Sunday, 17 July 2011
Horstede: Setting the scene
What made me choose this place for the setting of my book? I was inspired to write something after viewing the annual Battle of Hastings re-enactment back in 2004. I had been looking for a suitable subject to write about since I decided that I would fulfill my child hood dream and set about the mammoth task of writing an epic historical novel. I had worked on projects in the past but life events had served to drift me away from realising my dream. Eventually I lost my confidence and my aspiration did not return until I attended a college course for Health and Social care. Doing this course helped me to realise that I could still write.
Having come across Helen Hollick's fantastic novel about Harold the King, I decided that another book written about Harold himself would need to be really well written and a master piece if I was to better hers. As it was my first attempt, I decided to keep it simple and I thought, why not tell the story of Hastings through the eyes of the ordinary men and women? That way I could still use the historical background and characters but centralise the story around a family whose experiences through the events of the 11thc I would be free to play with.
Nothing is known about what sort of man Wulfhere was, what he did in his life and what the names of his family were. Things like that were not recorded for simple folk in those days. However, I hope that if he were alive today, he would not be offended by the life I created for him. Equally, Helghi of Gorde also was a man of the Domesday. Again I hope I would not offend him too much by my villainous portrayal of him. But this is a fictional interpretation and their story is my telling alone. I believe it is how life might have been for men and women of this time and although I have written this story from a 21st century point of view, I have tried to create an Anglo Saxon mind set and at the end of the day, these were people like you and I. They laughed, they cried, they loved and hated much like us, after all.