Q&A With Gareth Benjamin Streeter

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Q&A With Gareth Benjamin Streeter 

Back in late April or Early May, English author and historian Gareth Benjamin Streeter agreed to my request to do a Q&A with him. Gareth is a historian and his first book Arthur Tudor Prince Of Wales is coming out in The US on August 18th.

Q: Gareth what fascinates you the most about history? 

A: One of the many things I find fascinating about history is the paradox between how different the world used to be and how similar it is at the same time.  We can learn so much about human nature from studying it over time.  We can understand our own countries much better if we have a sense of how our practices, cultures and constitutions have developed.  It may be a cliché, but I really do believe that a sense of history is vital to navigating the future.

Q: What made you want to write a book about Arthur Tudor, Henry VIII’s older brother as your first book?

A: I’m always intrigued by the figures that history books tend to skirt over.  Many excellent history books begin the Tudor story at Henry VIII’s ascension and retell his reign through the prism of his many marriages.  Arthur is typically a footnote in his brother’s origins story and a complication that comes back to plague his widow, Katherine of Aragon 25 years after his death.

It felt like now was the time to bring Arthur in from the cold and under the spotlight.  He was more than a prince who died; he was a boy who really lived.

Q: What is your advice to anyone wanting to pursue being a historian like you are and writing history books?

A: Keep writing.  It’s not called thinking about a history book or even researching a history book.  It’s called “writing a history book”.  

Like many published writers, I started off blogging.  Don’t wait until you’ve researched a 100,000 word epic before you start getting your work out there.  Have a go at a few 8oo word blog posts and see what happens.

Q: If you are writing a book right now, is it another non-fiction novel about a royal or is it a historical fiction novel this time?

A: Yes, my second book has been commissioned by Pen & Sword.  I’m not ready to announce the topic yet.  But let’s just say that you don’t have to go very far up Arthur’s family tree to get the subject of my next work…

I am also working on some fiction pieces at the moment.  But I’m not yet sure if I’m going to try and take them further.

Q: How long have you been a historian, and when did you realize that it was your calling in life?

A: I prefer to describe myself as a ‘history writer’ rather than a ‘historian’ as I don’t have an academic background. History has been a life-long passion of mine and I’ve long been specifically interested in the history of the British/English monarchy.  I wouldn’t say that I see history as my calling. If I have a calling, I believe it’s to help make sense of the world we live in.  History is a fantastic way to help do that.