Great Historical Fiction/Fantasy Novels

History is anthroplogy for the past.  Great historical fiction brings you into that past world and makes it accessible.  Would life in thirteenth century Wales chew me up and spit me out?  No doubt.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t spend many happy hours living there.  I am also partial to the fantasy element of […]

Historical Sources for King Arthur

Historians are not in agreement as to whether or not the ‘real’ Arthur—the living, breathing, fighting human being—ever existed. The original sources for the legend of King Arthur come from a few Welsh texts. These are: 1) Y Goddodin—a Welsh poem by the 7th century poet, Aneirin, with it’s passing mention of Arthur. The author […]

Romantic historical fiction series set in 13th Century Wales

Today, I’m happy to share with you a book review from my local paper, the East Oregonian.  I’d leave the link, but only subscribers can read it, so I thought it would be fun to share it with you in full … Book Review of the After Cilmeri Series by Renee Struthers Pendleton author Sarah […]

The Quest for Welsh Independence

When the Romans conquered Britain, the people they defeated were the Britons, the ancestors of the Welsh, a Celtic people who themselves had come to the island hundreds of years before. After the Romans marched away in 410 AD, the Saxon invaders overwhelmed the British in successive waves, pushing them west and resulting in a Saxon […]

History of Paper

Medieval lords had castle accounts, right?  On what were these written?  Did they call them paper, or parchment?  Were they made of dried skins, linen, paper? Account books could have been made of paper, which was viewed as less sturdy than parchment and thus for less important matters.  “There are indeed very many medieval manuscripts […]

Books in the Middle Ages

Books have been around as long as there has been writing–it’s just that in the past, they were less accessible, expensive, and rare.  Many, many fewer people were literate, especially as we understand the word (see my post on literacy: http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=1310). “Every stage in the creation of a medieval book required intensive labor, sometimes involving […]

Red, Black, and White Books

In Lord of the Rings, Frodo leaves Sam the Red Book of Westmarch, in which to record the goings on of Middle Earth after he is gone. Tolkein himself says that his inspiration for the fictional book was the Red Book of Hergest in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, which he knew well. In Wales, […]

Scotland and Its War for Existence

Today I have a guest post on a parallel subject to my interest in Wales:  JR Tomlin on the Scottish quest for independence.  Her book,  Freedom’s Sword, is available from Amazon or Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46734.  Welcome! ____________________ Because I write about Scotland, I felt it would be a good idea to briefly discuss Scotland’s history, and in particular, its invasion […]