Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Soul Chaser - Sneak Peak at Chapter 8 Omens in the Ash - Introducing the Story Man

Well I've finally did it! After a 2 week gap I finally stopped messing about making a novel business card for a novel that isn't even finished it and actually did some writing on said novel. Chapter 8 Omens in the Ash is evolving quite nicely, it's kind of gone backwards a bit with a fair bit of recollections of Jenny's first initial days as a traumatised soul and one god, Bragi, decided to walk straight in there and become her first Aesir friend. Kind of nice when he's the God of Storytellers and Skalds and he just magically appears in Soul Chaser - I'm kind of hoping its a blessing of some kind he linked in to my imagination. Anyway in honour of this God and to celebrate a little bit that Soul Chaser has literally just this minute hit the 33 thousand word mark I'm releasing this key scene featuring him. Enjoy!

*please note this is still a very rough draft so any feedback is appreciated but only give some if you have kind of idea of what's happening etc.*

I knew Bragi was one of them, one of Odin’s family, by the way he dressed in the traditional greens of a national park ranger yet he had a ruggedness about him that made me think traveler of some type. He wore a moss green wool jumper with a long waistcoat of various green patterned and tartan fabrics. His trousers were patterned like army camouflage and I remember raising an eyebrow at the modern hiking boots he wore. I tried not to look too much at him. I didn’t want his company or attention. I just wanted to be alone and away from others so I didn’t feel so out of place.
“You don’t know who I am, do you?” He called across to me, not taking any further steps once we were aware of each other.
I observed his face, his delightful smirk, the sparkle in his oak brown eyes and his shoulder length hair the colour of golden sand.
“Should I?” I replied uncertain and nervous. I wasn’t yet sure what would happen to my already faulty soul if I did by accident or purpose anger a God.
“Depends on how much you like a good story.” He began walking casually towards me. “There are those that can only go to sleep if I weave them a tale to slumber by. There are some who shed not a single tear in regret, pain or grief yet when I describe two lovers kept apart they weep like I have broken their hearts.” He flung his leather satchel upon the grass and knelt down. “And there are some that have been around as long as I have and can’t stand my arrogant voice anymore.” He held out his hand. “I’m Bragi, the story man.”
How can you not smile when such a character walks up to you?  I took his hand in a limp handshake and gave him a fragile smile.
“I’m Jennifer but I prefer it if you call me Jenny.”
“Well, Jenny, why are you enjoying the woodlands by yourself? Where are your friends?”
“They’re all busy.”
Bragi gazed down at me, his smile fading a touch. “When did you arrive in Asgard?”
“Only a week or so ago.”
“Have you not been assigned to a Hall yet?” Bragi enquired regarding the various Halls of resident Gods souls could seek employment to be it Freya’s as a Valkyrie, Frigg’s as a Maid or even Idunn’s orchard as a Gardner tending to her Golden Apple trees. That is of course if you were a woman, men had the choice of Odin’s Hall, Valhalla and become Squires to his Einherjar, live with Thor and you could become master blacksmiths or even become Watchers under Heimdall who will teach the many ways and signs of tracking both supernatural and natural foes. The third alternative was becoming a local in a sense and resuming a version of mortal life in the many district quarters and set up a shop or tavern to cater for other locals.
“They, I mean I, don’t quite know my talents yet. I haven’t decided.”
“Well why not base your new role on what profession you had in your past life?”
I stared away into the blades of grass and randomly picked a daisy to fiddle with. “I don’t know what it was.”
“Ah, I see, a little memory loss is normal with the conversion from death, you’ll remember in time and then you’ll know which Hall to choose.” He explained the problem as if it was a very minor setback. “Did you visit any nice woodland like this when you were alive?”
“I’m not sure.” I kept my eyes fixated on the daisy; its white petals glowed in the shafts of sunshine coming through the trees canopy.
“Ok then, did you leave any family behind in your past life? Parents already passed on or still alive?”
“I don’t think so…my memory is still fuzzy.”
“What can you remember from the time before?” That was the first time I detected a hint of concern in his voice but the shame of my condition still wouldn’t let me meet his eyes with mine.
I could only give him an honest answer as what little truth I knew was all I had. “I know my name is Jennifer Wallace. I don’t remember what my life before was like. I don’t remember why or how I died. I remember Kate finding me and bringing me here. That is all I know of my life before, this.”
“Do you even know where you died?”
“No. I remember no names of people, nor names of places.”
