My first historical novel, Fortune’s Wheel, has been published by SilverWood Books:
ISBN 978-1781325827 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1781325834 (ebook)
You can also buy it direct from SilverWood Books at www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk
This is the first of The Meonbridge Chronicles, which will relate stories of the lives of the people of Meonbridge, a fictional village and manor located in the Meon Valley in southern Hampshire.
I am interested in the lives of ordinary people living in fourteenth century England, and in particular the lives of women. Writing historical fiction gives me the opportunity to discover what I can about medieval lives and then bring my imagination to bear on what I have learned to create stories that I hope will give pleasure, as well as perhaps the occasional insight, to my readers.
In my Blog, I will describe something of the research process I have undertaken, and more about the background to my novels.
It is June 1349. In the Hampshire village of Meonbridge, the worst plague in England’s history – which we call the Black Death, but they referred to as the mortality or the pestilence – has wiped out half its population, including Alice atte Wode’s husband and eldest son. The plague arrived only days after Alice’s daughter Agnes mysteriously disappeared, and the search for Agnes was halted when the manor’s tenants were forbidden to leave the village.
Now the plague is over, the village is trying to return to normal life, but it’s hard, with so much to do and so few left to do it. Conflict is growing between the manor – the lord and his officials – and its tenants, as the workers realise their very scarceness means they’re more valuable than before: they can demand higher wages, take on spare land, have a better life. This is the chance they’ve all been waiting for!
Alice understands their demands, but is disheartened that the search for Agnes is still on hold.
But when one of the rebels is killed, and then the lord’s son is found murdered, it seems that the two deaths may be connected, both to each other and to Agnes’s disappearance.