Posts Tagged ‘Simon Scarrow’

HNS Conference – Oxford 2016

photo(2)Just back from the 2016 Historical Novel Society (HNS) conference in Oxford where I had a wonderful time, as always!

The venue was superb in a truly beautiful city and I was lucky enough to have time for a quick wander round when I arrived on the Friday afternoon.  I had a look at some of the famous colleges – including one with a fierce-looking porter/guard wearing a bowler hat! – and then managed a lightning tour of the Ashmolean Museum.  I’ve wanted to see King Alfred’s jewel for ages and although it was a bit smaller than I’d expected, it was lovely.  Plus they had a lot of other interesting objects and paintings as well – I will have to go back some day for a longer visit.photo(6)

Once the conference itself got going there was no time for sight-seeing – we were kept busy with some fantastic talks, panels and workshops, and among the main speakers were Melvyn Bragg and Tracy Chevalier, both excellent.

Shield maiden? I wish!

Shield maiden? I wish!

Of the workshops, I particularly enjoyed the one led by Paula Lofting and her Regia Anglorum friends where we were taught how to build a shield wall when fighting like Anglo-Saxons.  This was fascinating stuff and I was really pleased to have a chance to hold a battle axe and a shield, both quite heavy!  (Am now also very tempted to shout ‘Ut! Ut! Ut!’ all the time LOL)

I also loved the workshop on secret Stuart marriages by Nicola Cornick and Andrea Zuvich, and the panel talk about historical YA fiction featuring C C Humphreys, Deborah Swift and Simon Scarrow.

The ‘gala’ dinner was great, with a costume pageant and a brilliant after-dinner speech by C W Gortner.  And meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always fun and I very much enjoyed chatting to various people, lots of whom had come all the way from the US – so lovely to meet them!  My thanks go to the fantastic organising committee who, I know, had worked incredibly hard to put together the programme and they made sure everything was seamless.  Huge thanks also to my workshop ‘partner’ and fellow Swede Anna Belfrage who made our own workshop run smoothly and put together our presentation.  Can’t wait for the next conference now!

Here are some of the photos I took:-

One of the very knowledgeable Regia Anglorum re-enactors (Anglo-Saxon)

One of the very knowledgeable Regia Anglorum re-enactors (Anglo-Saxon)

Ut! Ut! Ut!

Ut! Ut! Ut!

The Ashmolean

The Ashmolean

King Alfred's jewel in the spotlights

King Alfred’s jewel in the spotlights

Another gorgeous jewel

Another gorgeous jewel

Detail from a Japanese silk painting

Detail from a Japanese silk painting

A lovely Japanese inro in the museum's collection

A lovely Japanese inro in the museum’s collection

Couldn't resist the Pre-Raphaelite paintings

Couldn’t resist the Pre-Raphaelite paintings

Loved this fierce Egyptian bird!

Loved this fierce Egyptian bird!

Detail from a Dutch painting in the museum's collection

Detail from a Dutch painting in the museum’s collection

Part of St Anne's College where we were staying

Part of St Anne’s College where we were staying

One of the beautiful doors of St Anne's College

One of the beautiful doors of St Anne’s College