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Recent Reads

November 25, 2015

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Durham and more specifically the cathedral bookshop is the source of my recent reads.

On a weekend visit I was given a copy of Philip Pullman’s ‘The Northern Lights’ which was being promoted at Durham book festival. From the bookshop I purchased ‘The Abbess of Whitby’ by Jill Dalladay and ‘Oswald, Return of the King’ by Edoardo Albert.

The historical notes at the back of the book enlightened me to the fact that parallels can be drawn between the life of King Oswald and Aragorn’s return to claim his throne in Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’

The idea that Northumbria, and not New Zealand, was probably the original setting for Middle-earth inspired me to re-watch the ‘Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ films.

I am now half way through ‘The Abbess of Whitby’ which is about Hild of Northumbria.

Once again, through reading well researched historical fiction I am learning new facts about people of importance in a county dear to my heart.

I would never have realised that Hild had a pagan upbringing before converting to Christianity and finally becoming a saint like Oswald.

I love learning about history but find it easier to absorb this way and don’t worry too much about whether or not what I am reading is the whole truth. After all most of history is interpreted from recorded ‘facts’, is it not?

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