“Hummm.” He turned around and delved into his bag, dragging pieces of paper out in a rush. “I think I might be able to help. Will you let me try?”
I let my eyes connect with his then, at the hope of learning all the truth about me although I didn’t stop to wonder why Kate hadn’t introduced me to Bragi earlier if he was a possible cure in some way.
“Sure, I have nothing to lose if it doesn’t work.” I joked feebly. “What do we need to do?”
“Firstly I need you to write your full name on this bit of parchment and then coil it around this quill you will use to write it.”
“Erm, don’t we need a pot of ink or something?” I was a bit confused.
“Oh, no, no, this quill is enchanted, as it writes it produces its own ink and never runs out. Perfect for when I’m collecting stories you see.”
“Ok.” I laid out the parchment across my leg and tried to write as clearly and as neatly as possible although it did come out of more like scribble than I’d hoped. I then wrapped the quill as he’d asked.
“Good now I want you to hold it at the feather tip end and I will take hold of the other end. We need to use both hands so just put it between them. That’s it. Hold it gently so you don’t bend the feathers just keep in contact with it.”
“Now what do we do?”
He shuffled around a bit to sit cross legged in front of me. “Now, I need you to close your eyes and focus in your mind on your own name. Imagine it up as words before you and keep repeating it over and over again inside. Keep concentrating on it until I tell you to stop, ok?”
I nodded once and closed my eyes. The shafts of sunlight passing over me as the soft breeze stirred the trees, turned my inner vision into a kaleidoscope of glittering gold and shimmering purple shades against a background of ruby red. I focused and imagined as Bragi instructed and I felt my breath become slow, my muscles ease and my mind less tense with the simple task of repetition. I could hear the fragile dappling sound of the spring gurgling up from the earth. The breeze rippling through the leaves in the towering trees made me think of the sea’s waves rushing against a stone and sand beach.
The vision inside was broken when Bragi’s voice reawakened my senses.
“Well, you certainly are unique.”
“Can I open my eyes?”
“Yes and you can let go of the quill and parchment too.”
The sunlight dazzled me for a tiny portion of time. I noticed Bragi turning the parchment piece over and over again, his quill stuck rather casually amongst the grass blades into the soil. I wondered if this enchanted quill would clean itself of dirt too.
“Well? Did it work?”
“Depends on what you mean. If you meant did I get to read your soul then yes. If you meant did I learn anything about you and your past, no, not really. Although…”
“Although what?”
“A connection was made. Your soul did leave its mark. See?” He handed the parchment back and where my name should have been written was now a small square written with the same ink. It was a blank square. Just four lines, a box.
“What does it mean?”
“That is actually a rune. Its name is Wyrd and is linked with Fate, the Unknown. It’s a rare and peculiar rune in that it has no defined mark and so it is often just symbolized as a blank square. Its meaning is always dependant on the person who has drawn it and the context it was drawn. I’m not as adept at runes as most of the other Aesir but I would advise in your case that this rune represents your transition from your old life into this. It perhaps suggests that whatever life you had before is not as important or as crucial as you might think, at least not yet. Wyrd’s symbol without a square is unending and thus has no beginning. In relation to you it means that your true purpose, not just in your life in Asgard, but your presence in the very universe, regardless of which realm and in what state, living or dead, is yet to be determined but it does not mean you will be without purpose forever. Certain events, choices or actions may yet have to be performed before you become aware of your true purpose and only then will your past and present become complete and help you follow your future destiny.” He took the paper gently away from me and stuck it back in his satchel along with this quill. “But, as I said, if you want a more precise rune reading you had best seek Freya or even Odin for that. They are the true masters at interpreting the signs.” He added with a smile which denied his bashful claim. “In simpler words, the presence of Wyrd represents you rather well at the moment, as a blank page. A story yet to be told or read. And you know what I always say about stories I don’t know yet?”
“What?”
“If there’s a story I don’t know, it’s either because it’s not worth knowing or, because the story is of such epic proportions that when it is enacted it leaves such a mark on the universe that its fame will echo through the ages, it won’t require me telling it by a million firesides.” He took my hand and held it in a caring manner. “So who knows what kind of story you will be part of, so do not despair just yet of your memory loss, it might be a key part of your life’s narrative.”

