WELCOME

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June 26, 2017 by Lydia Syson

Adshot pic - best?… you’ve reached the website of Lydia Syson, author of the novels LIBERTY’S FIRE, THAT BURNING SUMMER, A WORLD BETWEEN US, & the biography DOCTOR OF LOVE: DR JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED. Do click on ‘Reviews‘ to discover what other readers have thought of all these books, and then scroll down to find out more about the history behind the novels. For those on larger screens, on which this website works much better, apologies for any repetition. You’ll find the latest blogpost just below.

Find out about school visits and other author events here

 

Buy LIBERTY’S FIRE here
Buy THAT BURNING SUMMER here or here if you’re in the US
Buy A WORLD BETWEEN US here or the iBook edition with extra features (music, interactive maps, photographs, interviews with historians, archive materials and more) here at iTunes
Buy DOCTOR OF LOVE here

Or better still, ask your nearest independent bookshop for the books, or order from Hive if you don’t have one.

Photograph by Gianluca De Girolamo, Adshot, London.


Authors for Grenfell Tower auction

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June 23, 2017 by Lydia Syson

Raise money for residents affected by the Grenfell Towers fire through the Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund and get a bookish bargain at the same time. There’s so much on offer here from tea with authors, a cookery lesson – even your entire family in a children’s novel!

Bid generously and frequently.  Buy for yourself! Buy for others!  Get ahead with Christmas, birthday, wedding presents…endless options.  It’s incredibly easy to bid and you can do it from all over the world.  Just enter the amount you’d like to pay in sterling in the comments section.

I’m offering help with your writing – fiction or non-fiction.  Full details here.

Thanks for your support and for spreading the word.


World Book Week writing competition results. . . and other news

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June 6, 2017 by Lydia Syson

World Book Week 2017

Authors aren’t just for World Book Day, and the positive effects of an author visiting a school continue to have an impact long after books and banners have been packed up.  (Here I am at Sidcot School, Somerset, where bookseller Books on the Hill kindly looked after sales and signing.) Not that the author always sees this.  Happily, some of the schools I visited in March this year have sent me a selection of the writing their students produced in response to our sessions. I promised to send a hardback copy of the US edition of That Burning Summer to the author of the story I liked best.  Little did I realise how hard it would be to choose.

keep reading


US publication

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January 31, 2017 by Lydia Syson

skyponyTBS-frontcover

The new Sky Pony edition of That Burning Summer will be on the shelves of American bookshops from today, in beautiful hardback, introducing a whole new set of readers to the tensions, excitement and quirks of life in Britain in World War 2.  Invasion, spyfever, fear of flying, pacifism, betrayal…and love, all in a corner of England so close to France you could hear the fighting across the channel: Romney Marsh, often referred to as the Fifth Continent.

This new edition doesn’t just have a striking new cover. It’s got a whole new penultimate keep reading


Poems inspired by GUERNICA, 1937

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December 14, 2016 by Lydia Syson

guernica

A report earlier this year concluded that the number of civilians around the world killed by explosive weapons had risen by 55% in five years.  The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has finally hit the headlines this week – a crisis that has been building for nearly two years due to a proxy war in which the UK government is directly implicated.  Today, the evacuation of Aleppo has been delayed, and airstrikes continue.  It’s hard for young people in the UK to make sense of any of this. It’s harder still, now that what was once called ‘total warfare’ has become commonplace, to imagine what it was like in the 1930s when, during the Spanish Civil War, the first cities in Europe were attacked from the air.

keep reading


New Blood for the Republic: the Spanish Civil War, eighty years on

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September 6, 2016 by Lydia Syson

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80th anniversary commemorations and conferences have been taking place up and down this country as well as Spain to mark the Spanish Civil War, initiated by a right-wing military coup in July 1936, followed by Franco’s long dictatorship.  It’s a measure of just how involved Britain was in the conflict which many see as a rehearsal for World War Two.  Giving a paper myself about the evolution of my YA novel A World Between Us at the fascinating ‘Spanish Civil War in World Literature’ conference at London’s School of Advanced Studies, I mentioned the iBook edition which was put together in 2012 with the generous help of vast numbers of archives and libraries in the UK and US (thanks here). The image above of a young female anti-fascist donating blood to be sent to the front lines for wounded Republican soldiers was provided by the London School of Economics. The iBook keep reading


The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia: book review

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May 8, 2016 by Lydia Syson

red_virgin_mary_bryan_talbot_cape_cover-628x886Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Louise Michel, teacher, poet and revolutionary heroine of the 1871 Paris Commune, but she’s not exactly a well-known figure in the English-speaking world.  Yet.  If The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, the new graphic biography by Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot, has anything like the success of their remarkable first collaboration, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes – and it certainly deserves to – that could be about to change.

Michel is hardly obscure.  In fact she’s legendary.  She’s iconic.  In France (and indeed New Caledonia) there have been schools and streets and squares named after her, not to mention two International Brigade battalions and a Metro station.  She romanticised her own life in her keep reading


April news

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April 11, 2016 by Lydia Syson

Cue for Treaston Geoffrey Trease 1965 Puffin edition

A quick update…

Over at The History Girls, April is Shakespeare month, though not exclusively.  My contribution has been this exploration of the many different ways in which the Bard has been used by writers of children’s fiction, for which I enlisted the help of Tig Thomas, a friend, an editor and an anthologer who knows more about both Shakespeare and period children’s literature than anybody else I know.

keep reading


Judith Kerr

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March 8, 2016 by Lydia Syson

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Barely had I written this appreciation of Judith Kerr for The History Girls than I discovered that When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit was the subject of this month’s World Book Club programme on the BBC World Service.  What joy! (Nb that is permitted usage of the exclamation mark according to new DoE regulations.  The following isn’t.)  One of my all-time favourite children’s writers talking to my all-time favourite books presenter, Harriett Gilbert! You can listen yourself or download the programme here.

Happy International Women’s Day!

That delightful photograph was taken by Enda Bowe for Jewish Book Week.


US Cover Reveal

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February 26, 2016 by Lydia Syson

That Burning Summer 9781510711723

A complete change of style for the new cover of That Burning Summer which is coming out with Sky Pony Press in the US next January.  I’m delighted with it.  It captures the mood of the book and its setting beautifully.  I can’t wait to see how it goes down with American readers. Over to Christina Sapyta at Confessions of a Book Addict

keep reading


"an outstanding debut novel for teenagers" THE GUARDIAN

"a fantastic historical fiction debut" THE BOOKSELLER

"a novel of extraordinary resonance and power" ARMADILLO

"a compelling story of politics and passion, bravery and love" BOOKTRUST

'the writing is powerful, the events terrifying' THE BOOKBAG

'Highly recommended' BOOKS FOR KEEPS

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