The medieval Welsh Helen of Troy?

My new novel Conquest: Daughter of the Last King is published by Impress Books next week and is the first in a trilogy about Nest ferch Rhys – the daughter of the last independent Welsh king at the end of the 11th century. Nest is a controversial historical figure. She  makes significant appearances in medieval accounts as a wife two or three times over and mistress to both the Norman King Henry I and the Welsh Prince Owain ap Cadwgan who kidnapped her from one of her Norman husbands. I was partly motivated to write the trilogy by irritation at some recent historians’ too easy attribution of her eventful marital and extra-marital career to her own lasciviousness or her extreme beauty – ‘the Welsh Helen of Troy’. I wanted to try to write into her story, discovering other possible interpretations of what happened to her.

In advance of the book’s release on 1 October you may be interested in a couple of my recent interviews on writing medieval fiction:

Stepping into Early Medieval Worlds, Words with JAM, 18 May 2016

A Troubadour of Medieval Life, The Displaced Nation, 11 Mar 2016

Cilgerran Castle where Nest was probably kidnapped from her Norman husband, Gerald FitzWalter, by the Welsh prince Owain ap Cadwgan. A medieval chronicle describes Nest saving her husband’s life by uging him to escape the attackers through the garderobe (the toilet chute).

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