Friday, 24 June 2011

The dream of Soul Chaser - Potential SC Novel fan cards and the question of Novel support material

I know it's always best to not count your hens before they've hatched or run before you can walk or rush into things like a bull after a red flag BUT I have been doing a lot of almost physical day dreaming about Soul Chaser in its hopeful one day published form.
It came about because I was looking through my memorabilia file on all my favourite authors and I have small business like cover designs etc of Giles Kristian's Raven Bloodeye book. It made me think, what would Soul Chaser's be like if it was published and popular enough?
So I got messing about on Vista Print website just making designs up etc and wierdly enough I made 8 possible good ones.
So here they are for your inspection and consideration, I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on them and if it's a good idea or not to have such novel supporting material for fans to collect? Should I go ahead and make one now simply to network to potential readers, gain a little populatiry, boost blog numbers and maybe catch the eye of an agent or publisher? Or should I just stop daydreaming and get on with finishing the damn book!

 
 1) SC Card - Wings, Ink and Pen

 
 2) SC Card - Angelic Statue

 
 3) SC Card - Dark, Blood and Pale Woman

3) SC Card - Books on Shelf

4) SC Card - Black and Red Celtic Dog Design

5) SC Card - Dark Void

6) SC Card - Raven Grafitti

7) SC Card - Starry Skies

8) SC Card - Young Woman looking behind

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Ghosts of Scandinavian Kings and Valkyrie Names

Well I am sorry to say that since my sudden and quite suprising 1k splurge of words on Chapter 8 - The Omens in the Ash I haven't done any more but that's not to say I haven't been doing anything involved with Soul Chaser. Oh no!

In fact I've been busy plotting away the major plot twists further ahead in the novel and reading up on my Penguin Book of Norse Myth.

Firstly my novel plot has become entangled in the ghosts of four famous Scandinavian Kings who sadly all have viking heritage but were either brought up Christian or converted for one reason another. Their appearance is a quirky idea I had about the Christian God and the Norse Gods safeguarding each others sacred objects - so I imagined Odin drinking from the Holy Grail, Heimdall practicing with the spear that pierced Christ and Hel, Queen of the Underworld being given Jesus's Crown of Thorns. On the other holy side God and his saints or more note worthy followers would guard secretly Sleipnnir Odin's steed, Thor's hammer Mjollnir and a rather uknown pagan treasure - Ravenslandeye, a greatly feared Raven battle flag that Odin will ride under at Ragnarok.
The reason for this spiritual trade off is the truce between the faiths now that Christianity has dominated most of the souls in the world and the poor Aesir are left with the souls unclaimed for by any particular faith and so theu 'supposedly' pose no threat (well we shall see how that pans out in Soul Chaser).
These Scandinavian Kings are involved because they are the eternal ghostly guardians of one particular holy pagan object (and no I'm not going to tell you which one it is!).
Anyway the 4 Scandinavian Kings I intend to introduce to my novel are:

Eric Bloodaxe - who was crowned King of Northumbria (effecively the entire north of England) for a few years on and off.
King Cnut - The ruler of not just Denmark and Norway but also England for a good 20 years.
Guthrum aka Athelstan - the great viking raider that eventually converted to Christianity by Alfred the Great's own blessing and ruled in East Anglia for a short while a relatively minor king.
Harald Hardrada - the final kind of viking heritage to raid and plunder England before the domesticated Vikings i.e. The Normans, came over in 1066 and finally conquered all of England.

These four kings hold the secrets that unlock a puzzle which locks away the special Aesir artefact.

I don't know yet when they will feature in Soul Chaser, I still have so much planned for Jenny to face, learn and experience just up to chapter 11 let alone beyond that but after discovering more about her past life and the history and cause of her death it will all tie up eventually. Kind of like the Jelling style engravings of entwines animals, there's lots of twists and turns but it will all join up seemlessly together when you reach the final corner.

