Introducing FIVE WOUNDS

Five Wounds is an adventure. It has romance, swordfighting, danger, executions, a VERY hot blacksmith, and my heroine Nan Ellerton, a sixteen year old girl with a falcon, who I hope my readers will love as much as I do.

The historical reality that lies behind the book is harsher.  Early Tudor England was a cruel, often frightening society. But it was also a society with a rich religious life, colourful (literally) and infused with magic. At the time I am writing about, old beliefs were being challenged and traditions swept away, sometimes by force.

So how did people feel about that? Did they fight it?

Well, in the north of England they did, and the rebellion that took place against Henry VIII, known as the Pilgrimage of Grace, forms the setting for my novel.

The story takes place in 1536-7, when the north of England boiled over into rebellion. Nan is sixteen years old and has been sent home from the nunnery where she has been educated.  Desperate to restore ‘true’ religion to England so she can avoid marriage and return to the nunnery, Nan joins the rebels.

But the rebellion fails and the Duke of Norfolk begins a brutal crackdown across the north. Now the rebels have a hard choice to make, between paying the penalty for treason, and eternal damnation.  In the face of danger, betrayal and temptation, Nan’s only source of courage is a tiny splinter of wood she rescued from an abandoned abbey: a fragment of the True Cross, the most powerful relic on earth…

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8 thoughts on “Introducing FIVE WOUNDS

  1. Pingback: Hello and welcome! | Katharine Edgar

  2. Pingback: Hello and welcome! | Katharine Edgar

  3. Oh, what an interesting question! We know about several teenage boys who were involved, mainly from the gentry/aristocracy – in one case, his father didn’t want to take part but the rebels demanded that he go with them, so he sent his son instead! We know of young women who were involved in resistance against Henry VIII’s religious reforms through other means, including….WITCHCRAFT! I’ll blog about this in more detail some time and tell you all about Mabel Briggs and her Black Fast.

  4. Fascinating, that we think of nunneries of places for young girls to escape from (Sound of Music, etc) whereas for Nan, that was the freedom to which she longs to return–at least initially!!

    • Well, Renaissance nunneries were definitely not the austere places we might imagine. They were also one of the few places in Tudor England were women weren’t subject to the authority of a husband – though there were male clergy with some power – so if you had a reason for not wanting to be under the thumb of a husband the nunnery might be the only way you could imagine achieving that. There’s a wonderful book by Mary Laven about Venetian nuns (Virgins of Venice – you can get it cheaply on Amazon) which definitely makes the case that their lifestyle was, ahem, perhaps not what you might expect….

  5. The ‘vagabond literature’ of later in the century indicates that there were many women tramping the roads – estimates put it at four times as many women as men. My conjecture is that a lot of these would have been either displaced nuns, or women who were avoiding living ‘under the thumb of a husband’ in the only way now open to them.

    • Jill, that is absolutely fascinating! It’s very interesting what happened to the former nuns. I know some of them married, some went back to their families, and others lived in houses together trying to continue their way of life as best they could.
      I would love to hear more about the ‘vagabond literature’.

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