On this day: an assassination attempt in Belgium

Assassination_attempt_on_king_Leopold_II_of_Belgium_in_Bruxelles_1902Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino tried - and failed to assassinate Belgian King Leopold II in Brussels on the 15th of

Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino tried – and failed to assassinate Belgian King Leopold II in Brussels on the 15th of November, 1902.

1902Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino tried - and failed to assassinate Belgian King Leopold II in Brussels on the 15th of November, 1902. Gennaro Rubino in 1894.

The would-be assassin in 1894.

The King, who was returning from a service to honour his wife Marie Henriette, who had died two months earlier, was not hit by any of the three bullets Rubino fired. However, Grand Marshall, Count Charles John d’Oultremont was nearly killed.

Rubino, who had fled Italy to avoid a lengthy prison sentence there, died in prison in 1918. Prior to the failed assassination, he had been working in Britain as a spy on Italian anarchists – a position he lost when it was discovered he sympathised with them.

At the time of the attempt on his life, the King – in his late sixties – had been estranged from his wife for some time, and had taken a teenage girl as his mistress. He died in December, 1909.

Starting Over

Sonya's Stuff

After a few years and several thousand followers, I’ve decided to close my Tumblr blog and open a new, more book-focused one. It will still be heavy on the history (and pretty images!), but my other account was being hijacked by pro-Russian trolls, and after six years of it that’s something this Ukrainian doesn’t have the patience (or stamina) to deal with anymore – especially if it’s going to have an effect on my writing career.

It’s killing me to lose all those followers – all that publicity for my books! – but I have to do it for my own peace of mind.

If you would like to follow me, you can go here:

Sonya Heaney Author

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On this day: A King’s Coronation

City_of_London_(14929011094)Sir Marcus Samuel, Lord Mayor of London makes his way to Westminster Abbey from Guildhall for the Coronation of Edward VII on Saturday 9th August 1902.

The Coronation of Edward VII took place in London on Saturday the 9th of August, 1902, more than a year and a half after the death of the King’s mother and predecessor, Queen Victoria. The event had been postponed due to the King’s ill health.

In this photograph Sir Marcus Samuel, Lord Mayor of London, travels to Westminster Abbey from Guildhall for the event.

He travels in the Lord Mayor’s State Coach, which was built in Holborn in 1757.

The new King reigned until his death in May, 1910.

Notre Dame…

I’m sure everyone has seen the footage of Notre Dame in Paris on fire.

I have spent a lot of time in Paris – much of that time on my own. I used to walk to Notre Dame on many days, and simply sit in the cathedral for a while, occasionally attending a service, even though I’m not religious.

I thought it was terrible when far-right “activists” would go in there and shoot themselves at the altar to protest abortion or whatever. I thought that was as bad as it would get.

There was scaffolding on the part of the building that caught fire. Restoration work is so, so dangerous for historic buildings. Something very similar happened in Belfast when I was there last year.

So: My Big News

Sonya's Stuff

Sonya Heaney Book Contract 2019

^^That’s Mine^^

This is what has been happening in my personal life over the past few months. It turns out there are a few people in the world who think my writing isn’t awful – in the space of a few days I received two offers from two publishers to write historical romance, but only a crazy person turns down Harlequin!

It was really stupid to wait so long before submitting anything. I finally got around to it at the end of last year, and by the end of February/beginning of March it was all happening, and now contracts have been signed, cover design information has been submitted etc. I know how lucky I am that it happened so fast.

This is why I am many, many, MANY months behind with my book reviews. I’ve been trying to get my own books written behind the scenes! I’ve hardly had any time to read.

I…

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Long Tan Cross

Because I live in Canberra and have a former military father (and love history!), I spend quite a lot of time at the Australian War Memorial.

I went with my father today, half because of the occasion (one hundred years since the First World War ended) – to see the thousands and thousands of handmade poppies in the garden out the front (today was the last day for the exhibition), and half because I’m currently working on the memoirs of a Military Cross-winning Vietnam veteran (my father’s commander in the war), and he was heavily involved in the Long Tan dedication ceremony.

Long Tan is by far the most famous (infamous?) battle in Australia’s involvement in Vietnam, and my father knows people in the iconic photograph.

The cross arrived at the War Memorial not all that long ago, and this is the first time I’ve seen it in its special new room. Unfortunately that room – as they tried to make it a quiet place for reflection – is practically hidden, and I think most visitors will miss it…

mde

Capital life and random beauty…

Because I live in Canberra and have a former military father (and love history!), I spend quite a lot of time at the Australian War Memorial.

I went with my father today, half because of the occasion (one hundred years since the First World War ended) – to see the thousands and thousands of handmade poppies in the garden out the front (today was the last day for the exhibition), and half because I’m currently working on the memoirs of a Military Cross-winning Vietnam veteran (my father’s commander in the war), and he was heavily involved in the Long Tan dedication ceremony.

Long Tan is by far the most famous (infamous?) battle in Australia’s involvement in Vietnam, and my father knows people in the iconic photograph.

The cross arrived at the War Memorial not all that long ago, and this is the first time I’ve seen it in its special new…

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