General News

Feb
24
Posted by MadeGlobal Publishing at 11:33 am

In a world which is increasingly online, we, as a history publisher, have been quietly thanking the internet for providing access to historical documents as more and more are digitised by museums and collections around the world. In times gone by, a historian would have to travel to see a document. They might have to spend days, weeks and months looking at documents in a reading room, making notes on what they saw, and carefully deciphering handwriting from centuries ago.

Then, with the advent of digital scanning and photography, it was possible to request copies of documents to be emailed or sent on a CD so that you could do the deciphering at home. And we’re only talking maybe ten or fifteen years ago that this was the best way to research history for many authors who couldn’t make it from their country or home town to where the documents were held. This step change in accessibility was amazing but had its downsides – you can only access documents IF they have been scanned. And with the hundreds of thousands of relevant documents in existence, only a small percentage may have been scanned.

Many historical documents have also been transcribed and turned into digital documents. Again, this was an amazing advance because suddenly, it was possible to search for a term and (hopefully) find the document and evidence you were looking for. As for digital scanning, this is a blessing, but it also has downsides – what if the transcription was done incorrectly, or a simple typing mistake creeps in? Suddenly, historians are relying on incorrect second-hand information with unforeseen consequences. And, as for scanned documents, the home historian is at the mercy of the availability of the documents they want to find. What if, for example, there was a vital document which would change the interpretation of a historical event or person? If this document sits untouched in a drawer, it’ll never be included in the historical re-evaluation.

All of this leads to the dramatic and sudden rise of artificial intelligence (AI). AI can use a vast range of sources and create seemingly meaningful answers to questions. The difference between Computer Learning and AI is that AI does not attempt to be “correct”, it just attempts to bring together the elements it has found into something which “reads well”. As with a human historian, an AI-created article is very dependent on the sources it uses to create an opinion. But the difference is that humans have their own experiences to filter what makes sense and what does not. And AI has absolutely NO chance to use information which has not been digitised as text. It has no ability to look at original handwritten documents or to link in an idea from another historical period or character. It can only really re-create the thoughts of those who have come before. For better or worse, and the AI really doesn’t care which!

I am genuinely impressed by what AI creates – it’s amazing, fast and sometimes surprises you with things you had never even considered. But as a publisher, I am continually left with an underlying feeling that AI is basically an incredibly fast and wide-seeing copycat. In the history world, you KNOW that the sources it is copying from are the websites and (probably) books that hard-working historians have dedicated their lives to. In the click of a button, the lifelong work of an expert is sucked into the magic funnel and turned into a bite-sized chunk of wording to be reused by another. I think, maybe, my concern is that current AI systems like ChatGPT do this without referencing where the information came from. I know our authors spend vast amounts of energy referencing their work. This is how readers know that the historian isn’t just “making it up”. It allows those in the future to go and verify, or disprove, the idea that the historian is making. AI stomps all over this time-proven method, bringing in any information that it decides is relevant into a homogenised blob of writing. Is it impressive? Yes, absolutely! Is it good for the future of historical research? No, I think not…

I’m seeing in the media that thousands of AI-written books are being published on Amazon. The barrier to writing and publishing a book created in this way is minuscule. No prior knowledge is needed. AI writing, AI cover design, AI blurb writing, AI copy editing, AI layout, AI voice-over, AI video advert production and … ta da! – new book – with the marketing done.

We’re now in a brand new age, I think. The “information age” has now matured sufficiently that we’ve moved beyond it. Is it the “AI age” now? Probably. We will see this technology dramatically change the creative arts and writing. But we MUST remember that nothing new is being done by doing this. AI cannot, yet, have original and authentic reasoned thought. For now, we must be vigilant when reading history books and online articles and consider whether they are properly researched and referenced, where possible. It’s the only way the body of historical research can grow. AI has its place, but hopefully, humans have theirs too.

