University Of Oxford Talk

Later this year you’ll find me lecturing on writing at the University of Oxford – open to the public, by the way. The event is Here Be Dragons: the Oxford Fantasy Literature Summer School, which will look at different aspects of the genre across three days, with a banquet thrown in for good measure in the fantastic setting of Wadham College. That’s the course logo above, by artist Minjie Su.

Arthurian fiction is a part of it (so, you know, Pendragon), but you can also hear about Tolkien, C S Lewis, J K Rowling, George R R Martin, H P Lovecraft and M R James, among others, from some of the brightest minds in the country (I slipped through the net).

It runs from September 11 – 13.  If you fancy booking a place, you can do so here.

SaveSave

Pendragon Gets An Award Nod

The new novel (Dark Age, out in October) is now with the editor, ready for the next phase.  In the meantime, I wanted to flag up that its predecessor, Pendragon, has been nominated for a major award: the annual Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel. The five other shortlisted titles look fantastic and I’ll certainly be dipping into them before the award is announced in September. With all the great books published last year, it really is an honour that Pendragon made it into such prestigious company. More details here.

How Medieval Old Wives Can Save Lives Today

One of my particular interests is how knowledge is often embedded in folklore and myth.  In the past these fireside stories were usually dismissed as flights of imagination by the ignorant – by modern standards – and of little use.  That view is changing.

Plenty of noses turned up at ancient medical treatments too.  So this caught my eye: the formation of a multi-disciplinary ‘ancientbiotics’ team, comprising pharmacologists, microbiologists, medievalists, chemists and data experts in the UK and US.  The aim is to test if medieval medical treatments have anything to offer modern medicine.

The team was formed at the University of Nottingham in response to the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Erin Connelly, a fellow in digital manuscript studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is creating a database of the ingredients used in medieval medical recipes, and also how they are used in combination.  “The past could inform the future'” she says.

“The team believes that novel routes to antibiotic discovery are necessary, and that present-day research may also reveal something about the methodology of medieval practitioners.”

Pendragon Reviews

Pendragon has been receiving some great reviews. That’s always hugely gratifying when you’ve laboured over a novel for a year, but it’s particularly nice when people ‘get’ what you’re trying to do. Here’s a couple:

Deadly culture clashes and earthy mysticism (complete with witchcraft and visions fueled by magic mushrooms) combine in this exciting saga about a dark time in European history. The plot doesn’t go where you’d expect, and there are more than a few fierce, stereotype-defying women characters.

Though it works successfully as a standalone, Pendragon can also be viewed as the beginning of a much larger tale. The events weaving together aren’t just changing individual lives, they are shaping a nation. Wilde’s latest skillfully deconstructs the myths of Arthur and Camelot but creating a stunning prequel.

 

Pendragon – Published Today

Before King Arthur. Before Camelot. Before Excalibur. Every Legend Has A Beginning.’

Out today! The last days of Roman Britain. The seeds that will grow into the legend of King Arthur one hundred years later. An epic tale reaching from Hadrian’s Wall and Stonehenge to Gaul and Rome at the heart of the empire. Battles, conspiracy, rival factions and a colourful cast of soldiers and courtesans, spies, Emperors, barbarians and mystics.

Order it from your favourite bookstore, or buy it from Amazon: