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Richard Abbott
Works at Markit
Attended Trinity College, Bristol
Lives in London
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Richard Abbott

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A July 4th interview with Suzanne Adair, who writes historical mysteries set in the American War of Independence.

Read about her fiction, her thoughts on the historical period, and her participation in reenactments!
 
Author interview - Suzanne Adair 

Today I am welcoming Suzanne Adair to an author interview. I first came across Suzanne’s writing at the end of last year, and have been getting more familiar with it since. I have previously reviewed Hostage to Heritage and Camp Follower.

She writes about the American War of Independence, so an interview for July 4th seemed perfect!

Q. Suzanne, what first attracted you to write about the war of independence?

A. Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today, Richard. What fun, talking about the American War of Independence on the Fourth of July—on a Brit’s blog, of all places!

Although a number of wars have been fought on American soil, the War of Independence has always resonated the most with me. I’m fascinated with the changes in Western people’s heads during the late eighteenth century. They were exploring with telescopes and microscopes and even periscopes. The printing press made it possible for many to own books and become better educated than their forebears. Middle-class people could find leisure time. Government and religion weren’t as tightly bound as they’d been in previous centuries. And the stirrings of the women’s rights movement can be found during this period.

For over two hundred years, history scholars focused almost exclusively on the northern theater of the American War (especially New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). About fifteen years ago, they finally began researching the southern theater (the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida) in earnest. As new documents come to light, and field researchers shift their efforts southward, it’s changed the shape of this war. Scholars now believe that the colony having the most battles was South Carolina. My series is set in the southern theater, so I find all this quite exciting. It helps make the historical background fresh for my readers and me.

(See http://richardabbott.datascenesdev.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/JohnRobertsonsWorldWar-300x174.jpg)
How has the shape of the war changed? A few years ago, my cartographer friend John Robertson (who has created the maps for most of my books) plotted each military action from the War of Independence as a yellow square on this map of the world. It’s clear that this war wasn’t confined to the northern theater. Nor was it confined to America. In fact, it looks like a world war. What do you think?

Q. As a Brit, this is a subject I knew very little about except for some anecdotal tales, such as the Boston Tea Party. It comes across in your books as a troubled and confusing time in which allegiances were uncertain and often shifted. Could you tell us a little about the background here?

A. Certainly. In wars throughout history, almost never do you find that all people in an affected civilian population give their allegiance to one of two sides. That’s the way it’s often written by the victors, and thinking of it that way makes it simpler for history students. But what you actually find is that a third to a half of the civilians are neutral. They have no strong feelings about which side should in charge as long as they can carry on with their lives.

Unfortunately when an army comes into an area, neutrals don’t fare well for the reason that they haven’t given their allegiance to either side. During the American Revolution, neutrals were often regarded with suspicion and had their belongings (livestock, crops, etc.) seized for an army’s use without compensation. They were also forced into military service and, if captured by the army’s opponent, might be forced to switch and fight for that side, all the while wondering if they’d ever see home again.

Q. You describe your writing on your web site (http://www.suzanneadair.net/) as “historical crime fiction.” What drew you into the crime/mystery side of writing? Do you see your main audience as enthusiasts of historical fiction or mysteries?

A. The solving of a fictional crime such as a murder or caper often conveys tighter structure upon a novel, and I definitely take advantage of that structure. In addition, the idea of having a protagonist solve such a crime without the benefit of modern forensics is a challenge that appeals to me.

My main audience is a blend of readers who enjoy historical fiction and historical mysteries. A few have told me that they were initially drawn to my work from the mystery angle but somewhat apprehensive about the historical element, fearing that they’d be overwhelmed by period detail. Then, after reading my books, they compliment me for weaving in the history unobtrusively and not smothering them with details. “Not at all like sitting through history class! ” said one reader. (Huzzah!)

Q. You bring in to your books other cultural elements such as religious and social diversity. The period comes over as a real melting pot of personal background. Does this reflect the written sources of the age?

A. Many readers don’t have a solid foundation in history. From high school history classes, they’ve come to believe that Revolutionary America was populated almost exclusively by white Protestant Christians. What a boring place the colonies would have been to live, if true.

