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Duration 30:59

How to mine The National Archives for writing fiction

Think you might want to write historical fiction but don’t know where to begin? During this podcast historian Dr Katherine Mair shows you how to unlock a wealth of inspiration held within the documents at The National Archives. You will learn about the surprising wealth of social and cultural details that can be tracked down in government records. Focusing on the early modern world, Dr Mair provides an overview for some of the key document series to explore within The National Archives, and points to some of the key online sources for research in this field, thereby helping researchers delve into the collections that are often overlooked.

Dr Katherine Mair joined The National Archives as an early modern records specialist in 2010, after completing her PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. Her thesis examined the correspondence of the 16th century gentlewoman Lady Anne Bacon, and focused particularly on her unpublished letters to her sons, Anthony and Francis Bacon. Her research interests include the Jacobites, the history of reading, and the religious culture of women. Her article ‘Material lies: parental anxiety and epistolary practice in the correspondence of Anne, Lady Bacon and Anthony Bacon’ was published in Lives and Letters, vol. 4, 2012.