23rd August 1170: An Irish ‘D-Day’ Landing

Father was smiling. I remember thinking how rare an event that was these days. ‘Go now and prepare yourself for a journey and your marriage,’ he bade me. ‘We leave at first light tomorrow for Waterford where de Clare awaits us.’ Continue reading 23rd August 1170: An Irish ‘D-Day’ Landing

A Charismatic Leader Picks his Team

Whilst Raymond waited in his camp on a small peninsula on the border between Wexford and Waterford, what was keeping Strongbow? One can only imagine the difficulty of recruiting a private army at a time when every man of substance who wished to advance his career was pursuing opportunities to impress and, eventually, serve his king. Strongbow was not the only noble who had supported the wrong side during the Anarchy. There were others who needed to find a way of regaining the position they had lost with the upon coronation of Henry II. Meanwhile, Strongbow’s future son-in-law was making … Continue reading A Charismatic Leader Picks his Team

An Angry Young Man

It could have been any street in any industrial town or city in England that winter evening early in 1970. Almost fifty years later it is impossible to recall with accuracy the nature of the buildings that lined it, illuminated in the orange glow of sodium lighting. I imagine most would have been closed and shuttered except perhaps for a launderette or a tobacconist. A dress shop, hardware store and pharmacy would have ceased trading an hour or two earlier. A fish and chip shop would have announced its presence long before I reached it. It was around 7pm and … Continue reading An Angry Young Man

Sharing Book Reviews

My thanks to Sally Cronin for featuring Strongbow’s Wife on her blog, along with an excellent review. For anyone that’s interested, there are two ways in which the Strongbow story connects with Archbishop Becket. Both he and Henry II were close friends with the Bristol merchant Aoife’s father first turned to for help in regaining his kingdom. And, once Beckett had been murdered in Canterbury Henry felt the need to atone. His mission to Ireland, suggested by the Pope some years earlier probably seemed like a good way of doing so.   via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update … Continue reading Sharing Book Reviews