In other valkyrie related news, in my Penguin book of Norse Myths I read a myth/legend I haven't before, 'The Lay Of Grimnir' involving Odin and Frigg setting a challenge towards two particular kings they both watch over. Odin of course travels down to Midgard in disguise and causes some trouble by not saying a word untill one prince shows him kindness and from which he goes into a long description of everything there is in Norse Mythology. He even mentions his 13 Valkyries, not by their norse name, but their name meaning:

Here are the norse Valkyrie names and meanings according to my Dictionary of Norse Mythology:
 
Geirolul = Spear Waver/Bearer
Goll = Tumult 
Herfjotur = Host Fetter
Hildr = Battle
Hlokk = Noise/Battle
Hrist = Shaker
Mist = Cloud
Reginleif = Power-trace
Radgrid = Counsel-truce
Randgrid = Shield-truce
The 8 above are marked as Valkyries in the Index the following are actually named in the section on Valkyries:
First in reference to the Grimnismal (the myth mentioned above)

"  I want Hrist and Mist to bring me a horn
Skeggjold* and Skogul*,
Hild and Thrud*, Hlokk and Herfjotur,
Goll and Geirolul,
Randgrid and Radgrid and Reginleif:
they bring the Einherjar ale."

So if I were to look up each individual name mentioned above of those that are not highlighted as belonging to a Valkyrie I get the following meanings:

Skeggjold = Axe Age
Skogul = Shaker
Thrud = not mentioned in the Index of Valkyrie names


Having tried to discover the means of each of the 13 Valkyrie names from a different source to the 'Lay of Grimnir' I'm now going to attempt to translate their names into the extract taken from the Prose translation in the Penguin Book of Norse Myths:

" In Valhalla, Shaker (*Skogul) and Mist (*actual name given), Axe Time/Age (*Skegjold) and Raging (*Goll-Tumult) take it in turns to bring me my brimming horn. And nine other Valkyries bring ale to the slain warriors. Their names are Warrior (*Thrud???) and Might (*Hrist-shaker???), Shrieking (*Hlokk-Noise/Battle), Host fetter (*Herfjotur) and Screaming (*Hrist-shaker), Spear Bearer (*Geirolul), Shield Bearer (*Randgrid), Wrecker of Plans (*Radgrid-Council-truce) and Kin of the Gods (*Reginleif-Power-trace) ."  

This of course has been my own interpretation - if any readers think they have more knowledge of Valkyrie names and meanings please do feel free to share them with me. I would be very much interested.
The meaning of these Valkyrie names features strongly in Chapter 5 Rise and Fall when Jenny is whisked away for her ascension ceremony and has to acknowledge each Elder Valkyrie in a very formal chant procession.  Although I only take 9 names from mythology. Below is how I embelleshed upon their brief meanings given in the Dictionary of Norse Mythology:

Hrist, shaker of battle grounds and of cowards’ bones.
Hlökk, the sound of berserk warriors and a cowards dying scream.
Mist, the natural shield that enables the cunning killer and misleads those unworthy blindly to their deaths in your embrace.
Skögull, shaker of shield walls and of enemies will.
Skeggjöld, who is the beautiful killing blow of the axe and feller of unworthy souls.
Göll, you are the sword song and drums of shields meeting in the dance of battle.
Hildr, you are what drives men berserk in battle or drive them mad with fear.
Geirölul, you bless spear warriors with aim and skill to perform the perfect hunting kill.
Herfjötur, you bind courage around warriors’ hearts and shackle fear into their souls.

Monday, 20 June 2011

This is the ultimate gift for anyone interested in viking history, people and myths!

