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Nicola Cornick
I write Regency historicals for Harlequin HQN Books and also work as a historian
Recent Activity
Oh dear, poor Napoleon Bonaparte Gilmour! The timing of that really is unfortunate. I wonder if he ever thought about changing his name later in life? I do think parents should think these things through! I know that a lot of people admired Napoleon even if he was "the enemy" but it's quite another thing lumbering your child with that forever. I like Salamanca as a name as well. At least it can be shortened neatly!
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Battle Babies! at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, talking about names. Back in July, Christina posted about names and saints’ days, and recently a previous Wench guest, Elizabeth Hawksley, wrote a fascinating piece on her own blog here about why the name Thomas fell out of popularity in 1532. It seems to me that whether we’re talking about about choosing names for characters in books or how we feel about our own names, it’s a perennially fascinating topic. This time around, my interest was sparked by the BBC genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are, which returned to our screens in the UK last week... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today it's my huge pleasure to welcome to the blog historical novelist Helen Hollick. Helen has a rich and varied writing (and life!) experience, summed up in her own words as: “I wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science-fiction and fantasy, and then discovered historical fiction. Published for over twenty years with my Arthurian Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, and the 1066 era book Harold The King (UK title)/I Am the Chosen King (US title), I became a USA Today bestseller with Forever Queen.” Helen also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, pirate-based fantasy adventures, so if you enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing our monthly Ask A Wench feature. A few weeks ago, the Wenches got chatting about past holiday/vacation experiences and all sorts of stories came out of trips that were variously good, bad, fascinating, hilarious, life-changing and emotional. With the world the way it is at the moment, most of us are travelling vicariously, so we thought that for the AAW we would share some of those travellers’ tales and ask you for your own stories of memorable trips. Susan writes: The first time I went to Britain and Europe was the first I had ever left the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. On one of the last hot days of August, Wench Christina and I met up for a mini-Wench get together at Goodrich Castle, on the border of Wales and England. It was one of my first trips out after Lockdown and such a treat to be able to visit a historic site and even better to be able to chat about history and writing with a fellow Wench! Goodrich is one of the finest and best-preserved of all English medieval castles but it isn’t very well known. We approached it the way that visitors would have done in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. It's all about fruit and nuts on the blog this week! On Wednesday Jo was blogging about coconuts and today I'm looking at the history of strawberries! Nothing speaks of an English summer more than strawberries and cream. It’s an iconic dish that is closely associated with garden parties, stately homes and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. It’s one of the nostalgic images of “old” England and in fact the dish is celebrating its 510th anniversary round about now. The strawberry has, of course, been around for a lot longer than 500 years. The writings of the Ancient Greeks... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. One of the things that I have missed the most about Lockdown is not doing my tours at Ashdown House, and not being able to visit other castles and stately homes whilst everything has been closed so it was very exciting when English Heritage started to re-open a number of their historical sites and I could get my history fix again. Last week, for the first time in 5 months, I went to a castle and I thought I would share the trip here for those who would enjoy a virtual history fix. A place I’d never been... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Thank you very much, Andrea, for visiting the Wenches and giving us all a fascinating insight into Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain. Thank you also to everyone who has dropped by and commented. Andrea has chosen Mary M as the winner of a copy of her book. Congratulations, Mary! Andrea will be in touch with you about your prize!
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LOL, anything that releases endorphins is good with me as long as I don't have to work *too* hard for it!
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I do exactly the same, Annette. Aren't history rabbit holes wonderful!
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Ha! Yes, it does sound very modern to exercise your way through the pain of heartbreak, doesn't it!