Fortunately, when you do the research and check the sources, you find out that there was quite a diversity of religious and cultural backgrounds found among people living in the thirteen colonies and surrounding territories. (Take a look at an essay I wrote about this amazing diversity, http://www.suzanneadair.net/2014/07/09/religious-diversity-in-america-during-the-revolution/) For example, you learn that Thomas Jefferson read the Qur’an, probably incorporating ideas from it into the Declaration of Independence, and that a Jew named Haym Solomon gave a big loan to the Congress for the war effort. Integrating this kind of background into my fiction makes my Revolutionary universe a vibrant, interesting place.

Q. Your author profile on Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Suzanne-Adair/e/B003WH8Q36/) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1188958.Suzanne_Adair) mentions that you have taken part in reenactions (just like Paula Lofting, who I interviewed in March). Which came first, the writing or the reenaction? Do you find that the two activities help each other?

A. Great question! The writing came first, but not by much. What happened was that I wrote several chapters of the first manuscript in the series and realized that I was unable to get into the head of my eighteenth-century protagonist. I wasn’t part of that culture; we were separated by two centuries. Thus I had no idea what shaped my characters’ decisions or what constituted their daily challenges.

That brought me to reenacting. The weekend events I attended recreated the history and immersed me in the social and political culture of the time. Of course, there’s nothing like living the real history. However reenacting is a sort of time machine to help me receive a good approximation of life in eighteenth-century America. As a result, my sensory impressions of that life found their way into my writing. My characters seem right for their time. Many readers say that I made them feel like they were actually there.

[Note from Richard – in fact Suzanne is taking part in a period costume reenactment on the day this goes live]

Q. I had imagined that the events you write about – so recent in comparison to my own storytelling – were quite thoroughly documented. However, your author’s notes suggest that there are large areas of uncertainty, especially for actions in the Carolinas. How easy have you found it to find sources of information to underpin your writing?

A. The ease of finding source materials depends upon what you’re seeking. Most battles are very well documented, as are the lives of the more famous and/or wealthy people. It’s also easy to find information about the big cities and larger towns as well as common trades.

Step outside that, though, with the goal of showing how war affected middle- or lower-class men, and especially women, and you spend a great deal more time chasing down details. Sometimes vital information has vanished into the chaos if war, and a precise answer cannot be found. And in my answer to your first question, I explained why there hasn’t, until recently, been as much documentation available for the Carolinas. While all that is often frustrating to a history scholar, it can be a boon to a historical novelist.

Q. So far as I know you have only written to date about this single historical setting. Are you planning at some point to branch out to other places and times, or are you committed to this one?

A. I’ve only been published in historical crime fiction so far. However I’ve also written a science fiction series set during the twenty-fourth century and a paranormal suspense series set during current times. Those series will be published.

Q. What is coming up later in the year for you? Are you able to share any plans? Can we expect another Michael Stoddard thriller?

A. October 2015, I expect to release Deadly Occupation (Michael Stoddard #0).

Finally, is there anything you would like to add which we have not touched on so far?

You’ve provided a purchase link to my five books on Amazon. In electronic format, they’re also available for Nook, Apple, and Kobo.

Thanks Suzanne for taking the time today to talk with me. All the best for you in the future.

Thanks again, Richard.

Bio:

Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in a two hundred-year-old city at the edge of the North Carolina Piedmont named for an English explorer who was beheaded. Her suspense and thrillers transport readers to the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, and spending time with her family. October 2015, look for the release of her next Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller, Deadly Occupation.

Social media links:
Web site: http://www.suzanneadair.net
Blog: http://www.suzanneadair.net/blog
Quarterly electronic newsletter: http://tinyletter.com/Suzanne-Adair-News
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Suzanne.Adair.Author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Suzanne_Adair
Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1188958.Suzanne_Adair
Amazon profile: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Suzanne-Adair/e/B003WH8Q36/
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Recognising July 4th in a couple of ways 

There's a review of a Western, and an author interview coming up on the 4th itself. Enjoy...
 
A Review on the Review Group, and looking forward to July 4th 

An American theme for today’s blog! July 4th is coming up which, while largely unnoticed over here, will be the cause of all kinds of celebrations over there. So I am joining in the vicarious fun with an American theme.

