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Oh, news! Great news.


The wonderful Copperfield Review, the award-winning literary journal for writers and readers of historical fiction, is celebrating its fifteenth birthday next October – and will do so, amongst other things, by publishing its first anthology.

Well, I’m enormously proud and happy to announce that my Elizabethan short story, Gentleman in Velvet, will be in the anthology. Fifteen stories were chosen from over three hundred submissions, so I’ll say it again: I’m very proud and honoured that my story was chosen…

Here is a very small preview of Gentleman in Velvet:

I’m in my father’s workshop when the servant brings the velvet. I’m being told off for fighting – for at eight I’m an unruly child. But the arrival of the fabric cuts short the homily, and we – myself and two apprentice boys – flock around the best-lighted, the master’s workbench as my father unfurls the two, three ells of velvet.

It ripples like water – a deep burgundy that turns crimson in the slanting light of afternoon, and black in the heart of its smooth folds. It gives off a clean, warm, rich smell amidst the foulness of pitch and tanned leather. It seems the greatest pity to cut it into a pair of slippers… When I reach out to touch it, it is a rap on the knuckles, and off with me upstairs, in disgrace, for mother and sisters to deal with until supper.

I can’t wait – and I’ll let you know along the way. Meanwhile, imagine me dancing little happy dances…