Monday, 17 October 2011


When I was a student, I lived just round the corner from the British Museum, and used to make an almost daily pilgrimage to gawp at the magnificent gold belt buckle, the shoulder clasps, the purse lid and all the other stunning artefacts from the Sutton Hoo find. It made the weekly task of translating a chunk of Beowulf more bearable, as it spoke of the real, substantial and complex civilisation that lay behind the poetry.

A possible cover image for Bride of the Spear
Many writers have also illuminated those years between the departure of the Romans and the coming of the Normans (said with gritted teeth; some of us think that 1066 was the first year of the real Dark Age) Among them are some of my personal favourites, Kathleen Herbert, Carla Nayland and Helen Hollick. Not only am I in awe of their knowledge of those years, but I appreciate their ability to make rattling good stories about them. I met Carla because she replied to a comment I had made on Sarah Johnson's blog about Kathleen's new book, and Helen got in touch with me through one of my later posts. Helen says that Kathleen gave her wholehearted support and encouragement to write about Arthur in a straightforward, but exciting way, cutting through the Medieval mysticism and presenting him as he most probably was: a strong and charismatic war leader.

So I am looking forward to meeting other writers and readers who share my love of Britain's Heroic Age, and all things Anglo Saxon. There will be a chance to buy a copy of Paths of Exile at a special reduced price- and get it signed. (Although Bride of the Spear is not yet available, I do have some copies of Moon in Leo) The other participants of the seminar will also have books to sell and sign and I have news about the republication of Kathleen's Heroic Age Trilogy (AKA Northumbrian Trilogy, Cumbrian Trilogy, Trilogy of the Northern Kingdoms) and will announce a little competition I am setting up in connection with their publication.

See you on Sunday!
My initial sketch for a raven cloak pin to go on the covers of the North Trilogy. It will be made in silver, with moonstones and a ruby, and touches of gold. Ravens flew on Owain's banner, and the royal ring of Rheged was set with an oval ruby.


  1. That raven is going to make a stunning piece of jewellery! I look forward to seeing it on the new covers - it's really nice to hear that the Cumbrian Trilogy is going to be reprinted. :)

  2. Thanks for that Beth. I am really looking forward to making it! I am just waiting for a big star ruby to arrive, and then I will start cutting the raven, and waxing and waning moons in sterling silver. I am thinking of making the raven's claws and beak in gold. I think I will post pics on the blog of the work in progress.
    I can't wait to see Kathleen's earlier books in print either- Bride of the Spear should be out before Christmas

  3. A touch of gold would make it a royal raven indeed. Work-in-progress pics would be great!