Readers have been asking me about the poetry in The Song-Sayer’s Lament and whether I wrote it myself. I always take such questions cautiously because, of course, you never quite know whether it’s loving or loathing that’s prompted the query. Anyway, hands up. Yes, I wrote it all. But before I get to the poetry itself, maybe a few quick words of … [Read more...] about Sixth Century Britain – Poetry in The Song-Sayer’s Lament
Sixth Century Britain
My novel set Sixth Century post-Roman Britain, The Song-Sayer's Lament, inspired me to write a batch of blogs about this missing hundred years of Britain's history.
I paid my first visit to Sixth Century Dark Ages Britain almost fifty years ago. It was Rosemary Sutcliff’s fault, since it was through the pages of A Sword at Sunset that my juvenile “King Arthur’s Round Table” image of the so-called Dark Ages first began to dissolve – the idea dawning that a more “realistic” portrayal of the period may … [Read more...] about Sixth Century Britain – Who Stole Britain’s Sixth Century?
My journeys to check out the locations I’ve used as settings for The Song-Sayer’s Lament took me next to Anglesey, which features strongly in the novel. There are some remarkable archaeological sites on the island, all worth a visit, and including: Aberlleiniog Castle (Llangoed); or the burial chambers at Porth Trecastell, Bryn Celli Ddu and Din … [Read more...] about Sixth Century Britain – the Hill Fort Walks: Part Two
Here's the cover... And here's the synopsis... In the Westerlands of those isles once named Britannia by the Empire and its vanished Legions, the brother of Ambros Skyhound is killed in a kinfolk-feud, which will ignite a vicious civil war. There are warlords who follow the new ways of the Christ-followers – those, too, who still defend … [Read more...] about Sixth Century Britain – the New Novel
The Song-Sayer’s Lament is set around the year we would now describe as 540 AD, in Sixth Century Dark Age Britain, and I wanted to mark the passage of time for my characters in a way that might be credible for the period in question. Why? Because, in truth, we have no idea how Britons, in the century after the Romans left our shores, calculated … [Read more...] about Sixth Century Britain – Festivals and Celebrations