[I didn't intend to be gone this long. I hope someone is still out there!]
Its been years since I’ve taken much time to read novels. I’m embarrassed to say how few I’ve read in the last couple years, but the Bone Thief finally was a temptation too great. How could I resist a novel about the theft/transfer of St Oswald’s bones from Bardney to Gloucester?
VM Whitworth‘s The Bone Thief did not disappoint. Readers of this blog will know that Oswald’s relics were enshrined at St Oswald’s Minster in Gloucester, so I don’t want to give away anything else. Not surprisingly it follows a quest tale type but it’s not a very typical quest. He doesn’t have to go very far, but Whitworth finds plenty of obstacles and surprises to keep the tension. She nails the shifting loyalties and tensions of the time perfectly and managed to place Oswald’s relics centrally in West Saxon – Mercian politics without cheapening their spiritual importance. I loved the way she treated St Oswald throughout the book (and what a nice little surprise at the end!). I highly recommend the Bone Thief.
For a glimpse into Lady Ætehlfled’s Mercia, here is a previous post on their defense of Chester.
I’ve been captivated by this image since I found it earlier this week. It was taken by David W Coigach and posted at deviantART. Taken at Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway (Southwest Scotland), this imagery seems so right for Heavenfield with the ravens circling overhead. Ok, so I’ll admit heavenfield didn’t have a stone cross, which seems really odd, but I guess a miracle working wooden cross was enough!
Where did the summer go? I can’t believe that I haven’t done one of these since July! Well, its time to clear out my reader and share some of the late summer/early autumn links that got my attention. Enjoy
Curt Emanuel, the Medieval History Geek, is continuing his reading on Late Antique Christianity. He is currently up to the work and influence of Anthanasius.
Magistra et Mater has a interesting post on the personality of swords, and on medieval social networks.
Tim Clarkson of Senchus has announced his newest book of Columba, announced the latest issue of the Heroic Age , and wrote about searching for Bede’s Wulfaresdun.
Here at Heavenfield, I’ve reviewed Tim’s book on The Makers of Scotland, and looked at Bede’s account of Bishop Wilfrid’s coming to Sussex.
Guy Halsall, aka Grumpy Professor, of Historian on the Edge has posted a conference paper he gave on the decline and fall of the ancient triumph and an(other) manifesto on the purpose of history inflicted on unsuspecting students.
Sally Wilde is thinking about Autumn in England and the death of King Edwin ,the British bards Taliesin and Aneirin , and a while back about storing 7th century agricultural surplus while working on her novel.
Karen Jolly of Revealing Words wrote about a liturgical database she has been working on in conjunction with her last academic book.
Jonathan Jarrett of A Corner of Tenth Century Europe wrote about exploring/imaging the medieval landscape of Catalonia, and on a seminar paper from Janet Nelson on the early medieval female author Dhuoda of Barcelona who wrote a book of advice for her son.
Andy Gaunt of Archaeology and History of Sherwood Forest writes about the tradition of Goose Fairs in the forest.
Katy Meyers of Bones Don’t Lie has posts on deviant burials in medieval Ireland, on the treatment of broken legs in Iron Age and Roman Britain and on assumption of gender based on grave goods.