottery, some of which are still in use today. Some of her designs were inspired by the country scenes she saw around Lydiard Park and the Blue Closet in Lydiard House is dedicated to her art.

www.friendsoflydiardpark.org.uk.

Welcoming Tony Riches, Tudor Storyteller, to Author Chats

Thrilled to have historical fiction author Tony Riches to tea in Author Chats today. Tony’s passion for all things Tudor resonates throughout his work and makes for truly compelling storytelling. Today he talks about his newest release, Katherine – Tudor Duchess, the ethical decision he had to make about writing this novel, and why a literary pilgrimage took him all the way to Brittany.

http://www.elizabethjstjohn.com/tony-riches-tudor-storyteller/

The Earl and the Lady are Free

The Earl and the Lady are free historical fiction short stories. Go ahead and take advantage of them. They deserve it. 😂🖤💔🖤

http://www.elizabethjstjohn.com/counterpoint-theo/

Theo Howard, Earl of Suffolk is torn. Betrothed to a child to satisfy his family dynasty, he longs for the freedom to make his own choice. And when he attends a lavish party at his family’s newly-restored palace, he is immediately attracted to Lucy, a beautiful young lavender-seller. But in this enchanted world of Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream, all is not as it appears. Theo’s headstrong sister Frances is determined to sabotage her own arranged marriage, and aided by the cunning of Frances and her friend Barbara St.John, perhaps Theo can find his own path to happiness and true love.

Barbara St.John Villiers has always despised her sister Lucy, and when Theo Howard, Earl of Suffolk, fell in love with her, Barbara thought she’d die of jealousy. Instead, she decided to get even by befriending someone even more scandalous than herself, Theo’s sister, Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset. Unfortunately, Frances was then imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of murder, and Barbara had to find a way to turn this to her advantage – and continue her vendetta against Lucy.

 

 

 

Introducing Author Chats

I’m excited to welcome some of my favourite historical fiction authors to visit and chat about themselves and their books. In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking with authors from a wide range of historical eras – from Anglo Saxons to the Stuarts, alternative world Romans to Tudors, and other fascinating settings. And, my guests will share all kinds of great insights – from their own favourite novels, to their writing approach – or even a novel which makes them cry, still.  So, pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee (that’s another question) and enjoy getting to meet the authors behind some extraordinary historical fiction.

This week, best-selling author Cryssa Bazos joins me and talks about her love of 17th Century England, naming her characters (or how they named themselves), and which novel she considers the most under-appreciated historical fiction (hint: it’s by Daphne du Maurier).

http://www.elizabethjstjohn.com/guest-authors/cryssa-bazos-17th-century-enthusiast/

Theo is FREE this weekend … are you?

My historical fiction short story is free through the weekend – an enlightening story about Lucy St.John’s jilted lover from The Lady of the Tower.

“I did not want a slippery, silver-tongued lady of court. I wanted my lavender-seller, the girl who read Plato and cultivated her medicinal herbs.”

Theo Howard, Earl of Suffolk is torn. Betrothed to a child to satisfy his family dynasty, he longs for the freedom to make his own choice. And when he attends a lavish party at his family’s newly-restored palace, he is immediately attracted to Lucy, a beautiful young lavender-seller. But in this enchanted world of Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream, all is not as it appears. Theo’s headstrong sister Frances is determined to sabotage her own arranged marriage, and aided by the cunning of Frances and her friend Barbara St.John, perhaps Theo can find his own path to happiness and true love.