First, my review on The Review Group for a western called Chasm Creek has just gone live (http://thereview2014.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/richard-reviews-chasm-creek.html). I hadn’t read a western for many years – possibly not since school days, which surely has to count as many years – so found myself unexpectedly delighted by this book. The depiction of the natural world of Arizona completely sucked me in, along with the storyline. Check out the review on the Review Group (link above) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thereviewgroup/posts/1108674149161938) and add a comment if you want to go in for a free prize draw copy of the book.

Also, the next in my series of author interviews will go live on 4th – on this occasion I am inviting Suzanne Adair to tell us about herself. Suzanne (who of course is American) writes about the US War of Independence and I reviewed a couple of her books not so long ago – Hostage to Heritage and Camp Follower.

Here is Suzanne’s bio to whet your appetite:

Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in a two hundred-year-old city at the edge of the North Carolina Piedmont named for an English explorer who was beheaded. Her suspense and thrillers transport readers to the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, and spending time with her family. October 2015, look for the release of her next Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller, Deadly Occupation.

Welcome back on the fourth…
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The copper mines at Timna - a reappraisal as reported on the Past Horizons blog, and some other things of interest.
 
A quick post for today, highlighting a couple of things. The Past Horizons blog (http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/) has reported a couple of interesting archaeological finds recently.

One concerns the copper mines at Timna (http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/06/2015/new-studies-on-key-near-eastern-copper-mines-tell-different-stories-about-role-of-ancient-egyptians) which I touched on long ago in my PhD as an example of how Egyptian and Levantine cultures might interact and share cultural values.

Now originally when this was found, there was a theory that these represented "King Solomon's Mines", dating from the 10th century BC (Iron Age). But fairly soon it became clear that the original extraction work had gone on much earlier, in the Late Bronze Age, certainly back to the 13th century and possibly 200 years earlier still. So originally the mines were worked during the period of Egyptian control of the Levant, though certainly it carried on into the Israelite monarchy period. So if King Solomon ever exploited these resources, he was continuing a long tradition, not starting a new one.

But the next assumption was that the enterprise was fundamentally run as an Egyptian colonial outpost, with Egyptian overseers directing a local workforce. This assumption has now been challenged by careful exploratory work. It now seems that the Egyptian presence was considerably smaller in scale, and probably represented a trade outreach rather than any kind of direct control. The Hathor temple shows clear signs of reuse of an earlier holy place, and virtually no Egyptian writing has been found. So the new picture is much more nuanced - the endeavour seems to have been a shared activity between different groups, and it is likely that the technical know-how concerning mining was provided by local groups rather than imported from The Beloved Land.

Finally, I have registered both Scenes From a Life and The Flame Before Us with the audiobook auditioning service ACX (https://www.acx.com). The basic idea is that potential readers flock along to the site, select books which they like and are suited for, and audition for you. Any royalties are split between author and reader. It's a nice idea, so let's see what happens next. Should you know anybody keen on going in to such a venture, the two project links are https://www.acx.com/titleview/A33BC1122VD0IP (Scenes From a Life) and https://www.acx.com/titleview/A1GFNWQ7TKYWWI (The Flame Before Us).
Adventures in Archaeology News, Articles and Research
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A recent find of value to early writing studies: a Canaanite inscription from the 10th-11th centuries BC in the Valley of Elah, Israel.
 
A recent archaeological discovery of relevance to early writing studies was this find: Canaanite script on jar fragments now deciphered (http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/06/2015/canaanite-script-on-jar-fragments-now-deciphered) from the Valley of Elah in Israel. The jar is radiocarbon dated to 1020-908 BC. 

A couple of relevant extracts:
Garfinkel: “This is the first time that the name Eshbaʽal has appeared on an ancient inscription in the country. Eshbaʽal Ben Shaul, who ruled over Israel at the same time as David, is known from the Bible. Eshbaʽal was murdered by assassins and decapitated and his head was brought to David in Hebron (II Samuel, Chaps. 3-4). It is interesting to note that the name Eshbaʽal appears in the Bible, and now also in the archaeological record, only during the reign of King David, in the first half of the tenth century BCE. This name was not used later in the First Temple period.The correlation between the biblical tradition and the archaeological finds indicates this was a common name only during that period.”
and
Garfinkel and Ganor,”Until about five years ago we knew of no inscriptions dating to the tenth century BCE from the Kingdom of Judah. In recent years four inscriptions have been published: two from Khirbet Qeiyafa, one from Jerusalem and one from Bet Shemesh. This completely changes our understanding of the distribution of writing in the Kingdom of Judah and it is now clear that writing was far more widespread than previously thought. It seems that the organization of the kingdom required a cadre of clerks and writers and their activity is also manifested in the appearance of inscriptions. ”
A rare inscription on fragments of pottery dated to the 11th - 10th centuries BCE was discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafain in the Valley of Elah.…
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Omg what a find! 
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Doing a JavaScript map + timeline - properly this time! The world of Kephrath...
 
