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Alison's Blog

As a writer of history and historical fiction, I delve into a lot of dusty library shelves and obscure corners of the internet. I find things that don't fit the books I'm writing. But they're worth sharing. And this is their place.  

When I was a child, my Mum had a big box full cloth leftovers from her sewing projects. It was a textile treasure chest. Velvet triangles, lengths of lace, Liberty prints and chunky tweeds, from the 1940s to the 1970s. They were all tossed in together, and we were allowed to plunder it for our own purposes. Here's my virtual scrapbox, of words and pictures - unassorted snippets of my reading, writing and research.

Thoughts on books

Thoughts on books (1)

Thursday, 08 March 2018 01:59

In memory of Ursula Le Guin

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When I think about Ursula Le Guin's writing, I remember a powerful and palpable presence of death. And her magnificent, wild, mysterious worlds. As a young reader,I loved the maps at the beginning of the Earthsea books. (This one is taken from the Harvard Map Collection online: https://twitter.com/HarvardMapColl). Her stories are at least partly about boundaries, and transgression. When there is transgression, dark and evil break in, established certainties collapse, the world is irreversibly cleft. Characters are scarred. They travel with the loneliness of terrible consequences, wearing it like a black cloak. They sail the straits between conflicting forces to the horizon where life becomes death, and the world ends.  A great writer.