Bardney today is a village in Lincolnshire, 11 miles east of Lincoln.



The Old English word Æþeling means 'child of a noble family' - prince, in effect. Modern historians often use the term 'throne-worthy' to refer to those athelings of the royal house who were eligible for kingship. There was no automatic rule of primogeniture - a king's successor did not need to be his eldest son, and indeed was not necessarily his son at all. Thus, in the 9th century, King Athelwulf had five sons, four of whom became king in turn: Athelstan (d.

Athelfled, Lady of the Mercians

 Athelfled (more properly Æþelflæd), Lady of the Mercians, was the eldest child of King Alfred the Great of Wessex. We don't know when she was born, but her father became King at the age of 22 in 871 AD, so around then or a few years earlier seems likely.

Book Launch at the Jorvik Viking Festival

Friday, December 16, 2011

 The Bone Thief will be formally launched in York on its publication day, Thursday 16th February 2012, as part of the 27th annual Jorvik Viking Festival. The venue will be the Mansion House, in St Helen's Square (very handy for Betty's Tea Rooms!), at 2pm. I'll be giving a short talk on the challenges of writing historical fiction, as well as a reading.

Silverdale Hoard

Friday, December 16, 2011

This really is the year of Viking silver hoards. After the excitement of the Barrow hoard, now there is the aptly named Silverdale hoard. A familiar-looking collection of armrings, hacksilver, ingots and coins, from circa 900 - with the surprise of a coin of Airdeconut. Is this another unknown ruler of York, to add to Siefridus and Cnut?

Amazing find in Southern Sweden

Thursday, November 10, 2011

  The long-running excavations at the high status Viking Age site of Uppåkra have turned up this bronze plaque which may depict Volundr – aka Weland Smith – a mythological figure well-known to both the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons.

Publication date for 2012

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Bone-Thief is due out from Ebury Publishing next year. We are exploring the possibility of a book-launch in association with the Jorvik Viking Festival in York, but that’s only February, which doesn’t give us much time.


After going to school in Nairobi, New York, London and Letchworth, I read English at St Anne's College, Oxford (Course II, specialising in medieval literatures and archaeology - what a treat), and went on to study for an M.A in Icelandic Literature at the Centre for Medieval Studies in York.

I then stayed in York for a D. Phil in the English Department (The Understanding of Death in England 800-1100). I have published a wide range of academic articles and a book, Dying and Death in Later Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge, 2004), which was re-issued in paperback in July 2012. My current research is on the Viking Age sculpture of Britain and Ireland, and I am working on a monograph for Oxford University Press.