Kephrath timeline 

Some months ago I talked about setting up a timeline + map for my Kephrath stories. At that time I was just using some third party pages for which I entered data in some convenient form and then linked to a remote web page. This time around I have done it properly and used a proper Javascript library (https://code.google.com/p/timemap/) within the context of my own web site – check out http://www.kephrath.com/Timeline.aspx for the result.

Fundamentally this works in exactly the same way as the third party pages, but of course I now have much more direct control over the content and appearance. Basically the source data is supplied in a format called JSON – easy to grasp and prepare, but rather strict and unforgiving about the details of formatting. The JSON data includes not only the events themselves – dates and descriptions – but also the details about colours and layout.

The latest version of Google maps allows you to remove modern artifacts such as roads, country names, and the like, so is ideally suited for me. Or indeed many of my historical fiction co-authors who write about various times in the past.

So far, key events are in place for In a Milk and Honeyed Land, and Scenes from a Life. I am currently in the process of entering the additional data for The Flame Before Us – this book covers only a few months of time, unlike the two earlier books which spanned a considerable number of years. So the dates will be rather squashed together. But of course the beauty of the system is that as I write more books, the new fictional history – and any relevant actual historical events surrounding it – can simply be added in.

Remember: http://www.kephrath.com/Timeline.aspx !
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+Richard Abbott - Yes, if Andy Weir had included a link at the end of The Martian to show a timeline of events, and the journey that Mark Watney took around Mars, it would have added greatly to an already brilliant book! :)
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A brief exploration of how women's roles changed from the Bronze Age to Iron 

Some of the facts behind the fictional world of Kephrath.
 
The Changing Place of Women in the Ancient Near East 

So far as we can tell, the place of women in ancient Near Eastern culture shifted rapidly between the second and first millennia BC. At the start of that time, say around 1400BC during the Late Bronze Age, it was possible in some places for women to own and manage property, hold positions of considerable social rank, be literate, and so on. By the middle of the first millennium, say around 600 or 700 BC, just before the Babylonian armies conquered most of the Levant, women had a distinctly subordinate role, defined by the status of their father or husband.

We understand this partly through the written word, and partly through artefact. Some Egyptian letters written by or for women document their business transactions, for example. Or in other cases letters written by a husband show that his wife was trusted with the business while he was away. The Hebrew Bible describes women in the pre-monarchy era who were recognised as owners of land and leaders of the people.

Physical artefacts such as amulets or official seals from the earlier period show roughly equal numbers of male and female figures – usually, though not always, gods and goddesses. Later ones showing figures are heavily skewed towards male subjects, and where a scene would previously have called for a woman to be shown, an abstract representative symbol such as a star or tree often appears.

What these sources do not tell us is what social or cultural impulse was behind these changes of representation, and the shifts of attitude they reveal. Certainly, the region had become a more dangerous place. The Bronze Age great kings with their extensive vassal territories had been swept away, replaced by small localised kingdoms in permanent strife. Life, and travel, had become hazardous. So did the place of women change because of the widespread unrest? Did communities feel a need to protect their women, or less positively simply want to assert ownership over a valuable resource?

In fiction, I have chosen to present this change in several ways. The Four Towns, including Kephrath, are traditionally arranged matrilocally… a man moves into the household of his new wife, rather than bringing her into his family home. Descent and property is reckoned through daughters rather than sons. This is the world of In a Milk and Honeyed Land. There is no solid evidence this was done in Canaan, but the Hebrew Bible records traces of such traditions in Mesopotamia.

In my fictional world, the advent of the Sea Peoples signals the change. The ancient world cataclysm is described in The Flame Before Us. Greek women were, at least in classical times, strictly subordinate to men. I have assumed that this also applied to their Mycenaean precursors, who carried this cultural habit with them as they moved through the Levant. So the social disruption brought about by so many newcomers – whether for war or peace – changed the nature of the existing culture as it absorbed them.

