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Researching a World That By no means Was, an essay by A. M. Linden

Because of writer A. M. Linden for contributing an essay on making a believable historic world for her new novel, The Valley, second e-book in her Druid Chronicles collection set within the British Isles within the eighth century. The Valley was printed by She Writes Press on June twenty eighth.


The Analysis for The Valley:
Researching a World That By no means Was

A. M. Linden

E-book 2 of The Druid Chronicles expands on the premise that the remnants of a as soon as highly effective pagan cult have survived into the final years of the eighth century, a time when the conversion to Christianity is all however full all through the remainder of the British Isles. Whereas the opposite 4 books of the collection are set in fictional however traditionally primarily based Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Llwddawanden, the valley of the e-book’s title, is fully hypothetical—a spot I conceived of as a misplaced world the place its inhabitants stay based on a system of beliefs courting again to the Iron Age. That stated, it was at all times my intention to make this a part of my characters’ story not less than believable, and I started my analysis with a broad evaluate of the related educational and common literature.

Though Druids don’t seem within the historic file after the Roman conquest of the Gauls on the European continent, and the Celts in what’s now England, they’re described by Julius Caesar and others as members of a priestly class of polytheistic Celts that carried out features as bards, oracles, and healers in addition to serving as judges and political advisors. Caesar additional reported that turning into a Druid required a coaching interval so long as twenty years. With that to go on, I turned to ethnographic research of societies with comparable social roles and to the works of folklorists who’ve recorded and studied epics and folktales from around the globe—specializing in creation tales, epic poetry, and folktales conveying cultural mores.

By then I knew that one in all The Valley’s underlying points was to be the inner tensions of a persecuted minority struggling to outlive and to go on deeply held beliefs, and I had settled on the three predominant protagonists—Herrwn, the shrine’s grasp bard, Ossiam, their oracle, and Olyrrwd, their doctor—who shared a collective duty as advisors to the shrine’s chief priestess and as judges on its councils.

Herrwn, the novel’s viewpoint character, had his origins in what I’ve realized about bards because the keepers and transmitters of cultural traditions by way of oral sagas and poetry, Ossiam is extra of a mixture, part-shaman, part-trickster, whereas Olyrrwd has his counterparts in non-western healers in addition to in pre-nineteenth-century medical practitioners.

From the primary, I meant the collection’ main battle to be between my Druid cult’s devotion to the worship of a supreme mom goddess and the paternalistic monotheism of the Christian world outdoors their secluded sanctuary. There may be documentation of goddesses having a big function in pre-Christian Celtic religions however, to me not less than, their operate was not as dominant as I had in thoughts, so once more I seemed on the bigger literature—starting from hypothesis concerning the paleolithic “Venus” collectible figurines discovered throughout the Eurasian continent to the views of modern-day Wiccans—mixing what I realized into the theology that might govern life within the imaginary valley of Llwddawanden.


Ann Margaret Linden was born in Seattle, Washington, however grew up on the east coast, returning to the Pacific Northwest as a younger grownup. She has undergraduate levels in anthropology and in nursing and a grasp’s diploma as a nurse practitioner. After working in a wide range of acute care and neighborhood well being settings, she took a place in a program for kids with particular well being care wants the place her duties included writing a wide range of program associated supplies. In a considerably whimsical resolution to write down one thing for enjoyable, she started what was to be a tongue-in-cheek historic homicide thriller involving Druids and early medieval Christians. It wasn’t meant to be lengthy or concerned, however the characters appeared to amass lives of their very own and their story grew to change into The Druid Chronicles. Previous to her retirement, this remained an after-hours endeavor that included taking grownup training artistic writing programs and researching early British historical past, and was augmented with journey to England, Scotland, and Wales. Since then, the insistence of these characters on getting themselves into print has prevailed. Presently finishing the ultimate draft of the final e-book, the writer lives together with her husband and their cat and canine within the northwest nook of Washington state.

For extra data, go to the collection web site.


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