Author Archive | Martha Shelley

Copper, Germs, and Ancient Egypt

In the process of writing historical fiction, the challenge is often to integrate research about the period into a story that captivates the reader. In my novel The Throne in the Heart of the Sea and its sequel, The Stars in their Courses, one of my characters becomes a physician, so I first had to […]

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The Hurricane Headed for Cuba

Cuba has been big news this week. What I’ve gathered from the papers, including readers’ comments, is there seem to be three points of view: 1) Most Americans are happy about the prospect of normal relations between the U.S. and that island nation. 2) A handful of aging anti-Communist exiles, and their Republican supporters, are […]

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Assyrian Empire: Blood at the Banquet

This week the big news in the U.S. has been about torture, as conducted by the C.I.A. after 9/11. I’ve spent some time with the comments section in my hometown newspaper: the majority of readers are outraged, while some defend the practice. Some even seem naïve enough to be shocked. However, most ruling elites, ours […]

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Blood Sacrifice in Israel

Thirty years ago I visited Israel for the first time, partly to do research for my novels about Jezebel. In Jerusalem I passed a store window with small but colorful posters—artistic imaginings—of the ancient Temple, supposedly built by Solomon. The storefront was the information center of a religious group that wanted to tear down the […]

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