August 17, 2013

‘Night Witches’ novel out soon!

Posted in Book Writing, Uncategorized at 2:04 pm by historywardrobe

i’m very excited to see the advance copy of my new teen fiction novel Night Witches!

I know it’s nothing to do with History Wardrobe and costume history… in a way.  And yet, and yet… History, creativity, imagination and passion all swirl around the peculiar environment of my brain without artificial categories.  Even in fiction a character’s actions, personality, culture & gender (for example) and are often portrayed through their clothes.  The original Russian Night Witches who inspired by fiction story were young Russian women in an all-female night bomber regiment of WW2.

Competing to show their worth in the male world of war they pushed hard at preconceptions of their abilities, got swamped in men’s uniforms, and were also protected by their clothes in the bone-cold Russian winters.  Many of the girls took to customising the uniforms to make them more feminine – a way of asserting their gender, perhaps, with embroidery, fur collars and nice bits of knitting.  Two women were even arrested for using parachute silk to make underwear.

As for having a book in print, it’s an extraordinary feeling to see a story that has had you alternately soaring and sweating blood, actually printed in hard copy and waiting for the most crucial ingredient of all – the reader.  Night Witches is my fifth novel, and each one feels special.  In many ways it has been the hardest to write.  There’s some raw personal issues in the story, and I did a lot of hard graft researching to get a feel for the historical inspiration for the story.

All worth it in the end when I hold the book and flick through the pages!

As the reviews come in I’ll see how it fares out in the real world.

To find out more visit

Now I promise to go back to costume history for a while…


August 16, 2013

Great War Fashion website in the making

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:00 am by historywardrobe

After much tea and cake, the coven of grand web mistresses have worked out the basics for a new website to celebrate the launch of “Great War Fashion” this October, with a special gallery, lots of links and of course info on how to buy this brilliant book!

August 10, 2013

Night Witches out soon!

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:51 pm by historywardrobe

Very excited to see the advance copy!