24 October 2019

Guest Post by Judith Arnopp, Author of Peaceweaver: The Story of Eadgyth Aelfgarsdottir

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

When Ælfgar of Mercia falls foul of the king and is exiled, his daughter Eadgyth’s is sold into a disastrous marriage with Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, King of the Welsh. Gruffydd is old enough to be her grandfather, and Eadgyth is not happy. A few years later, alone in a foreign land, she finds herself accused of treason and her life is forfeit. But, a surprise night attack destroys Gruffydd's stronghold, and Eadgyth is taken back to England as Earl Harold of Wessex’s prisoner.

Peaceweaver: The Story of Eadgyth Aelfgarsdottir

I can scarcely believe it is ten years since Peaceweaver was first published. I was a total newbie then so my first attempt was a bit of a damp squib, with a bad cover, and strange formatting. But I am stubborn, and I learned how to improve the book and after that it began to sell … modestly. 

I have written eleven books since then but Peaceweaver remains very special to me. To mark the anniversary of my first published book, I have given it a wash and brush up and a fancy new cover.
Eadgyth appears only fleetingly in the historical record so I had to sift through the muddle of fact, legend and fantasy to craft a story for. Even her name is written variously as Aldith, Eadgyth, Aldgyth and Eadgifu.

The Anglo-Norman historian Oderic Vitalis, writing in the early 12th century, states that Ælfgar’s daughter Ealdgyth was wed to Gruffydd ap Llewellyn to secure his alliance with her father, AElfgar; the Earl of East Anglia. She is barely mentioned again until 1065, so I made it my job to fill in those missing years.

As her story unfolds, it is easy to forget that Eadgyth is so young. Her resilience in the face of trouble evokes a much older woman. She was just twenty-one years old at the Battle of Hastings and, by the end of the same year, had given birth to her fifth child and buried two husbands.

Anglo Saxon chroniclers were infuriatingly vague about women, and the little they did record tantalises and teases the imagination. Peaceweaver will, I hope, help to prevent Eadgyth and women like her, from completely fading from history. 

Judith Arnopp

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About the Author

Judith Arnopp is the author of twelve books; three set in the Anglo-Saxon/early medieval period and nine set in and around the Tudor court. All books are available in Kindle and Paperback format, and The Beaufort Chronicle (three book series), The Kiss of the Concubine and A Song of Sixpence are on Audible. Find out more at Judith's website www.judithmarnopp.com/ and find her on Facebook and Twitter @JudithArnopp

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