These are some photographs of some of the settings and places associated with my books. If possible I love to visit the places I’m writing about. Writing historical fiction means that many things will have changed, but it helps give me a sense of where my characters have come from.
Almost all of these photos are the work of my husband Richard Dawson who is a fantastic amateur photographer. For those of you who enjoy photography I do recommend you have a look at his Flickr site – he specialises in really fast motorbikes, but his landscape photos are amazing as well.
Settings from ‘A Marcher Lord’
This book is set on the Anglo-Scottish borders, one of my favourite parts of the UK. I used a variety of castles, bastle houses and peel towers for locations. The actual site of Crawleigh Castle is somewhere near Jedburgh where I’ve stayed many times, but the location I imagine is that of Smailholm Tower although Crawleigh is a much bigger and more impressive castle.
Settings from “An Unconventional Officer” the first book in the Peninsular War Saga
We went to Portugal and Spain earlier this year on a whistle stop tour of locations from the Peninsular War books. We managed an amazing amount in eight days and we’re hoping to go back again for more. This book covers the battle of Talavera but we didn’t go there as it was too far out of our way. We did tour the amazing lines of Torres Vedras and we went to Viseu and to the bridge over the Coa where General Robert Craufurd made a very rare mistake and got himself out of it by the skin of his teeth.
Settings from “An Irregular Regiment” Book 2 in the Peninsular War Saga
Book two starts with the battle of Bussaco, an amazing site. The area is covered with trees now which were not there in Wellington’s day, but it is still incredibly easy to see how the battle played out. Later in the book we follow the Allied army as it chased Massena out of Portugal, culminating in the battle at Sabugal, a beautiful little place.
Settings from “An Uncommon Campaign” Book 3 in the Peninsular War Saga
An Uncommon Campaign tells the story of the battle of Fuentes de Onoro. Once again, we were able to stand at the French lines and look up at the ridge where Wellington almost overstretched himself.
Settings from “A Redoubtable Citadel” Book 4 in the Peninsular War Saga
Book four, which is published in September, tells the story of the storming of Cuidad Rodrigo and Badajoz, the two imposing fortresses known as the keys of Spain. We visited both of these as well as going to Elvas which also features in the book.