May 2021 Edition

“I had never imagined that Old St. Paul’s would be so big. I gave myself another pinch. I had been administering them since spotting the Tower (it, too, looked enormous without skyscrapers all around) and London Bridge (which functioned as a suspended shopping mall). Many sights and sounds has impressed me since our arrival in the past, but nothing had taken my breath away like my first glimpses of London.


Many of London’s medieval churches are nothing but ghosts now—the tiny green space of their former churchyard all that remains, left undisturbed out of respect for the souls interred under the stones and trees.

Tucked down alleyways and easy to miss in the shadows of nearby office buildings, each one still tells its tale of the church that once stood there, the people who worshipped there, the births, deaths, and marriages that were celebrated within its vanished walls.

Sometimes even churches were given gravestones (first photo), as if to acknowledge all that they once witnessed. #lostlondon

My May playlist is up! This month I’m celebrating hope, joy, and making memories.

Listen here

Found a new thing to do with plastic leftover containers.

Went mudlarking for the first time. It was so much fun. Yes, I had a permit. Yes, I read the regulations and went to a permitted part of the foreshore. No, I did not dig. These were all on the surface.


So wonderful to visit the Museum of London. One of my happy places. Plus they have Matthew’s jacket on display.

Pleased and proud to wake up to the news that A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES tv show has been nominated for Best Returning Drama in the@officialntas and that both @teresapalmer and Matthew Goode are both among the nominees for Best Drama Performance. Voting in this first round is open until 4 June if you'd like to support the show.

Vote here

Today’s loaf is Spelt Soda Bread with Walnuts from Skye McAlpine.

OMG so good. From bowl to plate in 60 minutes. Great light texture and crackling crust. Perfect with Nigel Slater’s white bean and tarragon soup for a warming yet spring-feeling lunch on this cold Thursday.

I love finding the bits of medieval and early modern London that made it through fire, Blitz, and redevelopment.

Today I stumbled across another piece of Lost London: the 1504 gate that once led into the grand priory of the Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Order of St. John. Like the Knights of Lazarus and the Templars, the Hospitallers started out in the 11th and 12th centuries as a crusading order. By 1504, they had been in England for four centuries and grown fabulously wealthy through real estate holdings throughout Europe and the Holy Land as this gatehouse shows.

Most surprising to me was not finding this trace of them, but that not a single person passing through it gave it a second glance. One man stopped as I stared up at the gilded bosses and fan vaulting and asked me what this place was and why I was so interested in it. I just told him I was a historian and left it at that. #writeratwork

P.S. To all who have been following my#LostLondonposts and wondering if I am following a posted trail or guide, the answer is no. I’m just following the Elizabethan map of the city and visiting places that I wrote about in THE JEWEL HOUSE when I was researching science in the City.


Season 2 of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES is coming to AMC tv on June 27. Tell your family and friends. Get ready for some magic.

REALTIME I A Discovery of Witches S2 I VFX Breakdown

So. Cool.

Thanks @REALTIME_Studio.

Woot—I have a Zazzle store!


Next week, THE BOOK OF LIFE Read-Along begins on my Author Facebook page (here) and in the All Souls Discussion Group (also on Facebook but it’s a private group—click here to apply to join).

This Read Along will run from May 31 through September 1. Each week, fans of the books will read three chapters together and talk about them--one on Monday, the next on Wednesday, the following chapter on Friday, and so on.

You are welcome to join us!

11 years ago I was in Prague doing my research for SHADOW OF NIGHT. I walked the city for four hours every day for weeks until I felt it sink into my skin. Also to burn off the pastry and pretzel calories.

London is in bloom.

May flowers in time for May bank holiday.

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