“History is just one damned thing after another” - Arnold Toynbee
A mapcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone's cup of tea...
Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.
Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process.
But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake ...
The first novel in Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's series (of which six volumes have been published in the U.K., with more forthcoming) takes readers on a carnival ride through laughter and tears with a bit of time travel thrown in for spice. St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research is kind of, but not quite, attached to England's Thirsk University; it's dependent on the educational institution for funding and ostensibly receives some oversight. But St. Mary's has its own mission to undertake. The Historians, aided by a phalanx of support personnel, are tasked with traveling throughout the past and reporting their findings. They're restricted to observation only, with minimal interaction. Madeleine "Max" Maxwell, an expert in the field of history, finds herself pulled into the institute's chaotic orbit, and she brings her own special brand of madcap innovation. Of course, her introduction to time travel doesn't go smoothly, especially as several people are out to destroy St. Mary's and all within its hallowed walls. The humor is plentiful, but the comic situations aren't overly exaggerated. Max's world is depicted in lush detail, mixed with appropriately interesting historical tidbits. U.S. readers will be impatient for later installments to make their way across the Atlantic.