Map of Italy from Geographia Universalis, Vetus et Nova (1540)

I’m currently writing my second novel, which is set in Southern Italy in the late 1500s.  It explores the challenges facing women’s lives from an angle that I hope will cut through the centuries.  Though some of the central characters are fictional, the story emerges from historical facts I discovered in archives in Italy and which I’ve spent years piecing together through research. It’s about events which deserve to be better known: they show how the legacy of history still impacts our lives and they prompt us to query widespread present-day attitudes future generations will decry.

If you’re curious about the research behind the novel, click here.

The victory of Good over Evil, detail from the portal of the conventual church of San Benedetto, Brindisi, 11th century
Santa Maria del Casale, Brindisi, 13th century, where the trial ending in the suppression of the Knights Templar of the Kingdom of Sicily took place in 1310
Rare books

Photo credits:

Map of Italy from Ptolemy’s Geographia Universalis, Vetus et Nova, Sebastian Münster, Basileae : Apud Henricum Petrum (1540) available through The Newberry on Internet Archive.

Santa Maria del Casale by Roberto Sernicola at Italian Wikipedia.  Reproduced under Public Domain license.

Rare Books by Roman Kraft. Reproduced under CC licence via Unsplash.