An innovative retelling of the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
COMING SOON

Trapped in Limbo after his death, an obstinate Henry VIII is forced to relive key events from his life. To redeem his soul, he must accept the truth of his cruelty as a king and a husband, and face the ex-wives he betrayed.

Anne Boleyn, his second wife, is tormented by grief and the great injustice of her death and separation from her daughter, Elizabeth. She must confront Henry, the cause of her suffering, to find her way into the light.

Jan
26
Posted by MadeGlobal Publishing at 12:50 pm

Toni Mount with her hardback book
Toni Mount has shared this lovely photo with her holding a copy of the recently published Collector’s Edition of “The Colour of Poison and The Colour of Gold”. This was such a fun project for us to work on, and now we’ll be working on bringing out more of her books in these special editions with lots of extra medieval information in them!

You can see more about this book HERE

Jan
25
Posted by MadeGlobal Publishing at 3:39 pm

Claire Ridgway has just let us know that she was interviewed and mentioned by the Express, a well-known UK newspaper. Claire was talking about the mystery behind King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s two secret weddings, a fascinating subject!

Claire’s books on Anne Boleyn and Tudor history are well worth a read if you get the chance. Here’s a link to them all and we’d definitely recommend “The Fall of Anne Boleyn” if you want to start somewhere.

View all of Claire Ridgway’s books on Amazon

Dec
06
Posted by MadeGlobal Publishing at 2:20 pm

Enjoy this amazing animated short story which stars Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on the night before Tudor Christmas.
It’s taken from Laura Loney and Kathryn Holeman’s incredibly beautiful keepsake book “‘Twas the Night Before Tudor Christmas” which is available now: https://mybook.to/tudorchristmas

This is a lovely festive story to share with your family and friends.

Dec
02
Posted by MadeGlobal Publishing at 10:55 am

Our very first jacketed hardback book…

Visit the narrow, stinking streets of medieval London. Dark and dangerous places where burglary, arson and murder are everyday events and the gossips whisper of alchemists making gold for the King.

Meet Sebastian Foxley, a talented yet challenged young artist, as he tries to save his brother from the hangman’s rope. Will he find inner strength in these, the hardest of times? Can the Duke of Gloucester or his friend Francis Lovell help? One thing is certain – if Seb can’t save his brother, nobody can.

A wedding is planned, and in medieval London, this should be a splendid occasion, especially when a royal guest is attending. Yet for the bridegroom, the day begins with disaster when a valuable gold livery collar goes missing. From the lowliest street urchin to the highest noble, who could be the thief? Can Seb save the day, despite a young rascal and his dog causing chaos?

Re-live the fun and adventure, the bustle and the stench of medieval London in this perfect combination of the first two Sebastian Foxley murder mysteries, the most popular Colour of Poison and the entertaining Colour of Gold.

To make this 456-page volume even more special for Foxley followers, you will love the new bonus material including a detailed map of the Foxley’s neighbourhood, additional background details, fun quizzes and much much more.

Get the collectors edition here

Sep
14
Posted by MadeGlobal Publishing at 11:28 am

Thank you to all who entered the Caricature competition the last week. We had hundreds of entries, so thank you!

Our system has picked a lucky winner. Siobhan – we’ve sent you an email to get in touch with us with your photo for Joseph Stephen to use for the drawing.

Joseph Stephen’s first colouring book “The Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain” is out on 7 September to celebrate the birth of Elizabeth I. From William the Conqueror and the Normans, through Henry VIII and the Tudors, and all the way up to Elizabeth II and the house of Windsor, this beautifully illustrated book covers all of the kings and queens to have reigned England and Great Britain.

With detailed histories of each monarch alongside a full-page image of that king or queen, you’ll be learning while you are enjoying colouring in these important people.

Take some time away from your everyday life to enjoy colouring these stunning drawings. Use your talents and let your creativity flow with The Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain Colouring Book.

getbook.at/kqcolouring