Nazi Collaborator or Victim: Finding Klara
In the aftermath of World War Two, Clara – once a Nazi icon and heiress to the Falkenberg Iron Works – finds herself on the run, accused of complicity in her father’s war crimes. When she returns to her hometown of Essen, Clara finds everything she once knew in ruins. To survive, Clara must hide who she is and face up to the truth of what she has done. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Malin Hay talks to author Anika Scott about her debut novel, an intense portrayal of what it means for ordinary people to be on the losing side of a war.
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A Serial Killer Rocks Ancient Rome: The Grove of Caesars28:56In 1st century Rome, public gardens created by Julius Caesar have become dangerous haunts, especially for women alone. When her husband has to leave the city, Flavia Albia is left to supervise his building project in an old grotto. Soon it becomes apparent that a dangerous serial killer has made the Grove his killing ground. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Alice Roberts talks to Lindsey Davis, the unassailable market leader in the "crime in Ancient Rome" genre.
Degas in New Orleans: Estelle15:38When the painter Edgar Degas visits his French-Creole relatives in New Orleans in the 1870s, his cousin and sister-in-law Estelle encourages him to make portraits of their family members. One hundred years later, a young artist finds connections between her ancestors and Degas while renovating a house she has inherited. When she finds two identical portraits of Estelle, she discovers disturbing truths that will change her life. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Rob Weinberg talks to Linda Stewart Henley, author of Estelle, a novel about two women whose lives are intertwined, a century apart.
Constantine’s Conquest of Rome: The Conqueror33:50In the year AD312 Rome is teetering on the brink of war and Constantine's army is on the move. On the Rhine frontier, a Germanic pagan joins the Roman army as a spy, while in Rome itself the pious daughter of a senator finds her self caught in anti-Christian politics. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Tristan Hughes talks to author Bryan Litfin about his novel The Conqueror, which tells the story of the time when the Roman empire was being conquered by the sign of the Cross.
The Rise of Richard the Lionheart28:46In 1179, rebellion was brewing against King Henry II. The King’s son Richard earns his name ‘Lionheart’, crushing rebels in Aquitaine but treachery and betrayal lurk around every corner. In his new novel Lionheart, Ben Kane – best-selling author of fiction set in the Roman Empire – turns his attention to the Middle Ages. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Tristan Hughes talks to Ben Kane about how he set out on this new series of thrilling historical adventures.
Philopoemen: The Last Greek30:55In 209 BC, as the most powerful empires in the world brawled over the spoils of a fading Greece, Philopoemen had a vision to stop the anarchy and endless wars. To preserve the homeland he loved, he raised an army to defend his countrymen from the powers of Sparta, Macedon and Rome. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Tristan Hughes talks to author Christian Cameron about his powerful novel charting the rise of Philopoemen, The Last Greek.
A Young Girl in Restoration London: The Strange Adventures of H20:09In 1660, with Charles II restored as King after Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, an orphaned girl named H arrives in London, for a happier life with her Aunt. But the Plague and the Great Fire take away the people and the city that she loves. Friendless, destitute and disgraced by her lecherous cousin, H is forced to survive on the streets, in a London under quarantine. In this edition of Historical Fiction, Rob Weinberg talks to author Sarah Burton about her first, enthralling novel The Strange Adventures of H.
Evacuating Museums in World War II: The Animals at Lockwood Manor20:01In August 1939, Hetty Cartwright is tasked with taking a natural history museum’s collection of stuffed animals out of London, to protect it from impending air raids. When some of the animals go missing, and worse, Hetty begins to suspect someone – or something – is stalking her through the darkened corridors of the country house. Alice Loxton talks to author Jane Healey about her new novel, a gripping and atmospheric tale of family madness, long-buried secrets and hidden desires.
A Jewish assassin, a boxer and Kristallnacht: Champion29:07On 7 November 1938, 17-year old Polish Jew Herschel Grynszpan shot a Nazi official dead at the German embassy in Paris. The repercussions triggered a calamity which has been called the opening act of the Holocaust. In the novel Champion, Grynszpan's life is intertwined with that of German boxer, Max Schmeling, a poster boy of the Nazis. Rob Weinberg talks to author Stephen Deutsch about Champion, a gripping tale of two lives, which reaches a climax during Kristallsnacht.