• Richard James

Living In The Past

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

In difficult times, there's a comfort to be found in writing historical fiction, just as there is in reading it. As the world is shut indoors to combat the Covid 19 virus, I have the opportunity to escape my four walls into a world of my own creation. Just as life comes to a shuddering halt, I get to shape the lives of the characters in my stories. But there's something more than that. Beyond the escapism provided by any book, historical fiction provides us with something else. A proof that everything will be all right.

The characters in my Bowman Of The Yard series exist in the past, namely the year 1892. There is a comfort to be found in the fact that I am writing their stories from my present - some one hundred and forty years later. Meaning we survived. Through the turn of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, the First and Second World Wars, Spanish Flu (which killed more people than those two world wars combined), the Cold War and the nuclear age, the YK2 bug and Brexit, we are all descendants of the survivors. The fact that we are here to tell their stories should give us strength. Perhaps in another one hundred and forty years, people will tell stories of these times. Of the hardships we endured and the uncertainty we faced. Perhaps they'll tell tales of the courage of our medical services and key workers, or of the acts of communal kindness that are sprouting around us like flowers in the spring. To them, we will be history. And they, just like us, will be the survivors.

If you have yet to join the investigation, Bowman's story begins with the first novel, The Head In the Ice and continues through the short stories The Smithfield Murder and The Hackney Poisoning to the second novel, The Devil In The Dock. Two more short stories follow, The Hampstead Garrotting and The Holborn Strangler. The third novel in the series, The Body In The Trees, is followed by two more short stories, The Camden Kidnappings and The Chiswick Robbery! Finally, The Phantom In The Fog completes the series of novels, but there are still two short stories to go, The Stepney Blackmailing and The Christmas Murders... Subscribe to get them all!

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