Lose yourself in a free historical fiction short story. Download at Amazon, or here on my website.
https://amazon.com/dp/B07642NX8G

Free Stories

Second Wrench Lecture Series begins March 8


English Speaking Union
Reception and Lecture Tour

Sunday, March 8th 5:30 pm
Ralph’s on the Park, New Orleans
Tuesday, March 10th 6:00 pm
Walker Fine Art, Denver
Wednesday, March 11th 5:30 pm
Kansas City Main Library, Kansas City
Thursday, March 12th 5:30 pm
The University Club, Memphis
Saturday, March 14th 6:00 pm
The Historic J.B. Daniel House, Nashville

Tickets and information available on the ESU Branch Websites

Billy Beaumont’s New Masters

As part of the transformation of The Friends of Lydiard Park, we are honoring a “Member of the Month”. Our first honoree is Billy Beaumont, a very talented local artist, who has a quirky and brilliant take on Lydiard Park in a whole new setting. I love his work, and want to personally thank Billy for his tireless support of the Friends – and the hours and hours he spent as a volunteer on the St. Mary’s Church Restoration Project. You’re the best!
https://www.friendsoflydiardpark.org.uk/friend-of-the-month/first-friend-of-the-month/

Friends of Lydiard Park draw on their past to look to the future

The Friends of Lydiard Park has been quietly transforming.  The 60-year-old organisation, which is dedicated to supporting the protection, conservation and enhancement of Lydiard House and Park has significantly raised its profile with an enhanced mission bringing Lydiard to life for thousands of people, both local and national, and international. The transformation is revealed this week in the launch of the Friends’ new interactive website and events programme.
The new website www.friendsoflydiardpark.org.uk  is packed with beautiful images of Swindon’s much loved park, fascinating stories about its history, natural environment, and the people associated with it over the centuries and right up to today.  A new events programme of talks, tours and family activities is unfolding throughout the year, and members of the public are invited to participate, submitting their stories and unique memories of Lydiard.
Chair of the Friends, Sarah Finch-Crisp, says:
‘’Lydiard House and Park is such an important part of Swindon, both for its heritage and as a wonderful amenity for local people.  The Friends have been researching, supporting and promoting Lydiard for over fifty years and have compiled a wealth of information about Swindon’s “jewel in the crown.”  Today, through our new website and events programme we are delighted to share our enthusiasm and curiosity with even more people in this country and abroad. We hope many of them will join us.”
Along with the website and wide-ranging events, The Friends of Lydiard Park are working closely with Swindon Borough Council and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre to make Lydiard’s archive of documents and photographs more accessible. The Friends are also forming collaborations with other records offices, universities and libraries to exchange information and enhance record access.
I’m delighted to represent the Friends internationally, and so excited about all the great things we have planned for this year and beyond. Be sure to stay in touch via our new website, or email me personally!

Chill with a Book Premier Award Win

It’s almost three months since Written in their Stars published, and I still miss the people and places every day. It’s funny how characters stay with you, long after you’ve typed “The End”. Today, I received a fabulous Chill with a Book Premier Award, a level that’s reserved for those books that receive exceptionally high reviewer evaluations. So, my part in the book is over, but it’s lovely to know that others are enjoying time within its covers.

“There is poignancy in every chapter; the characters are diverse and interesting, and the pace is perfect. Ms St John’s writing style is beautiful and rich. Wonderful book, wonderful series.”

Lecture Tour Count Down!

Getting ready to embark on the first leg of my lecture tour and excited to be visiting wonderful English Speaking Union branches across the country. This coming week, I’ll be speaking in Winter Park, Florida on Feb 4th, Savannah on the 6th, Atlanta on the 8th and Jacksonville on the 9th. Here’s a glimpse of my talk – it is open to the public, so if you’re in the area, come along. Tickets are available by calling the ESU branches in those locations.

Tales from Inside the Tower of London
Join Elizabeth St.John, historian and best-selling author, on a journey back in time to England’s infamous Tower of London and its notorious prisoners and residents. What made Sir Walter Raleigh spend most of his time in a hen-house? Did the Wizard Earl of Northumberland succeed in discovering the Philosphers’ Stone? And why did William Shakespeare perpetuate the story of the murdered Princes in the Tower? Elizabeth’s ancestress, Lucy St.John lived in the Tower from 1617-1630 as the Keeper’s wife, and is the subject of her historical fiction trilogy The Lydiard Chronicles. From first hand accounts, memoirs and hidden archives, Elizabeth shares the secret life of the Tower of London.