    READ BELOW FOR THE ULTIMATE GIFT FOR VIKING LOVERS!
*I am only blogging about the product below as I am personally recieving it for my birthday and I feel many others who are interested in the viking era and all its fascinating aspects and influences would benefit from it too.*

Vikings
Course No. 3910 (36 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)
Taught by Kenneth W. Harl
Tulane University
Ph.D., Yale University
   
As explorers and traders, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of Western Europe.
In this course, you will study the Vikings not only as warriors, but also in other roles for which they were equally extraordinary: merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas.
Professor Kenneth Harl synthesizes insights from an astonishing array of sources: The Russian Primary Chronicle (a Slavic text from mediaeval Kiev), 13th-century Icelandic poems and sagas, Byzantine accounts, Arab geographies, annals of Irish monks who faced Viking raids, Roman reports, and scores of other firsthand contemporary documents.
Among the topics you will explore in depth are the profound influence of the Norse gods and heroes on Viking culture, and the Vikings' extraordinary accomplishments as explorers and settlers in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. With the help of archeological findings, you will learn to analyse Viking ship burials, runestones and runic inscriptions, Viking wood carving, jewelry, sculpture, and metalwork.
From 790–1066, virtually invincible Viking fleets fanned out across Europe, raiding, plundering, and overwhelming every army that opposed them.
By 1100, however, the Vikings had disappeared, having willingly shed their identity and dissolved into the mists of myth and legend. How did this happen, and how should we remember this formidable civilisation that, for being so formative, proved so transient?

A Wide-Ranging Story, a Versatile Historian

The Vikings were a people whose history stretched from the Vinland settlements in Newfoundland to Baghdad. Accordingly, the telling of their story requires a historian of Professor Harl's considerable powers.
As he has shown in his other Great Courses courses, The World of Byzantium, Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor, The Era of the Crusades, and Rome and the Barbarians, Dr. Harl has a special knowledge of Europe and the Near East, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. His expertise on nearly all of the peoples the Vikings encountered enables him to endow his lectures with the nuance and detail only a trained specialist can deliver.

The Past Is Never Dead: Scandinavian Beginnings

Professor Harl begins with a virtual tour of the unique Scandinavian terrain that determined that Viking civilisation would be a culture like no other, a land and people apart from the rest of the world. Scandinavia was cut off by dense forests that kept individual settlements isolated from one another. The Scandinavian way of life was inherently temporary, for agriculture would not progress beyond the slash-and-burn technique until the end of the Viking Age. Villages lasted only a generation before soil exhaustion forced their abandonment, negating the possibility of permanent towns or lasting structures, political or otherwise. Anyone seeking wealth rather than mere subsistence had to look to the sea.
In this early part of the course you will also study in great detail the origins of the Vikings' ancient Germanic religion. You will learn the stories of the Norse gods and how the Vikings sought to honour them.
The lectures also examine how Scandinavians venerated their ancestors, great heroes of the past whom they emulated in life. Professor Harl demonstrates how we can glean the ambitions of the great Viking sea kings by examining the legendary exploits of their role models, such as the saga of the great ride of Hrolf Kraki, the 6th-century king of legendary Hleidr, a great Danish hall.

The Viking Edge

But culture only takes us so far. The Viking Age would have been impossible had the Scandinavians not possessed superiority in shipbuilding and warfare, and Professor Harl devotes two in-depth lectures to this achievement.
You will explore in detail how the design features of Viking ships allowed them to ride the waters rather than fight the waves, to be dragged across land from river to river, and to be beached in any port and sail almost anywhere. Many Viking victories resulted from the fact that their ships could sail several times faster than opposing armies could move on foot.
Contrary to the stereotype of slashing homicidal maniacs in horned helmets, Professor Harl discusses a precise, organized, battle-hardened army of men trained in warfare since boyhood. Vikings were extraordinarily fit, skilled in boarding ships, in leaping and jumping, archery, swordsmanship, and the wielding of axes. Even more frightful, they were fearless, regarding battle as a state of ecstatic joy and expecting thrill in victory or glory in Valhalla as they rushed at their foes.

Traders and Raiders

Viking warfare wasn't driven by any primitive, atavistic malice, or undirected rage. To them, it just made economic sense. We go a long way towards understanding Scandinavians' motivation and debunking popular stereotypes by seeing Viking raids as a logical extension of trading activities.
You will follow the Vikings as merchants who exploited trade routes in the Baltic, the North Sea, and on the river systems of Western Europe. They operated from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, selling everything from sealskin, whalebone, and amber to slaves.
Raiding was simply trade by other means. Vikings raided towns throughout the Latin West, and then set up impromptu markets to sell back the booty. They were indeed shocked to find a novel commodity in abbots whom the Christians paid handsomely to get back.

