Quite by chance, I’ve found my stories taking me time and time again to the tenth century in Early England, and Britain as a whole.
The Earls of Mercia series begins in the tenth century, The Earl of Mercia’s Father, Wulfstan and Swein are largely set in the very late tenth century, but it’s the other books – those following the women of the tenth century, including Lady Elfrida, England’s first crowned queen, and then those focused on the crisis at the heart of the century when war became inevitable that this page is all about.
Some of these stories cross characters, and some almost standalone, but taken together they reveal just how much we do (and don’t) know about this time period, and the women (and men) who emerge from the past are fascinating, and often faced incredible odds in order to survive. It’s a pity so many of them (especially the women) have been forgotten about in the intervening years.
The Tenth Century Series
Offering a retelling of the lives of the women who leap from the tenth century – Lady Ælfwynn, the daughter of Lady Æthelflæd; Lady Eadgifu, third wife to a king, and mother to two more, and the daughters of King Edward (and hence, the granddaughters of King Alfred).
Chronicles of the English
Offering a retelling of the lives of the grandsons of King Alfred, Brunanburh is the story of a battle while the two sequels tell the story of what happened after Brunanburh – covering the years from 924-944.
The Mercian Brexit
A short story that bridges The Chronicles of the English and the beginning of the story of Lady Elfrida.
Lady Elfrida – England’s first crowned queen
Lady Elfrida is a wonderful character, and the scope for telling her story was too good to resist. England’s first historically attested crowned queen of England, mother to King Æthelred (from the Earls of Mercia story), and so much more beside.