I'm deeply romantic and fanatical about the landscape, present and past, around me on the border of Somerset and Wiltshire. I paint and write because of its effect on me. My background is in academic archaeology but I have always been smitten by the views of the past which are locked up in folk beliefs and lore. Together they make magical sense of the connection of people to place. We all need a little stardust on our dry histories!
In art I try to marry archaeology, folklore, history, sound, smell, music, poetry, in short all the senses, being alive. In writing about long ago times and their landscapes, I feel it is important to try to understand the lives and the point of view of the people living at the time, so just history won't do. In order to get a 3D perspective, I look at as many sources of the record of the past as possible, including archaeology, place-names and folklore as well as belief systems.
I have just published a book (December 2017), a fictionalised history, called Flesh and Bones, about Frome and its landscape in the Dark Ages. It is being brought out by local and regional history publisher Hobnob Press. This is a fact and fiction book, synthesising in writing all the things I talked about 20 years ago in Frome and district. Look out for
Flesh and Bones of Frome Selwood and Wessex, at Hunting Raven Bookshop in Frome and Amazon.
The book covers Britons and Saxons, Fact and Fiction, Relics and Reliquaries, Heaven and Hell, Intrigue and Jealousy, Dumnonia and Wessex and King Athelstan. A time in the region's history which is little understood or thought of! See The Book page, here.
Speaking dates 2018:
Bruton Library Saturday 24th February, "Ancient Lamyatt"
Bath Library Saturday 7th April "Bath in the Dark Ages" 3pm.
Wincanton Library Wednesday 18th April 3.30pm "Ancient Selwood"
I'll be signing at the Hunting Raven Bookshop, Frome, on Independent Market days, 12.30-2pm on Sundays April 1st April and May 6th.
Will be at the Cheese and Grain, Frome Writers Collective stall before 12.15 and after 2.15pm on May 6th.
Find me on Facebook too, not a business page.
I love to talk about aspects of Flesh and Bones, so if you would like to hear more about your village or town in west Wessex in the Dark Ages, contact me here. See the map on The Book Page.