In Professor Harl's lectures we see the great adaptability of these Scandinavians, their willingness to evolve according to their local environment. Consider the divergent fortunes and destinies of just a few of the Northern peoples that left their Scandinavian homeland:

    * Under a deal negotiated with King Charles the Simple by their sea king Hrolf, the Vikings were awarded land in Normandy in exchange for protecting the Franks. Hrolf's descendants preserved their military prowess; they conquered England and Italy, eventually cutting off their ties to the sea and adopting the French language.
    * Swedish Vikings, known as "Rus," established outposts in Kiev and Novgorod. They used their Slavic subjects to clear the forests, allowing market towns to evolve into great cities, and a Rus king, Vladimir, would adopt Christianity as the official religion of the Rus state.
    * In a lightning campaign, the mostly Danish Great Army conquered three English kingdoms from 865–878 and settled in the northern half of England. They exerted a profound influence, transmitting 600 words into modern English and innovating the jury system that eventually passed into English law.

Because stereotypical images of the Vikings have long obscured the Vikings' importance in European history, you may learn something new in nearly every minute of these lectures. Did you know that:

    * We have Iceland to thank for preserving most of our information about what a pure Viking society was like. Icelanders preserved the old Norse traditions through storytelling during the long Icelandic winters. They eventually wrote down these poems, myths, and legends to create literature considered to be one of the miracles of the Middle Ages, deserving a place beside the Greek and Roman classics in the Western tradition.
    * Iceland functioned successfully without cities, taxes, or a complex government. You will study the simple yet effective political system—the Thing, the Althing, and the Law Rock—that made Viking Iceland a remarkable experiment in self-government.
    * An early Icelandic settler, Helgi the Lean, once remarked with characteristic Viking pragmatism and typical Icelandic wit, "On land I worship Christ, but at sea I worship Thor." A jest though it may have been, it seems prescient in light of the Scandinavian tendency to slough off the ancient gods at the water's edge.

The Beginnings of Modern Scandinavia

In the last part of the course, Professor Harl discusses how a variety of factors—wealth gained through Viking adventures, the creation of ever more professional Viking armies, increasingly better ships, and notably, conversion to Christianity—enabled Scandinavian monarchs to impose control and set up territorial kingdoms.
The creation of kingdoms and national churches was a testimony to the organizational skills of the Scandinavians, who lacked a history that connected them to the benefits of urban-based Roman civilization.
Who were the Vikings? Much more, perhaps, than you may have thought: raiders, seafarers, kings, and writers, a people who truly defined the history of Europe, and whose brave, adventurous, and creative spirit still survives today.

 Course Lecture Titles
1.    The Vikings in Medieval History
2.    Land and People of Medieval Scandinavia
3.    Scandinavian Society in the Bronze Age
4.    Scandinavia in the Celtic and Roman Ages
5.    The Age of Migrations
6.    The Norse Gods
7.    Runes, Poetry, and Visual Arts
8.    Legendary Kings and Heroes
9.    A Revolution in Shipbuilding
10.    Warfare and Society in the Viking Age
11.    Merchants and Commerce in the Viking Age
12.    Christendom on the Eve of the Viking Age
13.    Viking Raids on the Carolingian Empire
14.    The Duchy of Normandy
15.    Viking Assault on England
16.    The Danelaw
17.    Viking Assault on Ireland
18.    Norse Kings of Dublin and Ireland
19.    The Settlement of Iceland
20.    Iceland—A Frontier Republic
21.    Skaldic Poetry and Sagas
22.    Western Voyages to Greenland and Vinland
23.    Swedes in the Baltic Sea and Russia
24.    The Road to Byzantium
25.    From Varangians into Russians
26.    Transformation of Scandinavian Society
27.    St. Anskar and the First Christian Missions
28.    Formation of the Kingdom of Denmark
29.    Cnut the Great
30.    Collapse of Cnut’s Empire
31.    Jarls and Sea Kings of Norway
32.    St. Olaf of Norway
33.    Kings of the Swedes and Goths
34.    Christianization and Economic Change
35.    From Vikings to Crusaders
36.    The Viking Legacy

Follow this link to purchase this fantastic course on all things viking at reduced sale price until 7th July!
Hurry before it ends!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

English Heritage Festival of History + Festival of Historical Literature: DO NOT MISS!

