Tag Archives: hanging

In which the Author reanimates some historical zombies…

The Walking Dead. Walkers. Biters. Eaters. The Infected. The Contaminated. The Re-animated. Revenants. The

Living Dead. Whatever you want to call them, the zombie apocalypse is coming. You know it, I know it.

So, faced with the inevitable, what do you do? Do you wait until that dull bloke from No.37 is lurching through the

French windows, intent on feasting on your entrails? Or do you step up, take some pride in your actions, and take out some of history’s big guns before you are finally eaten?

If the latter, then you are in the right place. The end of September sees the publication of Zombies from History: A Hunter’s Guide, the all-in-one guidebook on how to take out sixty high-value targets from Britain’s illustrious (and

ignoble) past. The good and the great mix with famous criminals, rebels and pirates. Do you itch to take on one of

the grandees of nineteenth century literature, or test yourself against an axe-wielding medieval bampot? Wrestle

with Nelson? Battle with Boudica? Then this, friend, is your opportunity. Where they are buried, what wounds and weaknesses they bear, height, age, difficulty level – everything the fully prepared and thoughtful zombie hunter

needs to know.

Note that contemporary zombie culture did not start with Night of the Living Dead. The dead have been returning

for centuries. Zombies from History is therefore peppered with accounts of those who were declared dead but yet

lived; those who survived the hangman’s noose or were buried alive; and descriptions of bog bodies, preserved

corpses and mummified remains. In addition, there are juicy bits of folklore, tall tales and unlikely legends

concerning the walking dead, most taken from historical accounts that stretch back more than a thousand years.

Over the next few days and weeks I’ll be sharing some zombified portraits of famous Britons.  To kick off, here’s

the king of the car park, Richard III, on the book’s cover.

zombies cover

In which the Author has another book published…


The latter part of October sees the publication of my latest attempt at world literary domination, The Bloody History of Scotland: Edinburgh. The book is a speedy and sanguinary sprint through the city’s dark past, taking in everything from massacres and murders to witchcraft, torture and executions.


Events commence in the Dark Ages with the annihilation of the Goddodin warrior tribe, and continue through medieval wars and sieges onto dastardly deeds surrounding Mary, Queen of Scots, and a veritable rogues’ gallery of assassins, rioters, pirates, hangmen and cannibals. Bodysnatchers, serial killers, poisoners and Zeppelins bring up the rear, and, for light relief, there is also a diversion into Edinburgh’s nineteenth-century brothels and houses of pleasure, with their associated crimes, court cases and general depravity.


  1. “And There Was Slaughter”
  2. A Barricade of Dead Horses!
  3. Tortured to Death over Three Days – For Killing the King!
  4. Murdered at the Sign of the Black Bull!
  5. Slaughter on the Streets!
  6. “Burn Edinburgh to the Ground!”
  7. A Tapestry of Naked Corpses!
  8. Stabbed To Death – In Front of the Queen!
  9. Death of a King: Blown Up and Strangled
  10. Siege!
  11. Death and the Maiden
  12. A Sea Battle – Inside the Harbour
  13. Drowned Alive in the Loch!
  14. Burn the Witch!
  15. Plague
  16. A Concentration Camp – in the middle of Edinburgh
  17. The Dismembered Marquis!
  18. The Wizard of West Bow
  19. The Hangman was a Murderer
  20. He Roasted the Servant on a Spit – and then ate him!
  21. He Fired into the Crowd – and was Lynched by the Mob!
  22. Jacobite Conflicts and the War of the Chamber Pots
  23. Riot!
  24. Piracy and Murder of the High Seas!
  25. Duel!
  26. Fire!
  27. Burke and Hare – Serial Killers!
  28. Poison!
  29. Hanged By The Neck Until Ye Be Dead
  30. The Night of the Zeppelins
  31. Sex and Death


You can find more about the book through Facebook and from the website of the publishers, The History Press. Upcoming media coverage includes features in The Edinburgh Evening News and The Scottish Daily Mail. There’s also a free illustrated talk on the book taking place at the splendid Blackwells Bookshop on South Bridge in Edinburgh on Tuesday 6 November. The humble author will be waving his arms about and bellowing on about grisly deeds and ghastly anecdotes from 6.30pm, and signing books after the talk as well.


There shall be blood!