5 Inspiring Historical Locations

  1. Berlin: I’ve written two books as David Thomas – BLOOD RELATIVE and OSTLAND – that are set, at least in part, in wartime Berlin and postwar East Berlin. I don’t know whether its my lifelong fascination with World War II, or my teenage infatuation with that celebrated Berlin resident David Bowie, but the city fascinates me. It’s really the nexus of 20th century European history, and whereas London, say, is filled with monuments to British victories, Berlin is a city filled with powerful, even beautiful memorials to events and phenomena no one wants to remember, but that cannot be forgotten: book-burnings, the Stasi, the Reichstag fire and, of course, the Holocaust.
  2. The Roman Walls of Chichester: I have an office in Chichester, West Sussex. It’s a delightful place, filled with lovely old buildings, including, of course, a glorious 12th century cathedral, whose spire can be seen for miles around. Best of all are the walls that encircle the city. I often go for a walk around them and that doesn’t just give me some much-needed exercise, but it really makes me feel the presence of history as a real, living thing.
  3. Rome: Because… oh, come on, does anyone need to be told?
  4. Kyoto: I’ve only visited Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan, once, but I still have a very powerful memory of the way that perfectly preserved historical buildings and gardens stood cheek by jowl with all the noisy, manic energy of modern Japan: here an old temple, there a pachinko parlour. I’ve had an idea for a historical novel set in early 18th century Japan waiting on my creative runway for ages. One of these days I’ll get it written!
  5. Istanbul: This is on my to-do list of places to visit. Arguably, it’s an even more historically rich and culturally diverse city than Rome: home to two great religions and two mighty empires, with layer-upon-layer of history from the Roman sewers on up. It’s actually mentioned in passing in DEVIL. But I can’t help feeling that there’s more to come.

The first instalment in the LEOPARDS OF NORMANDY trilogy – DEVIL is available in hardback and e-book now.

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