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George Goodwin on working with BBC History Magazine to make Fatal Rivalry interactive

Author post, Non Fiction

Amy Davies - August 28th, 2013

fatal rivary

George Goodwin’s Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513 is the remarkable story of the Battle of Flodden, told in Goodwin’s engaging style, and is available now. Here, the author blogs for us on being part of a new interactive venture with BBC History Magazine.

September 9th marks the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, the largest ever clash between England and Scotland.  To commemorate this occasion BBC History Magazine had decided to make Henry VIII their cover star and run their main feature on the Battle of Flodden looking at why the Scots attacked Henry’s kingdom in 1513. As the author of Fatal Rivalry: Henry VIII, James IV and the battle for Renaissance Britain – Flodden 1513, I was asked to write this article looking at the build-up to, and recount the drama of, the battle itself.

But rather than just do this in print I have also been part of a brand new venture for BBC History Magazine. I arrived at 10.00 a.m., on a late July Thursday morning, at BBC History Magazine’s offices in Bristol.  We were going to do something new, to make a special interactive issue of their September edition for the iPad and iPhone containing some exciting bonus content for the Flodden feature.

The special digital issue would eventually contain:

– The in-depth article that I had written for the print edition

George Goodwin– An interactive step-by-step guide to the battle, with maps and video footage

GG2– A video interview during which I explain the battle and its consequences


I also recorded an interview for their weekly podcast.

It was fun to do:  from planning with the designer, through the filmed interview session with the publisher about the background to the Wars of 1513, and onto filming straight to camera, a no notes description of the unfolding stages of the battle.

What makes this interactive edition particularly interesting is its novelty.  One can see how it could develop to have a life of its own.   I think we can be confident, however,  that in the short term it will serve as an excellent way of sampling a book – a marketing device to follow a book review, newspaper advertisement, author interview, right down to the more modern tweet and blog.

On the interactive edition you can hear me being interviewed about Henry VIII and James IV, and my descriptions of the Battle of Flodden; but it won’t give you the whole story, just a flavour.  Nor will hearing me at the BBC History Magazine history weekend or giving other talks over the coming weeks.

The full story of how and why Henry VII and James IV negotiated The Treaty of Perpetual Peace (‘to last all time coming’) between England and Scotland; and how Henry VIII’s dreams of glory  in France smashed that peace and led to the greatest ever Scottish invasion of England and their bloodiest battle is all in the book.   You can find out more about it here.

If you like the sound of the interactive edition, BBC History Magazine is offering all readers a free 30-day trial of it. The free trial will start with the September issue, giving you access to the special Flodden bonus content. You can find out more here.

 Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513: Henry VIII, James IV and the battle for Renaissance Britain is available now where good books are sold. 


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at 1:51 pm and is filed under Author post, Non Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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