The new title for my novel about Hild is…Hild. It just makes sense 🙂
My hand-drawn family tree for Hild is now neatly printed and legible. I’m hoping readers of this blog will give me some feedback.
As you can see, there are several names missing. For example those Æthelfrithings who died before they amounted to much, historically speaking: Osbald, Osric, etc. There are also wholly fictitious characters, and some invented names for people who know must have existed.
For example Osfrith’s wife. We know he had a son. I thought a high-status Frank would suit nicely. And what’s higher at the time than the Frankish king? Clotrude sounded like a reasonable name for the sister of Clothar II. There’s plenty of time to change this before publication, though, so if anyone out there has a better idea, please make a suggestion. Or at least tell me why this won’t work. Or, even better, point me to Osfrith’s real wife, whose name I somehow missed.
Similarly, if you know–or are willing to make an informed guess–regarding Osric’s wife/Oswine’s mother–I’d be grateful. (I didn’t bother to invent a name because she doesn’t appear in the book.)
You’ll see, too, that I invented the name of the daughter of Hereswith and Æthelric: Ælfwyn. I hope that sounds acceptable. If it raises red flags, do please let me know. I have lots of leeway at the moment, but as the book gets closer to publication, change will grow more difficult.
I couldn’t find a name anywhere for the niece of Beli of Alt Clut, and I didn’t feel competent to even guess at something suitable. If anyone has any notions about that, I’m all ears. Ditto the Pictish wife of Eanfrith Æthelfrithing.
You’ll see that I chose to make Eanfrith’s mother, Æthelfrith’s first wife, Bebba (of Bebbanburg fame). Given the Brittonic sound, I rather arbitrarily plumped for Alt Clut antecedents. If any of that in any way clashes with what’s known to be known, sing out.
I also posit a fruitful liaison between Hereric and ‘Onnen, some leftwise cousin of Ceredig, king of Elmet’. Their son is Cian. He’s one of the major characters in the novel, so if, historically speaking, this is ridiculous, please speak now.
My major choice was to make Æthelric, the king of Deira before Æthelfrith swept in from Bernicia, Edwin’s much older brother. This means that when the Iffings fled Northumbria and scattered, Hereric, Hild’s father, was the heir-in-exile. I expect some disagreement over that one, but at this point I’m reluctant to change it. Though I’ll definitely listen to well-reasoned argument.
Hereric’s wife is Breguswith. We know as much from Bede. I pondered making her East Anglian, but for reasons I forget, I couldn’t quite make that work. Instead, she’s now Æthelbert’s daughter–Eadbald’s half sister.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, on any and all this.
And sometime soon I’ll have a spiffy map to discuss…