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Category Archives: History

5 May 1010: The Battle of Ringmere

On 5 May in the year 1010, a great battle was fought between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes at a place in East Anglia called Ringmere. In the fall of 2012, as part of the research for my novel The … Read More

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Æthelred II – the Haunted King

On 23 April 1016, King Æthelred II died in London. He was about 50 years old, and he’d ruled England for 38 years. At his death he’d not yet been given the byname, Unræd, (ill-counseled, a play on the Old … Read More

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A Pre-Raphaelite Artist & a Church in Wales

“Be sure you go into the church and look at our Burne-Jones window.” I had just arrived in Hawarden, Wales and was being escorted up two flights of stairs to my room in the residence wing of Gladstone’s Library when … Read More

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The Ghosts of Christmases Past

Did you notice that, this year, the Christmas shopping season began considerably earlier than in the past?  Christmas decorations now appear in store windows right after Halloween – pumpkins to pine trees in the blink of an eye. Many shops … Read More

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July 15, St. Swithin’s Day

From Shadow on the Crown: Æthelred, his black-robed queen at his side, led a procession of ealdormen and clergy, of noblemen, their wives, and as many townsfolk as could walk or hobble, in a solemn procession from the palace steps … Read More

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The Duke’s Women

The heroine of SHADOW ON THE CROWN, Emma of Normandy, was the youngest daughter (or so we think) of Richard I, Duke of Normandy and his duchess, Gunnora de Crepon. Emma’s mother appears only in the early chapters of my … Read More

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Standing Stones & a Witch

She made a circuit of the clearing among the oaks, three times round and three times back, whispering spells of protection. There had been a portent in the night: a curtain of red light had shimmered and danced across the … Read More

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The Lovely Bones

For the past 300 years, anyone who has visited Winchester Cathedral could see, high atop the choir screen, 6 beautifully carved, wooden mortuary chests containing the remains of Anglo-Saxon royalty and ecclesiastics, dating back to A.D. 786. One of them, … Read More

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The Diabolical Pope

One particularly fascinating historical figure I ran across in my research into the 11th century was Gerbert d’Aurillac, possibly one of the most learned men of his time. For most of his life Gerbert was a scholar, scientist, mathematician, poet, … Read More

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Tell Me a Story

I’m willing to bet that you’ve never spent an afternoon curled up with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Right? This is not surprising because the ASC is not an easy read. For starters, it’s not just one chronicle, but several, written in … Read More

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