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Nicola here. Today it’s my very great pleasure to welcome Andrea Zuvich to the Word Wench blog to talk about her new book “Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain.” I first met Andrea at the Historical Novel Society conference in Oxford in 2016. We share a passion for the 17th century and enjoyed putting together a talk on secret Stuart marriages. Andrea is a historian, a historical consultant for film, radio, & TV and an audiobook narrator as well as a novelist and non-fiction author but today she is going to give us an intimate insight beneath the bed sheets... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here talking about animal companions. Something I’ve noticed quite a lot during lockdown is the number of people who have been getting a dog to keep them company. The prices of pedigree puppies have soared; lots of people have posted excitedly on social media about the pleasure of getting new pets. It’s wonderful if caring for an animal has brought people the benefit of companionship, exercise and uncritical love (maybe not in the case of cats) but this did also set off some warning bells for me. We all know that a pet is forever not just for Lockdown.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m musing on sisters, real, literary and fictional. I’ve always been fascinated by the relationships between siblings. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have any full siblings that I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a sister. Would we be very close, or different and distant? Would there be sibling rivalry between us or the sort of secrets you come across in books? What would it have been like growing up with brothers and sisters? Today is the anniversary of the birth in 1817 of Branwell Bronte, the only boy amongst literary siblings Charlotte, Emily... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today I’m wondering what happened to all the plans I had at the start of lockdown in March. Back then time spent quietly at home felt like an opportunity to catch up with a load of things I’d wanted to do for a while, whether it was clear out the wardrobe or start a new hobby. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see this was probably optimistic; we’ve all had a lot of shocking, frightening and unexpected stuff to deal with in our different ways, my concentration is non-existent and I haven’t achieved anything close to what... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Halloween and the long dark nights of winter may seem a more appropriate time to be talking about ghosts and the paranormal, in this part of the world at least, but in other places such a Japan the summer twilight is the time for sitting around a campfire and telling chilling tales. So today, whilst the sun shines and all seems quiet in my ancient village, I’m talking about the paranormal elements in my latest book, The Forgotten Sister, and asking “do you believe in the supernatural?” The Forgotten Sister is probably my spookiest book yet. At the... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Great news, thank you!
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Thank you for reminding me about the 1980 Pride and Prejudice, Louise. I loved that one too! It's interesting how often that version of The Scarlet Pimpernel is mentioned too. I've loved all his different incarnations!
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Nicola here. One of our lockdown activities during this period of self-isolation has been to have a weekly film night (or sometimes a double bill!) it’s been great to catch up with some of the new movies that are out, some TV series I hadn’t yet seen, and some old favourites too. My viewing has included Knives Out, a sort of post-modern Agatha Christie style whodunnit with more twists than a roller coaster and Daniel Craig doing a bizarre accent, and Yesterday, a sweet and funny time -travel romance that I loved. Costume drama has always been my catnip though,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. A new book about celebrity was published a couple of weeks ago. Called “Dead Famous” it’s written by Greg Jenner, a historical consultant on Horrible Histories and traces a history of celebrity from the Bronze Age to the modern day. The Amazon blurb reads: “Celebrity, with its neon glow and selfie pout, strikes us as hypermodern. But the famous and infamous have been thrilling, titillating, and outraging us for much longer than we might realise.” Quoted examples are Lord Byron, the Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean and Sarah Bernhardt. Way back in 2007(!) I wrote a book called Lord... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. Today it is my very great pleasure to welcome back to the blog one of our favourite Wench guests: Christina Courtenay. Christina is an award-winning author of historical romantic fiction and in particular time slip and time travel romance in the great tradition of Barbara Erskine and Susanna Kearsley so it's no wonder her books are an auto-buy for me and will appeal to a lot of Wench readers too! Her latest novel, Echoes of the Runes, is set in the present day and in the vivid 9th century world of the Vikings, and she is here today... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here. A fairly brief blog from me today as I’m struggling towards the end of the current manuscript and am chained to it until it’s done! A few weeks ago, when I was still allowed out, I went to a talk at a local bookshop about a new book by a local author, Gill Hornby. The book is called Miss Austen and it is a fictional look at the life of the lesser-known Austen sister, Cassandra. In particular it tackles the literary mystery of why Cassandra destroyed so many of Jane Austen’s letters. Gill gave a fascinating interview into... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Last week I went up to London to interview international bestselling author Tracy Chevalier as part of the Romantic Novelists’ Association 60th anniversary celebrations. A number of people who weren’t able to get to the talk were interested in hearing about it, so I thought I would report back on it here as Tracy had so many fascinating things to say about books, reading, writing and art. Tracy Chevalier was born in Washington DC, the daughter of is best known for the book Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into a film in 2003. It’s based on the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, talking about brooches. Although I love sparkly jewelry, mainly rings and earrings, I’ve never worn brooches very much. Maybe I associated brooches with my grandmother in the same way that I thought of scarves and lavender, both of which I’ve come around to appreciating over the years. I’ve a number of brooches in my drawer but they don’t see the light of day very often. Well, that’s about to change. Last year in the UK, Lady Hale, the president of the supreme court caused a sensation in several ways, with her ruling on the prorogation of parliament but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at Word Wenches
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Nicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench feature. Today we’re tackling a big question which crops up a lot in different forms: “With the world in such turmoil at the moment, what's the point of romance novels—especially historical romance novels about a past that's dead and gone?” As readers and writers, we get this a lot: We’re accustomed to hearing: “What you read/write is frivolous/fluffy/some other disparaging word beginning with “f”. As the Wenches explain so eloquently below, this is to both miss the point and underestimate the power of romantic fiction. Read on to see exactly why, with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at Word Wenches
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