The exact historical cause is unknown, and will probably remain so. However, it seemed to me that the interaction of European and Middle Eastern cultures at this early date might well lead to some unexpected results. Perhaps this was one of them.
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+Linda Anani thanks :)
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Some thoughts on the use of active and passive language, and the cultural background that this sheds light on...
 
Language, active and passive 

This is another in my occasional series looking at use of language across different cultures. There is a trend in English to use the active voice: "_I had an idea_", "_I understood it_" and so on. Indeed, in some places, you come across the rather stronger statement that only the active voice is suitable for writing. This is sometimes attributed to George Orwell, though I have also read that he actually meant something entirely different, and I have never actually tracked down his original words!

But this is another of those language constructions which is culturally bound. Some languages, often but not exclusively Asian ones, prefer a passive form here: "_An idea came to me_", "_Understanding reached me_" and so on. If one was speculating on reasons for this, it might be that in modern Europe and America, we like the idea of being agents rather than recipients. Or maybe we like to keep the fiction of absolute self-determination, and rather resent the idea that other things in the universe - especially things we like to think of as abstract qualities - might themselves have agency and intentions towards us.

This casual western assumption (if that is what it is) has come in for some serious knocking in the last few decades, what with quantum mechanical ideas of probability and uncertainty coming in from physics, insights about heredity and genetics from the life sciences, and an appraisal of the effect of the collective unconscious from psychological studies. However, my sense is that these perspectives have a lot of ground to make up before they make any serious inroads into our feelings of being an agent.

What does this mean for writing about other cultures and other times, and especially writing dialogue? Over the past few months I have picked out a number of other ways in which people in the past - or people in various parts of the world today - use language differently. There was repetition. social position, use of personal names, habits of speech, and grammar. It's certainly a way to differentiate between the thought and word patterns of different people-groups. Some editors, and some reviewers, appear not to like this, and there are certainly big questions as to how far a book written in modern English ought to use constructions like this outside of interpersonal dialogue. I suppose in part it depends on whether the writer wants the internal worlds of his or her characters to impinge onto the main flow of the book.
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First weekend along the Ridgeway track - Ivinghoe Beacon to near Princes Risborough. Red kites overhead, and chalk upland flowers everywhere. 
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+Richard Abbott - They'd be lovely with a bit of wild garlic...but after you! :)
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This coming Saturday, June 13th, I will be taking part in a literary festival along with a bunch of other people at The Bookshop, East Grinstead. All welcome! Come and buy books, eat cake, and enjoy all the fun of West Sussex...
 
The Bookshop Literary Festival, East Grinstead 

This coming Saturday, June 13th, I shall be taking part in a literary festival at The Bookshop, East Grinstead, along with a bunch of other authors from various parts of England, mostly though not entirely the south. The Facebook listing for the event is https://www.facebook.com/events/1573685189577242/.

I guess many readers of this will be way too far away from East Grinstead to get there, but it would be wonderful to meet up with anyone who is able to make the journey. It is rare in these internet-enabled days to get to actually encounter a person with whom one has enjoyed chat and correspondence for a long time. I shall be there with copies of each of In a Milk and Honeyed Land, Scenes from a Life, and The Flame Before Us, and it looks as though there will be book readings from each of the various authors. Sounds great!

So if you’re able to get the The Bookshop, 22 High Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 3AW (http://www.eastgrinsteadbookshop.co.uk/) between 10am and 4:30pm on Saturday June 13th, it would be great to see you.
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First review of The Flame Before Us 

http://myth.typepad.com/breakfast/2015/06/the-flame-before-us-ambitious-but-not-too-grand.html

Some extracts...
==============
The time is 1200 BC, and the situation is dire for the established civilizations on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. A large group of marauders invades from the west...

Several threads of characters... form the material for Abbott's tapestry; ...each set of personages is distinct and vivid in its own way, and helps to create a full picture of what life must have been like in the uncertain times at the end of the Bronze Age. A surprising tenderness in the face of brutality, loss, and displacement is the emotion that underpins the action.

