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"
When a literary agent sends a novel manuscript out to acquiring editors at major publishing houses, s/he likes to send it with everything the editor might need to put the work in context. For Hild, my novel about Hild of Whitby (which of course wasn’t called Whitby then), set in early seventh century Britain (the […]Read more "Three maps of early 7th century Britain"
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. click to enlarge As you can see, there are several names missing. For example those Æthelfrithings who died […]Read more "Hild’s family tree"
Hild is done (for now). She has a working title: Light of the World. (Subtitle, if novels had such things, might be something like The woman at the heart of war, politics, and religion in seventh century Britain.) The book, volume one of three, is huge: 963 pages, 197,878 words (excluding the title). I’ve sent […]Read more "Light of the World"
(This is a cross-post from my Ask Nicola blog.) Thanks to a generous reader, I now have a copy of Robin Fleming’s Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400 to 1070. (I talk about why I wanted it so much here.) Yesterday, after lunch, before I went back to working on Hild, I flipped […]Read more "Britain After Rome, Robin Fleming"
I finished the first draft of the first volume of my novel about Hild. It’s huge: 976 pages (more than 200,000 words). I’ll lose a lot of that in the rewrite, of course, but it will still be long. Submitted as proof: Photo taken with crapcam (sorry about that). It turns out that 976 pages […]Read more "First draft of Hild is finished"