Images from the medieval world

I am running a series of daily image trailers on Twitter prior to an illustrated talk that I am giving at Downham Market Library on Monday 11 December, 2-3pm. A lot of the research I undertake for my historical fiction involves images, objects, places and maps. To celebrate the publication of my latest novel, The…

Palaces and bishops

Thank you to Pembroke Dock Library for such an enjoyable event last week when I presented my new novel, The Drowned Court, and talked with the audience about medieval life and the process of writing historical fiction. And thanks too, to Bob, my ‘muse’, for driving me around Pembrokeshire again, so that we were able…

Hnefatafl -Viking boardgame

Since characters in Dublin who appear in my novel trilogy, Conquest, play the Viking boardgame, hnefatafl, I was excited to see a 9th century set of glass pieces from the game in a fabulous exhibition of medieval glass at the Cluny Museum in Paris this week. I am giving illustrated talks on the Conquest novels…

Book Reviews Request

‘I could not put this book down from the moment I started it. I practically inhaled the content.’ Poppy Coburn on Daughter of the Last King To those of you who have already read one or more of my historical novels: I would be grateful if you get the time to post a brief review…

Flying Far and Wide Through Words

‘I had looked out upon the wide kingdoms of the Earth as if I were caught up in ecstasy, flying far and wide through words …. Now, however, I will return exhausted to my black-clad life,’ declared the monk historian, Orderic Vitalis, who lived and worked in a Norman monastery in the 12th century. The…

Medieval Wales

Above is an artist’s impression of the Welsh fort at Carew that preceded the Norman stone castle occupying the site today. The sketch is based on findings from archaeology digs in the 1990s. The stone cross at the entrance to the site, inscribed with the name of the 11th century king Maredudd ap Edwin, is…

Stepping into medieval London

‘The only plagues of London are the immoderate drinking of fools and the frequency of fires’ wrote William Fitz Stephen in his account of the city in the 12th century. On a recent trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts I came across a little book called Norman London in a second-hand bookshop. The book contained Fitz Stephen’s…

Considering historical fiction

Just back from Cluny Museum of the Medieval Age, Paris. Talking on Sat 25 Mar 10.30am at Parisot Library, France on historical fiction.       Does historical fiction try to impose today’s moral values on another era? 7th century Visigothic votive crowns. Cluny Museum, Paris.       Historical fiction takes time instead of…

1,000 years back and 1,000 years forward

Some readers of my posts may feel confused by the polarised nature of my activities: on the one hand writing early medieval fiction and the other hand writing future fiction about exoplanets and other life poetics. I get quite confused by this paradox myself! However, the medieval historian Henry of Huntingdon, writing in the 12th…