I had a really good moment today on visiting Blackwells bookshop in Newcastle. My book was there on the shelf for all the world to see. In the A-Z section, along with author C J Sansom, whose wonderful Tudor-set stories I've recently read. Really good historical novels, though I've seen them shelved in the crime section. The hero, lawyer Matthew Shardlake, solves a crime, sometimes two crimes in one story, but the world he inhabits and moves through is chillingly Tudor.
I recognised some of the "set scenes" he uses from my own research, and sighed, wondering if that meant I couldn't or shouldn't use the same pieces. Or if I could, as long as I presented it a little differently. After all, a piece taken from original documents of the 1540's is almost an event, and can be used over and over, just as Anne Boleyn's execution "happens" in more than a few stories of the time.
The BBC promises a new history website in 2011 and I'll certainly be on the look-out for that. THIS is the link if you're interested.