A historical novel telling of love, lust, betrayal, courage and fear
This Anglo-Saxon historical novel is based on the earliest known love-triangle story in English. It takes inspiration from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) poetry, and from knowledge of the people who were buried at Sutton Hoo, of their customs and way of life in the late 6th century.
The poems which chiefly prompted this tale are ‘A Wife’s Lament’, ‘The Husband’s Message’ and ‘Wulf and Eadwacer’. (See also Background). The wife has been outcast from her people, and ekes out a miserable existence, living in the hollow of an oak tree. She remembers happier times, and mentions both a husband (who has left her after feuding with her people) and a lover - also exiled, and living in a far-off land, “under stanhlithe storme behrimed”…under a stony cliff, frosted by storms.
In the second poem, a husband sends a messenger to his wife, telling her that, in spite of long absence, he loves her still, reminds her of their vows of love, and calls her to come to him by ship, when the cuckoo calls in the woodland: he has made a fortune, has horses, treasure and life in a hall. He calls her ‘prince’s daughter’.
The third poem (are they all pieces of one story? The MS was partly burned) is the most intriguing. A woman speaks, yearning for Wulf, her lover. But if he could come to her, her people would kill him. He is on one island; she is on another. Is Wulf the warrior she refers to, who has taken her in his arms? Or did she take another lover as comfort? She addresses a man called Eadwacer, in a kind of fury, demanding to know if he hears her, and saying that a wolf will carry their whelp to the woods; men can easily split apart what was never together… their song together. (See Background: references to Richard Hamer’s book.)
Telling of love, lust, betrayal, courage and fear, ‘Storm Frost’ is the story of Niartha, outcast from her people, encountering hardship, abuse and loss in her search for her exiled lover. He is Eni Wulfgrim, brother of Raedwald, who will become King of the Eastern Angles at Sutton Hoo, and who is also important in this story. Raedwald equates to the husband of the poem Eadwacer is his messenger – an increasingly sinister character.
Niartha’s long journey takes her from East Anglia, over the fens, the Lincolnshire wolds and the North Yorkshire moors. After a sea voyage, she reaches a remote Northumbrian river, now called the Coquet, at Amble. Her survival constantly depends on her practical skills – unexpected in a king’s daughter, and on her strength of character.
Where to Buy: Local booksellers via Gardeners wholesalers
AuthorHouse.co.uk (For UK Orders call: 0800 1974 150)
National Trust Shop at Sutton Hoo
Author’s pen name is P.M.Sabin Moore
‘Storm Frost’ ISBN number is 978-1-4389-5995-5
‘Brightfire’ ISBN number is 978-1-4520-5609-8