The Writers of Wales Database
Ael y Bryn, Cwrtnewydd, Llanybydder, Ceredigion, SA40 9YP
Judith was born in Hertfordshire but since childhood has felt an affinity with Wales. On reaching adulthood she moved to Ceredigion at the first opportunity and has now lived in Cwrtnewydd for seventeen years. Her four children attended Welsh schools and are fluent in the language. Judith returned to education when her youngest child began secondary school. At The University of Wales, Lampeter she gained a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in medieval history. She now combines those skills to produce historical novels. Judith’s novels provide a voice for medieval women who were for so long overlooked by the chroniclers.
Her first novel, Peaceweaver was published in 2009. It tells the story of Eadgyth Aelfgarsdottir, the wife to Gruffydd ap Llewelyn of Wales and Harold II of England. Judith’s second novel, The Forest Dwellers is a tale of oppression, sexual manipulation and vengeance. It tells the story of a family evicted from their homes after the Norman conquest to make way for the King’s royal hunting ground; his New Forest. The novel encompasses the transitional years of the post conquest period, ending with the mysterious death of King William Rufus.
With respect to Peaceweaver (Youwriteon, Nov 2009)
“…This book brings history alive. The reader is taken back over a thousand years to the early 11th century to see history from a woman’s point of view…Judith Arnopp’s book is a pleasure to read. It is fluent and eloquent and tells a good story. I was reminded of the historical novels of Anya Seton as I sat in my 21st century house and was transported back to Saxon England. Although this is history from the woman’s point of view (marriage, children, hardship), Judith Arnopp still gives us the gory horrors and accuracy of the Norman invasion as well as a love story. I was spell bound, and want to know more of the two women’s lives.”
Sue Moules (poet)
With respect to Waving at Trains (Lapwing, Jan 2010)
“…These poems are a delightful evocation of childhood during the 1960’s in Britain. Everyone’s story will of course be different, however, these poems will act as a comparator to the ghastly contemporary premature aging of today’s children. In some ways perhaps these poems represent the hiatus between say the awful era of Victorian child labour and the equally awful era we are now in. They certainly contrast with the brutal and desensitised realities that mar growing up across great swathes of these islands.”
With respect to The Forest Dwellers (Youwriteon, Oct 2011)
“...Lovely work. Aelf's voice, his tone, and the circumstances of the times are so clearly drawn. A story about real people in times past. I'm always interested in stories set in this time period and slightly before and this does not disappoint. This is confidently done, consistently written and thoroughly detailed..."
N. Gemini Sasson, author of Isabella and The Bruce Trilogy
Peaceweaver (Youwriteon, 2009) Also available on Kindle
Waving at Trains (Lapwing poetry, Belfast 2010)
The Forest Dwellers (Youwriteon, 2011) Coming to Kindle soon
Dear Henry: Confessions of the Queens (Amazon: Kindle)
Peaceweaver (Youwriteon, 2009)
1070, four years after the Battle of Hastings, Eadgyth, in hiding from the conquering King William of Normandy, relates her tale of adventure, passion and conflict.
Daughter of the powerful Earl of Mercia, Eadgyth’s story begins when she is sold into marriage to Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, leader of the Welsh; a man old enough to be her grandfather. Her life in turmoil, she discovers both friendship and romance, but from a man who is not her husband. Ultimately she finds herself accused of treason, fornication and incest.
The peace of Rhuddlan is shattered by Harold Godwinson’s surprise night attack on the palace. Gruffydd and some of his household escape but Eadgyth is abandoned and falls into the hands of the Saxon invaders.
After the betrayal and brutal murder of Gruffydd, Eadgyth is separated from her sons and taken to the court of the Saxon King, Edward the Confessor. There, desperate to be reunited with her children, she befriends the queen and her feminine charms enable her to infiltrate the sticky intrigues of the Godwin family.
An unexpected proposal of marriage from Earl Harold provides the security she needs and on his accession to the throne, unable to resist his offer, she agrees to become his queen. However, this newfound position of wealth and power is threatened as William the Bastard assembles his fleet in the south while Harald Hardrada prepares to invade from the North. The portentous date of October 14th 1066 looms.
Eadgyth tells a tale of loss, betrayal, passion and war and highlights the plight of women, tossed in the tumultuous sea of feuding Anglo Saxon Britain.
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The Forest Dwellers (Youwriteon, 2011)
Ytene, England - 1078.
The people of Ytene are persecuted, evicted from their homes and forced to live in exile from the lands their forebears have inhabited for generations. Life is hard. The Norman interlopers are hated. Twelve years after the Norman invasion, siblings, Ælf and Leo, encounter soldiers molesting a forest girl who is fairer than any they have ever seen. They stop the attack in the only way they can ... violently and their action triggers a chain of events that will end only with the death of a king.
The Forest Dwellers is a tale of oppression, sexual manipulation and vengeance.
To purchase this title from amazon.co.uk please click on the front cover