In other words, Richard Abbott, more, more! Your public clamors for it.
==============
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Excellent review! I'm sure you'll be receiving more of them! :)
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Adult blackbird feeding two fledgelings
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A week on and the "little ones" are happily feeding themselves, though still tend to hang around the adult for pointers as to where to find food.
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Egypt and the occupation of Canaan in the Bronze Age 

A quick exploration of Egyptian control and influence over the province of Canaan, and how it dwindled to a close.
 
Egyptian interest in Canaan in the Bronze Age 

Part of the background of all of my Kephrath books is Egypt. I call this the land of the Mitsriy - the name reflects both the biblical and modern Arabic names for that nation, whereas Egypt comes to us via a roundabout route through Greek.

Ancient Egypt was not as a rule interested in conquest per se, in the way that the later Assyrians, Babylonians, or Romans were. They were usually satisfied with securing a buffer area of tribes and cities to both north and south. These vassals rendered tribute of various kinds - goods, valuables, or people for the most part - in return for their local rulers being left in place by the Pharaoh. Loyalty was rewarded by support against enemies, rebellion (real or imagined) by punitive action.

Egypt appointed regional governors - one was at Gaza (Gedjet in the stories) - but control was light. The area was not regularly policed: military action was normally a direct response to some provocation, though now and then flag-waving marches took place. Indeed, rivalry and internal fighting between cities seems to have been positively encouraged, perhaps to prevent wider alliances being formed. A few militaristic pharaohs certainly did campaign through Canaan northwards, even reaching the Euphrates River on occasion. But the purpose here was to establish zones of control with reference to the other Great Kings of the age - Mitanni and the Hittites for the most part - and there was no attempt to set up permanent garrisons in these areas.

This system started to break down around the end of the 19th dynasty (soon after 1200BC). Threats arose from other quarters, including north Africa and across the Mediterranean sea, and weaker pharaohs reduced the level of activity in the provinces. The major trade and defence route along the coast - The Sea Road - was defended all the more heavily, but elsewhere the Egyptian presence thinned out. The last great pharaoh in military terms of this era was Rameses III, who successfully defended Egypt against several attacks by The Sea Peoples and from Libya. Even he, however, decided that the only successful way to defend Canaan was to make terms with the invaders and grant them land. This event is recounted at the end of The Flame Before Us.

It used to be thought that Egyptians disappeared almost overnight from Canaan, at the end of the Bronze Age. This simple picture has been replaced by the understanding that Egyptian decline was a long and complex process. There was a continued - if reduced - presence in Canaan for a few hundred years. To be sure, there was no longer a serious military presence, and Egyptian words and wishes no longer commanded the same respect and obedience that used to be the case. But Egyptian cultural influence - building styles, pottery, systems of government, and habits of language and writing - persisted, and were influential in shaping the future of the kingdoms which emerged from this time, including the Israelites.

It's always tempting with history to imagine "what-if" scenarios. What if the Egyptians under Rameses II had been more successful at the Battle of Qadesh against the Hittites, and gained control of the whole region up to Turkey? What if a more vigorous foreign policy had held the Sea Peoples back further north, avoiding the necessity to give territory away in the Gaza area? What if the Egyptians had poured more energy into linking up with the civilisations of Mesopotamia, instead of falling behind technologically and (in the end) being overrun? But these are for another day...
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Education
  • Trinity College, Bristol
    Hebrew and Egyptian poetry, 2004 - 2012
  • Durham University
    Particle physics and Field Theory, 1980 - 1983
  • University of Cambridge
    Mathematics, 1977 - 1980
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Living in London, enjoying family, writing about the ancient world
Introduction
Living in London, married with 2 adult children, I am very enthusiastic about several different areas! I write historical fiction set in late New Kingdom Egypt and the province of Canaan - In a Milk and Honeyed Land and Scenes from a Life are my first two full length novels, and a series of short stories fills in some of the gaps around these. I also like to explore the academic background linking biblical writings and the wider ancient near east, especially Egypt.

I work professionally in IT quality assurance, and also carry out web and mobile development. At one time I used Adobe Flex/AIR but have branched out in several directions recently including AngularJS and Corona/Lua.

Check out http://richardabbott.authorsxpress.com/ or http://www.kephrath.com/ for my writing activities, and http://mattehpublications.datascenesdev.com/ for writing / author support widgets.

