According to Bede, when Hild is recruited to the church in 647 CE she is in East Anglia, and has been for a year. I’m trying to work out why.Read more "East Anglian accession dates"
This year is the 1400th anniversary of Hild’s birth. According to Bede.* Given that her feast day is mid-November, and in my novel her birthday is mid-October, I’ve decided autumn would be a splendid time to celebrate.Read more "Latin for fourteen hundredth anniversary?"
Two pieces of news. On Wednesday, the twentieth anniversary of our first (not legal) wedding, Kelley and I got married in the eyes of the US government. Some more nifty blurbs for Hild:Read more "Some news"
Here’s a long and meaty conversation between me and my editor Sean McDonald (VP and Executive Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux) about the making of Hild. I talk about going to Whitby for the first time, years ago, and having the fundamental realisation that shaped my writing career and made Hild inevitable:Read more "Shoutout to favourite bloggers in an interview about writing Hild"
Coming 11.12.13 This is the cover of my novel, Hild (available for pre-order) which will be published in the US on 12 November 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (When I know UK and other publication dates I’ll post them.) I love it. It’s not perfect. First, what I love. As this is a JPEG, […]Read more "The cover of HILD"
detail from the cover of Hild * This blog began in 2008 with a medievalist blogger’s meme game about favourite historical characters. (I was tagged by Michelle of Heavenfield.) I desperately wanted to talk about Hild, the main character of the novel I was working on at the time. But I had no blog. I built one. So […]Read more "Ten questions and answers about Hild"
This is the seventh draft of Hild. It is the version you will read (after some copyediting). It will be published in the US on 12th November by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. At this stage I don’t know when it will be published in the UK, or by whom. I’m guessing I’ll have a notion […]Read more "Hild: 12 November 2013"
After discovering the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture I’ve been playing with Photoshop, imagining what Hild’s grave marker might look like. (This is just a first pass. It will end up looking much better when I’ve futzed with it.) This is adaptated from the Hildithryth stone found at St Hilda’s in Hartlepool. My dream is that […]Read more "Hild’s grave"
In terms of writing fiction, Irish has been the bane of my life. It’s my own fault; I’m lazy–or perhaps impatient is a better word–when in the grip of the work. Twenty years ago, when I was writing Ammonite, I created an isolated tribe based on the Mongols. I was hot on the trail of the […]Read more "Can anyone help with some Old Irish vocabulary?"
Bamburgh, painted by Norman MacKillop, used by permission I’m delighted to anounce that Hild will be published next year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It’s tentatively scheduled for autumn 2013: a big fat fall read, a perfect match for applewood fires and a snifter of Armagnac… The announcement is up at Publishers Weekly (“…steeped in […]Read more "Hild publishing deal"
I visited the UK in February and took the opportunity to fossick about in places Hild would have known. Whitby Abbey, of course, has been familiar to me for years. Sadly, when I was there this time, it was shut (no doubt as a result of this). No way in. Even the cliff was fenced […]Read more "Where Hild walked"
A couple of weeks ago I posted my thoughts on York in Hild’s time, along with some nifty (or pitiful, depending on your Photoshop skills) maps showing where I thought Edwin might have built his wic. I’ve since read “Before Eoforwic: New Light on York in the 6th-7th Centuries,”* by Cecily A Spall and Nicola J […]Read more "York in Hild’s time, part 2"
** This is a cross-post from my personal blog ** This is Cuthbert’s Gospel, the book that was buried at Lindisarne with St Cuthbert sometime after his death in 687. It is the earliest bound British—or even European—book to survive intact. It’s tiny, a pocket Gospel, written in Latin on vellum. It’s simple—no illumination, just elaborated initial […]Read more "Hild and Cuthbert’s Gospel"
Last week I read in the Guardian about the discovery of what could be indications of a very early Christian church and burial site beneath the current York Minster. If the more excitable members of the team leading the excavation are right, this could be the wooden church built by Edwin, Hild’s uncle: Potentially the […]Read more "York in Hild’s time"
Map adapted from map by Nilfanion, originally created using Ordnance Survey data [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons I imagine most people have heard by now that archaeologists from Cambridge’s Newnham College have discovered a previously unknown Anglo-Saxon burial site at Trumpington Meadows (on the southern city limits of Cambridge, see map), with remains dating from […]Read more "Hild and the 7th century princess"