WIN COPIES OF A NEW BOOK
History is all around us in East Anglia and writer Peter Sargent peels back some of its layers to discover a wealth of stories for his new book.
Win a copy of the fascinating A Place in History by Peter Sargent
Look around you. Just about everywhere in our region is steeped in history. You never know, you are probably creating a place in history yourself.
So says the author of a fascinating new book, whose name will be familiar to many readers of Let’s Talk. Peter Sargent was production editor of this magazine from 2010 to 2016, and this is his second book revealing some of the wonderful stories of the people and places who form part of our region’s interesting history and heritage.
In ‘A Place in History’ - published by Paul Dickson in October - Peter shares 50 stories bringing East Anglian history to life. “So many people have their place in history,” says Norwichbased Peter, 53. “For some it is a large and well-known slot, familiar to millions of people in the present day. Others have a far more humble location, and are not so wellknown. They all find their place in
Peter’s interest in history was sparked during the 1980s when he studied the subject at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and last year he fulfilled his longterm ambition to write about our past with his popular book A Moment in Time.
This time the focus is as much on places as it is on people and events. His new book has tales of an Iron Age fort in north Norfolk, a Roman road seemingly leading to nowhere, the locations visited by Christian saints among the Anglo-Saxons, and the castles and churches built during the medieval period.
Peter also looks at some legendary figures, such as marshland giant Tom Hickathrift, and asks if the Anglo-Saxon saga Beowulf was actually written in Suffolk.
There are medieval mystery plays, a Norfolk sailor who helped sway the course of the Hundred Years War, and the north Norfolk knight who unleashed Henry V’s archers at Agincourt. There is an abbey in the Lincolnshire fens besieged by Oliver Cromwell; a dogged Royalist general from Norfolk; a dedicated Puritan iconoclast from Suffolk – and the unrepentant Great Yarmouth Parliamentarian who was determined to cut off the king’s head.
The Suffolk landscape around Sudbury, immortalised by artist Thomas Gainsborough, is featured along with The Maids Head hotel in Norwich, where the revolution was toasted by idealists in 1791.
Peter explains where the railways came and how they transformed people’s lives - and how contractor Samuel Morton Peto conquered logistical difficulties and local opposition to make it happen. And he considers the impact of evacuation of families from city to country at the start on the Second World War in 1939.
In this collection of stories - some of which first saw life in the pages of the Eastern Daily Press newspaper - Peter brings us a varied cast list of saints and sinners, scholars and sportsmen, rogues and writers, soldiers and sailors, queens and commoners, revolutionaries and reactionaries who all have their place in history.
A Place in History by Peter Sargent (published by Paul Dickson), is priced £12. It is widely available at bookshops in Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as via Amazon.
Peter Sargent, with copies of his new book, which two lucky Let’s Talk readers can win. INSET: A blue plaque marks the site of the White Swan, Norwich, where Victorian boxer Jem Mace was the landlord.
Samuel Morton Peto helped bring the railways to the east.
Wartime evacuees Laurie, Marjorie and Ivy Skeats in Norfolk, 1939. The story of these children who were originally from east London is told in A Place in History.
Tilney All Saints village sign depicts the legendary Tom Hickathrift.