A slowly increasing range of mobile and tablet apps for Android and Apple iPhone/iPad may be found at http://apps.datascenesdev.com/ including the ancient world games of Senet and Aseb (the Royal Game of Ur), Seega. Others are in progress and will be released when ready.

Work
Occupation
Employment... IT development and quality control. Outside that... keenly interested in biblical and ancient near eastern history, especially poetry, from both factual and fictional perspectives.
Skills
Working in IT, writing historical fiction, creating mobile apps
Employment
  • Markit
    VP, 2013 - present
  • DataScenes Development
    2010 - 2014
  • General Electric (formerly Smiths Aviation)
    Principal Development Engineer, 2005 - 2010
  • Telsis Ltd
    Principal Design Engineer and Team Leader, 2001 - 2005
  • Neusciences
    Senior Analyst Programmer and Team Leader, 1997 - 2001
  • Dorset Software Services
    Analyst Programmer, 1994 - 1997
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
London
Previously
Southampton - Blandford Forum - Seattle - Durham, UK - Cambridge, UK - Godalming
Richard Abbott's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Richard Reviews: Kurinji Flowers
thereview2014.blogspot.com

Kurinji Flowers by Clare Flynn Review by Richard Abbott Please see below for details about the FREE COPY we have available to gift one lucky

Argonautica - Part I - Epic Storytelling in the Age of Heroes
writingthepastblog.blogspot.com

Beginning with thee, O Phoebus, I will recount the famous deeds of men of old, who, at the behest of King Pelias, down through the mouth of

The Egyptian 'Lotus': Nymphaea Caerulea - Blue Water Lily
www.thekeep.org

Called a 'lotus', the depictions of the floral symbol of Upper Egypt is actually known as a Nymphaea caerulea which is actually known today

Twins reviewed by Carol McGrath
thereviewgroup.blogspot.com

Twins by Katherine Pym Reviewed by Carol McGrath England in 1660 was on the cusp of change. There had been a vicious civil war and a period

#Book #ReviewShare - 4 stars - In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abb...
thereadingcat.blogspot.com

In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott My rating: 4 of 5 stars I must start by saying that if you are reading this for the sake of a g

5* - In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott @MilkHoneyedLand #must...
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Promotion of Indie authors, read and review indie author books. Guest post, author interviews, contest, and anything else book related. I pr

In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott @MilkHoneyedLand #ReviewSha...
booksane.blogspot.com

In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott My rating: 5 of 5 stars “In a Milk and Honeyed Land” is a wonderfully written novel full of a v

A Day in the Life of Puduhepa, Queen of the Hittites
unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com

First extant peace treaty: between Hittites and Egypt Queen Puduhepa pressed her seal into the first extant peace treaty in history between

Anna Reviews: In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott
thereviewgroup.blogspot.com

In a Milk and Honeyed land Already from the title, one gathers this book is set in that ancient cradle of humanity, the Promised Land. Mr Ab

OB Summer Sizzle – Richard Abbott
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Buy Now @ Amazon Genre – Historical Fiction Rating – PG13 More details about the author and the book Connect with Richard Abbott on Facebook

Anastasia Abboud
plus.google.com

Knowledge and Understanding are firm steps towards peace.

Medieval soldier database
pillingswritingcorner.blogspot.com

A fantastic online research source has recently become available, thanks to the Arts & Humanities Research Council working in conjunction wi

Kephrath - The Lady of the Lions
www.kephrath.com

Extracts from a recent review: A world that was. This is time travel at its best... The period is thoroughly researched and the voice authen

Spotlight Book! “In a Milk and Honeyed Land” by Richard Abbott | Indie A...
indieauthoranonymous.com

“In A Milk And Honeyed Land” by Richard Abbott is not a book you want to start while sitting at the doctor's office. This novel is both inte

DataScenes home page
datascenes.com

Richard Abbott - DataScenes - Rich Internet Application interfaces across multiple different subject areas

Sabiya Senet
market.android.com

Senet is an ancient Egyptian game, known nowadays through two main sources – pictures of people playing the game, and actual boards and piec

In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott
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In a Milk and Honeyed Land by Richard Abbott -

Clustering folk tales
dienekes.blogspot.com

Proc. R. Soc. B 7 April 2013 vol. 280 no. 1756 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.3065. Population structure and cultural geography of a folktale in Eur