“This is a thoroughly enthralling story…
A fascinating look into two friends’ lives during the 12th century.
It is a well-written and researched historical tale” – Goodreads review
Wimer could have become a monk. Instead, his decision to become a Chaplain – to make his way in the wider world of men – has put his soul in mortal danger.
In 12th Century East Anglia, poor Saxon boys stay poor. It takes an exceptional one to win Henry II’s friendship, and to rise to the job of High Sheriff of all Norfolk and Suffolk. Falling foul of the stormy relationship between Henry and his Archbishop, he is excommunicated three times, twice by Thomas a’Becket, and once by the Pope.
He also falls in love with the King’s Ward, Ida. Before he plucks up the courage to do anything about it, the King takes her as his mistress, and Ida needs Wimer’s support to survive that dangerous liaison.
Although he is eventually reinstated in the Church, his problems with his religious superiors, and his love for Ida, will guarantee him a place in Hell, unless he can find land and resources to do something spectacular in the way of penance…
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I live in the middle of rural Suffolk, UK, and am owned by a slinky black cat who’s far too clever for her own good.
In my spare time, I’m an amateur historian/archaeologist, and in non-work daylight hours am usually out on a field somewhere with a metal detector and/or a trowel. I’ve added quite a few things to the Heritage England Record and the Portable Antiquities Scheme; but what really fascinates me is the stories behind the artefacts.
My first historical novel, Sheriff and Priest, is about the story of a local boy made good – Wimer the Chaplain was born in Dodnash in Suffolk of a poor Saxon family, but made it to be a confidant of Henry ll, holding down the job of High Sheriff for all Norfolk and Suffolk. Then he gave it all up and came home to found a Priory… finding the original site of that Priory (not where it’s shown on the map) is still one of my proudest discoveries.
I’ve sold short stories to a couple of anthologies; the 2017 Historical Novel Society’s collection of winners and runners-up sories from the last couple of years has one of mine in (as a runner-up, alas!), which might grow into a longer work one day.
Thanks for reading!