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The joy of righteousness Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Talking with my son recently – he works in the field of international development – we turned to the current phenomenon of young British men being drawn to fight for ISIS. I put forward a view I’d read in a recent article, that this could be seen as a form of narcissism, a means of gaining attention from a society¬†that marginalises them. My son suggested another view. It’s all about the joy of being right, he said, and everyone else being wrong. As soon as he said it, I found myself agreeing. It’s a much under-rated drive, this need to Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Luke Avis

October 8th 2015

Hi my name is Luke Avis I'm 13 years old I am doing a project on you're book slaves of the Mastery and I was wondering if you could tell me why you wrote the book and what inspired you to write it. Thx

William Nicholson responded:

It's the second book in a trilogy, so the obvious answer is that I wrote it to carry on the story of the Wind Singer. But I was also fascinated by the idea that people who kept slaves (which is obviously bad) could also produce beautiful works of art, as the ancient Greeks and Romans did. So I explored that a little. I had also recently worked on the film Gladiator, and was intrigued by forms of public combat. This led to my invention of the manaxa. But mostly I was developing my story of the Manth people, which ends in the third book, Firesong. I hope this helps a little.

Posted by Francesca Granata

October 5th 2015

Hello William, I'm italian and I'm writing a bachelor thesis about you and your works.I need your help: if you had to choose just one book, one film, and one play among those that you have written, what would they be? and why? Maybe the 3 that are more connected with your personal experience..

William Nicholson responded:

Very hard to choose. For my book I'd like to offer The Wind Singer, The Society of Others, and The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life, all very different, but all in their own ways full of me. If I must choose one I guess I'd choose the third, because it reflects my strongly held belief that everyone is good even when they're doing bad things. One film: I should say Shadowlands, but I'm going to say Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which I think is more important to the world. I'm very proud of this film, and I want it to stand as both a testament to Mandela and a concise explanation of just what it was he did that changed all the rules about oppressed people and their oppressors. One play: The Retreat from Moscow, which I'm now planning to make into a film, directed by myself. It's a fictionalised version of my parents and myself, at the time of my parents' marriage breakup. It's also my attempt to say many things about love and loss.

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Past and current works


  • The Lovers of Amerherst
  • The Society of Others
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • All the Hopeful Lovers
  • The Golden Hour
  • Motherland
  • Reckless


  • The Windsinger
  • Slaves of the Mastery
  • Firesong
  • Seeker
  • Jango
  • Noman
  • Rich and Mad


  • Shadowlands
  • Gladiator
  • Mandela
  • Les Miserables
  • Firelight
  • Nell
  • Sarafina
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age


  • The Retreat from Moscow
  • Shadowlands
  • Katherine Howard