Of Mondays and Fridays, bishops and axes

As I was out walking earlier this week, I found myself considering the names of the weekdays – as one does. (What? You don’t? Does this mean you don’t mull over the origins of words like “axe” either? ) Mainly, I was reflecting on the fact that the names in Swedish, German and English are …

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A field unploughed – the complicated story of a medieval land dispute

Admit it: one doesn’t really expect medieval ladies to have names like Felicia or Joyce. They sound way too modern, don’t they? And yet today we will spend some time with two ladies with these names. Joyce was the mother of Felicia, but due to events I think we can safely say that there was …

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Venturing into the unknown

So I’ve just published the first book in a new trilogy. By now, with thirteen books under my belt, one would think publication day would be no big thing. Wrong. It is always a big thing. Every book an author releases into the world is pretty much like severing an umbilical cord, that baby you’ve …

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No pain, no gain

Several years ago, I saw a stage version of Franz Kafka’s short story Metamorphosis. I’d read it before—my mother kept a steady stream of classics coming my way, and rated Kafka highly. The story left me itching all over, a disturbing mix of black humour and despair—most apt when telling the story of the young …

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He had it all – and lost it

Some weeks ago I wrote about the very tragic life of Elisabeth de Ferrers who lost husband and all her children in the aftermath of Edward I’s conquest of Wales. In passing, I mentioned that Elizabeth had a rather unsavoury brother, and today’s post is about him, the brother. Should one write a short epitaph …

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La Dame Sans Merci – oops, la Dame de Coucy

We tend to believe that medieval rulers had a lot of time for their sons, not so much for their daughters. Leaving aside the fact that medieval kings (and queens) did not exactly sit around and act the doting parents – little princes and princesses were often set up in their own household albeit frequently …

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Ships that pass

Today I have a real treat for you, peeps. As part of her two-week swashbuckling voyage round blogosphere Helen Hollick is visiting – or dropping anchor, as she herself puts it – and what would Helen write about if not pirates? Well, she could write about King Arthur, of course. Or Queen Emma. Or Harold  …

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In which I cringe at all the dropped eyes

I am presently re-reading the books in The Graham Saga. For the first time since they were published, I have sat down to read them and it has, for the most part, been a fun experience. Why I am doing this? Well, blame it on Greg Patmore. No, don’t blame it on him. Blame it …

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