The Venerable Bede's greatest work was, without a doubt, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, An Ecclesiastical History of the English people. I think Bede brings this time of history to life, he makes these long dead Kings and Queens breathe again. I had reread this book so many times, that my copy is beginning to fall apart. If you have never read it and are interested in this time of history then get yourself a copy. It is worth reading....only if it is the once. I think it is beautifully written. This is how he describes the life of man.
'The present life of man, O king, seems to me, in comparison to that time which is unknown to us, like the swift flight of a sparrow through the room where you sit at supper in winter, with your commanders and ministers, with a good fire in the midst, while the storm of rain and snow rage outside. The sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at another, while he is inside, he is safe from the wintery storm; but after a short space of shelter, he immediately vanishes out of sight, into the dark winter from which he had emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant.' Bede
Heres a beautiful animation of the said sparrow!
When we think of historical characters we sometimes forget that they were in fact real people, who felt, who dreamed, who loved, who hated. They experienced the same emotions as we do now. They are not so different, the time they lived in certainly was, but they were human, just like you, just like me. This is what drew me to writing in the first place. The chance to portray humanity in a time that is foreign. And that is what I hope to achieve with my writing. I hope I succeed.