News

(Skip to the red section at the end to read the changes.)

The History Girls blog began on 1st July 2011. With a lot of help from friends, I set it up and invited writers of historical fiction to join. This was our first line up:

Mary Hoffman, Linda Buckley-Archer, Julia Golding (as Eve Edwards), Katherine Langrish, NM (Nicky) Browne, Katherine Roberts, Adèle Geras, Teresa Flavin, Caroline Lawrence, Michelle Lovric, Barbara Mitchelhill, Harriet Castor, Mary Hooper, Catherine Johnson, Marie-Louise Jensen, Sue Purkiss, Penny Dolan, Celia Rees, Theresa Breslin, AL (Louise) Berridge, Imogen Robertson, Emma Darwin, Leslie Wilson, K M (Katie) Grant, Nicola Morgan, Eleanor Updale, Dianne Hofmeyr and Louisa Young.
Louisa Young
Of those, after some departures this summer, only six are left: me, Adèle, Michelle, Sue, Penny and Celia.


So you can see we have had a lot of changes over time. People who have come and gone in the last eight years include Essie Fox, Laurie Graham, Manda Scott, Lucy Inglis, Clare Mulley, Kate Lord Brown, Lydia Syson, Elizabth Fremantle, Ann Swinfen and Tanya Landman.



There have been bereavements, a marriage, the birth of grandchildren, a Carnegie Medal - one great sadness was the sudden and unexpected death of Ann Swinfen, though she had already left the group by then.
Hilary Mantel
As time passed, there was not such a preponderance of writers for young readers; the balance is better now. We don't have many historians/writers of non-fiction in the group but we have often had historians as guests. And what guests we have had! Hilary Mantel, Tracy Chevalier, Sally Gardner, Alison Weir, Steph Penney, to mention only some. And some History Boys too: Kevin Crossley-Holland, Marcus Sedgwick, Patrick Gale, John Guy, Ian Mortimer, Dan Jones, James Shapiro and Chris Skaife, the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London.
Chris Skaife and Merlina
After about a year, we fell into the pattern of having a guest on the 29th of every month and a competition to win one of their books on the last day of the month. With 28 History Girls, posting daily, there was still often a date without a name beside it. For a while we took turns to do double duty, posting on the 30th of seven months in the year but eventually we hit on a theme for those 30ths - The Cabinet of Curiosities - in which an HG would write about a particular object or objects.

For some months now this task has been undertaken by Charlotte Wightwick.

We had other themes, sometime for a month, like Christmas or cross-dressing (!), a favourite history teacher or a historical person we just didn't "get.". We had some joint posts, such as on our blog birthdays and Charles Dickens' bicentenary.

And in 2014, some of us published a book - Daughters of Time (Templar)



We've had over 4 million hits since we started and nearly 1500 Followers, from everywhere from Canada to Ukraine. There have been, incredibly, 3,000 posts.


A success then? Certainly!


So why change anything?


Well, if you have read all the above, you might guess that it's quite a lot of work - and you'd be right. I have had sterling help from Sue Purkiss, Katherine Langrish and Caroline Lawrence as admins but the two latter are leaving. 


One of the biggest and most annoying tasks is deleting Spam comments, some of them quite disgusting. We made the decision to disallow Anonymous comments some time ago but now we are disabling comments altogether and one large task for admins disappears at a stroke. (I haven't been able to disable them altogether but they are now limited to other members of the blog. This is the most limited option Blogger allows.)


You can still write to me at readers@maryhoffman.co.uk and with the subject History Girls feedback and I will pass your comments on to the right HG.


Finding a monthly guest and organising the competitions has been a lot of work and the same people have been winning books every month, so we are discontinuing that feature of the blog.

But the biggest change is that we are no longer going to post every day. From tomorrow, 2nd August 2019, there will be a new HG post EVERY FRIDAY! Make a note to yourself to check every week. The posts deserve more webtime so keeping them up for longer will allow more people to enjoy them.

And do trawl back over all the posts from 2011 onwards and you will find gems awaiting you there.




I will copy this post to News so you can remind yourselves of the new system. I hope you will keep following us. We are still your dedicated team of History Girls.