HWA/Kelmarsh - authors appearing

What: THE HWA inaugural FESTIVAL OF HISTORICAL LITERATURE –  in partnership with English Heritage
Where: Kelmarsh Hall Estate, north of Northampton. NN6. The entry is on the A508, close to its junction with the A14. – See the Kelmarsh website for details of access: http://www.kelmarsh.com/
When: 16th and 17th of July 2011
Who: The HWA, in partnership with English Heritage, bring you our first Festival of Historical Literature.
Imagine a pavilion set in the middle of a battlefield.  Then imagine it set in the middle of three battlefields… of different eras, with different weapons and different armies and different rules of engagement.  Imagine the spitfire fly-past and the military parade that takes in battalions from the dark ages through to the second world war.   This is the English Heritage Festival of History at Kelmarsh: one of the biggest festivals of living history in the country, and now one of the biggest festivals of historical literature. 
The full schedule is laid out in detail below, but spread over two days, we will have a combination of debates: (‘What did the Romans do for us?’  Manda Scott vs Tony Riches); author panels: (‘Criminal History’ Andrew Taylor and others; ‘Great Battles of History’: Simon Scarrow and friends; ‘Myths and Legends through the Ages’ – Robyn Young and others); dual and single author events (‘The Vikings are Coming!’ Rob Low and Giles Kristian; ‘Warhorse’ Michael Morpurgo interviewed by Nick Clee; Michelle Paver) that will make this a weekend to remember for all concerned.
As well as the lecture pavilion, there will, of course, be a signing tent packed full of books, a ‘Green Room’ for authors to gather before their events – and a Hospitality Tent where readers can meet their favourite authors in less formal surroundings.
The events will be ticketed to monitor numbers, but the tickets will be freeYou pay to enter Kelmarsh, but there is NO extra charge for the literary festival.
For those who want to explore the rest of the weekend’s events, the English Heritage website will have increasing details as we approach the date: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/festival-of-history-2011/

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE


SATURDAY 16 JULY
 
10.30 – 11.30
THE ROMANS – WHAT DID THEY DO FOR US?
Debate format
Manda Scott vs Anthony Riches
 
11.40 – 12.40
SEX AND POWER: Love and Lovers Through  The Ages
Karen Maitland
Jim Burge
Sarah Gristwood
Kate Williams
 
12.50 – 13.50
MYTHS IN HISTORY: the Truth Behind the Legends
Robyn Young
Angus Donald
Imogen Robertson
Tom Harper
 
14.00   - 15.00
WAR HORSE
Michael Morpurgo
Nick Clee (interviewer)
 
15.10 – 16.10
THE VIKINGS ARE COMING!
Robert Low
Giles Kristian
 
16.20 – 17.20
GREAT BATTLES OF HISTORY
Saul David
Tom Holland
Simon Scarrow
CC Humphreys

*********************************************

SUNDAY 17 JULY
 
10.30 – 11.30
PAX ROMANA: THE HEIGHT OF ROMAN RULE
Doug Jackson
Harry Sidebottom
John Stack
Ruth Downie
 
11.40 – 12.40
‘WHAT WOMEN WORE – AND WHY’
Hallie Rubenhold
Laura Wilson
Lesley Downer
 
12.50 – 13.50
ROMANS VS VIKINGS
Simon Scarrow
Robert Low
 
14.00 – 15.00
MICHELLE PAVER  - solo event
 
15.10 – 16.10
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Andrew Taylor
Rory Clements
Judith Cutler
Mike Jecks
 
16.20 – 17.20
GREAT HEROES OF HISTORY
Ben Kane
Manda Scott
Adrian Goldsworthy
Giles Kristian

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