January 27th, 2013

dog knotwork

Poughkeepsie

I was reminded of 'From Elfland to Poughkeepsie', an essay by Le Guin about writing fantasy (it's in The Language of the Night, and I've just checked, there is a version of it online if you google).  This made me ramble.  I assume, from context, that Poughkeepsie (I have deliberately not looked it up) is a very dull and prosaic place in the USA.   But for me, it's a place that I have only ever  come across, so far as I am aware, in the context of that one essay. 

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Dark Ages

Two novels by Kathleen Herbert

Kathleen Herbert wrote a selection of fascinating academic books about interesting topics - Women in Early English Society, Lost Gods of England, English Heroic Legends. All of these are topics where the available evidence is, like the books, a bit slim, but she packs what information there is in and they make a nice change from the usual endless ecclesiastical stuff that fills books about Anglo Saxon England.

So, when I discovered she had also written some historical novels set in seventh century Northumbria and Mercia, I was really keen to read them. These are : Queen of the Lightning, and the sequel, Ghost in the Sunlight.
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