While living in that limbo between books, (particularly your books) I'm facing the prospect of a holiday with nothing new to read. So Im thinking about revisiting the Warlord Chronicles as we’ll be in Cornwall and well… you know Arthur and Cornwall (sorry Kernow)… It got me thinking, of all the landscapes of mainland Britain I think Cornwall still holds the faintest of echoes from the Iron Age. While the rest of Britain has been transformed and stamped by the Germanic tribes it is nice to hear the whispers of our Celtic ancestors in the place names, and in the ragged sunsets of Cornwall that stirred their imagination as much as it still does ours today.
I always loved the way you had woven the Pagan and the Christian into those books, mixed with the fading glory of a great (Roman) empire and the looming threat of the Germanic invasion… It is I think reflected in modern Britain today with Brexit and anti-Europe propaganda, a religion undergoing a huge change and a move to and indeed away from a united Britain…. All find themselves mirrored in those 3 books, im sure you can draw similar comparisons in all of Great Britain’s ages… (7 according to the lovely Bettany Hughes!) I suppose though when those book were written Brexit, 9/11 and all the world shaping events that have happened since to shape this great isle of ours into the Britain of 2020 were things one would never have imagined possible… For all the long years you have spent living quite literally in the past do you ever emerge back into the 21st century and think (gladly or sadly) that History is indeed cyclical and if we’ll ever learn by our past mistakes? – But then again “wyrd bi₫ ful arꜳd”
I suspect we never will learn from our mistakes! We’re human and horribly fallible, and too many seek the simple answer to a complicated question – always have and always will – and if a leader comes along promising the New Jerusalem (‘build a wall!’) he or she will find avid followers. Life is horribly complicated and we love simple answers. I confess I’m appalled at what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, but no doubt Britain and the US will survive, just as they’ve survived even more massive upheavals in the past. Much easier to live with Derfel!