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Lady Godiva

One of the delights of writing The Leopards of Normandy series has been the entirely unexpected discoveries that I’ve bumped into along the way. I had no idea, for example, that the Lady Godiva, who, famously, though perhaps not factually, rode naked through the streets of Coventry, was actually a Saxon noblewoman called Godgifu, whose life overlapped with that of

William the Conquerer – Problem Child

The Leopards of Normandy_DEVIL

Imagine a baby boy – call him Baby W – born to an unmarried 16 year-old girl, known as ‘H’ from a working-class background. The baby’s father, ‘R’ comes from a wealthy, powerful family in which power is maintained by the ruthless use of violence: a gang culture, essentially. R agrees to support and eventually

5 Inspiring Historical Locations

Berlin: I’ve written two books as David Thomas – BLOOD RELATIVE and OSTLAND – that are set, at least in part, in wartime Berlin and postwar East Berlin. I don’t know whether its my lifelong fascination with World War II, or my teenage infatuation with that celebrated Berlin resident David Bowie, but the city fascinates

The Normans: basically Vikings who spoke French

One condition of securing the lands that became Normandy was that Rollo the Strider had to abandon his pagan Norse gods, such as Odin and Thor and convert to Christianity. By the time of Duke Robert and his son William, the Dukes were highly devout – William, for example, went to Mass every day. But

Rollo the Strider

The moment I first encountered the story of Rollo, first Duke of Normandy, I knew I had to find a way to get it into ‘Devil’, because once you’ve met Rollo you understand exactly why the line of Dukes that followed him were not only warmongering, pillaging, maiden-snatching warriors, but also shrewd and calculating rulers.

Introduction to the Leopards of Normandy Trilogy

This proposal is the result of a personal passion – virtually an obsession – dating back more than a dozen years. It began with an episode of Simon Schama’s TV series A History of Britain in which he vividly described the bloated body of William the Conqueror, lying at the priory of St Gervais in