Nearing completion: Magnus Patricius
It's been a long haul, but a very worthwhile one I think. The book that has been very close to my heart for several years now, is almost ready to go to the Beta Readers, and then, once the final edits and formatting are done, will go to publication. The Publisher has decided to bring out a Hardback edition as well as Paperback and Kindle and I will confess, I am delighted. The book is based on the life of St Patrick. In fact I have used his Confessio or Declaration as the outline and crafted the story around that.
Magnus Sucatus Patricius, once you get past the legends and the mythology, is an amazing man. My research of him has taken me through quite a number of sources and into a period often referred to as 'The Dark Ages'. What I learned convinced me that far from being 'dark' it was a period in which society was undergoing a massive upheaval and change. the 'barbarians' were moving into the Roman controlled areas and 'romanising' themselves, while bringing their own ideas and cultures with them. This was the period in which modern Europe began to take shape.
The Hibernians, or Scotti, were an interesting people. Wrongly classed as 'Celts' by 18th Century scholars, they are more closely related genetically to the Basque people's in Spain, but have also mixed with an absorbed Celtic genes along the way. Their language is older than the Gaelic of Scotland and Wales, more closely tied to the Basque and Bretonese tongues than either, though belonging to the same 'family'. Fiercely tribal, the Hibernians of the 5th Century lived under the rule of their tribal 'kings' or chieftains and used a legal system known as 'Brehon'. They had, as yet, no written version of their language, relying instead on the druids to memorise and recite their records aided by a developing script known as Ogham. One of the tragedies of history was the destruction, by Cromwell's troops invading Ireland in the 1640s of the Ogham Libraries at Dundalk and Drogheda which had only just escaped the destruction of the monasteries under Henry VIII. We can never know what original writings were lost forever as the wooden tiles the writers used were burned by the Cromwellian soldiers.
The resulting book, is a fictionalised account, told by Patrick to his followers starting at his enslavement when seized at his family home in Britannia Prime, and finishing with his death at Saul in County Down on STrangford Lough. I hope readers will find it as inspiring as I did writing it.