Article in “Il Manifesto” on Alvise Marangon

Very gratified to have a half-page devoted to the Alvise Marangon mysteries in the cultural insert of Il Manifesto. The article is by Francesco Rognoni (22nd October 2017). Very flattered to find myself in the company of (though not actually compared with) W. H. Auden, Robert Browning and Lord Byron…  Here’s an […]


Chapter 2, p. 11: “We were forced to stand with our backs to the crowds and our hands behind our heads, staring at the four mysterious porphyry figures set into the corner of the treasury, while we waited for the sbirri to come.” Every guidebook now indicates these figures as the […]

Book presentation with Philip Gwynne Jones

I’m very happy to share a link to the blog of my friend Philip Gwynne Jones, who gives an account of our joint book-presentation last Saturday at Laguna Libre in Cannaregio, Venice. My opinion of his novel, The Venetian Game, can be found in my blurb for it: “A playful novel, […]

Interview on History Girls website

I’m very grateful to Michelle Lovric for once again hosting me on the History Girls website. This time we talk about the 18th century, some Venetian terms, the Fourth Crusade, and a few other matters connected with The Four Horsemen. Oh, and Byron comes into it again… Here is the link.

The Locations of Ascension. 5. Santa Maria del Giglio

“We leaned against a shop front just in front of the church’s facade; the pompous statues and curious bas-reliefs were dimly visible in the moonlight.” (Chapter 22) Santa Maria del Giglio has one of the most extravagantly grandiose church-facades in Venice, perhaps only rivalled by that of San Moisé. Both […]

The Locations of The Four Horsemen. 1. Sant’Elena

Sant’Elena has definitely changed since the 18th century. The most obvious change is that you can now walk to it. In the novel Alvise has to hire a boat to get there. The map at the back of the book shows Sant’Elena as a small island some distance from the […]

The Locations of Ascension. 4. Sant’Isepo

Chapter 12: He [Bepi] was staring across the canal at the façade of the church. It is not one of Venice’s most famous buildings but it has a charming bas-relief of the Adoration of the Magi over the doorway. Sant’Isepo (Venetian for San Giuseppe or St Joseph) is Bepi’s parish-church, […]

The Locations of Ascension. 3. Ca’ Garzoni

Ca’ Garzoni (Ca’ is simply short for Casa or Home and is used with many Venetian palaces, including some of the grandest),  is central to the novel. I have to say I enjoyed writing this section of the book and I think the scenes work well. I don’t want to […]