Beautiful Bardic Monk

My day has been made again today by having been stopped twice by people who have fallen in love with The Bardic Monk.

‘He is a beautiful character,’ said one of them. ‘In spite of his funny looks!’ Considering he is regarded by some of the other characters as a changeling, and the description of him by Walter Map is so unkind, I think that ‘funny looks’ is a bit of an understatement.

But I will not complain, since the compliment to the character is also one for me, and though I know it is a small book, and will probably only ever find a small readership, due to my love of obscure material, I feel immensely happy about the quality of feedback I have received about it.

The second person asked me whether I had ever spent time in a monastery of any sort, since the description of the Bardic Monk’s early life there, struck such a chord of genuine awareness of the conditions. The truth is of course, I have never spent time in a monastery. I visited Buckfast Abbey in Devon and saw round the place with a monk as guide once, a long time ago, but as for the life they live, I only know what I know from research of course.

Sometime in the next couple of days I will write about Banjo, the wonderful book of poetry by Samantha Wynne Rhydderch whose work is not only well researched but amazingly descriptive and a total joy to have beside the bed.

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2 thoughts on “Beautiful Bardic Monk

  1. I read The Bardic Monk last week and I thought the story was thrilling and the quality of the writing superb! I don’t usually go for historical fiction but found myself fascinated by the world Liz Whittaker evoked. The characters were authentic and their responses to the situations they found themselves in, despite being separated from today’s society by hundreds of years, felt fresh and current. The petty grievances, the humility, the search for truth and answers – all things I could relate to without having to strain or consciously suspend disbelief. Like all great quest narratives, this is a novel that focuses on the individual and their journey, presenting a hero that is honest and flawed, and all the more likeable for that. I found myself thinking about Walter and Alain long after I’d turned the last page.

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