The Time of Singing by Elizabeth Chadwick

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The principal characters of this book are Roger Bigod and his wife Ida de Tosney, the parents of Hugh Bigod, whose marriage to Mahelt Marshal featured prominently in To Defy A King. Not that much is known about either of them, which enabled Elizabeth Chadwick to imagine their personalities and relationship against the background of the known facts, during the reigns of Henry II, Richard I and John, and, as ever, she’s done a very good job.

She uses something called the “Akashic Records”. The idea of this is that people’s thoughts and actions leave some kind of imprint on another plane somewhere, which experts can “tune into”. Whilst trying to keep an open mind, the idea that you can somehow tune into another plane and see what was going on 850 years ago seems just a bit weird to me, but each to their own! As I said, she’s done a good job and, with this year seeing the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, the reign of King John, and to a lesser extent those of his predecessor Richard I and successor Henry III, are likely to be coming in for a lot of attention. Elizabeth Chadwick’s books are a very good way of getting into the period.

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