Christina here. As some of you will have seen from our last newsletter, Wench Nicola and I recently visited Newark Park, a lovely Tudor hunting lodge in the wilds of Gloucestershire. It had a beautiful, sprawling garden, and apart from the amazing views, one of the best things about it were the resident peacocks. Those majestic birds always look like they own a place, strutting around and uttering their mournful cries every so often. It occurred to me that when describing a historical setting in a book, adding peacocks to the background immediately conveys a sense of luxury and decadence. They are not really useful birds (although perhaps they can be – more about that in a moment), just decorative and therefore an indulgence. If an author wants to demonstrate the fact that the hero/heroine is very rich, dotting their lawns with peacocks would be a good way to go about it. And who wouldn’t want some? They are truly stunning.