The Roman Mysteries inspire Year 7s…

In preparation for the fantastic visit of Caroline Lawrence, I asked my Year 7s to think of questions they might like to ask her. The questions they came up with were often quite good, and showed a real understanding and inspiration. I reproduce some of them here (minus the more obvious ones, which were largely answered in Caroline’s talk).

(Caroline – they would be delighted if you would be able, perhaps, to choose one to answer!)

Ed: “Why did you choose to make all your facts true unlike many writers?”

Lara: “How long does the research about the books take you?”

Matt: “Why did you decide to take up Latin?”

Guy: “In the Dolphins of Laurentum, what gave you the idea about the monster at the ship wreck?”

Ellie: “Did you always want to be an author?”

Tom: “Do you have to check over and over again that your information is right?”

Prateek: “What does it smell like in the market?”


One thought on “The Roman Mysteries inspire Year 7s…

  1. Ed – The book that changed my life was Mary Renault’s The Last of the Wine. She uses lots of real facts around historical characters so I am just following in her footsteps! Not ALL my facts are true, but I tell you which bits I’ve guessed at or made up at the back of each book. And of course the four main characters are made-up.

    Lara – It takes me from a month to a year to research the books. The one that took me the longest was probably The Charioteer from Delphi because I had to read big books about the Circus Maximus in Rome.

    Matt – I took up Latin because I took up Greek. And I took up Greek because of that book I mentioned: The Last of the Wine!

    Guy – Pliny the Elder talks about a giant octopus in his Natural History and I liked the idea of a scary monster guarding the sunken wreck!

    Ellie – I didn’t always want to be an author. The first thing I wanted to be was an astronaut!

    Tom – Yes, I have to check my facts over and over. And I usually get a handful of experts to check, too. In the end, the mistakes are down to me! :-/

    Prateek – I love the idea of what did Ancient Rome smell like! We can’t know for sure but here are some of the things you might have smelled: sweat (no deodorant!), horse manure, rotting fruit, fresh fruit, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, strange perfume, bad breath and the smoke from dozens of sacrifices. I actually wrote a blog about the smells and other strange aspects of Rome called!

    Great questions! To see the answer to lots more, visit my FAQS page:


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