The Island of Tin and King Arthur
By Mary Anne Yarde
“The waves were shadows, snakes under a quilt, creeping in almost unseen until they emerged in milky ripples at the water’s edge.”
Winston Graham, Ross Poldark.
From the breathtaking beauty of the coast.
|The View from Tintagel Castle|
To the enduring Standing Stones whom for thousands of years have sat in watchful silence on Bodmin Moor.
|Hurlers, Bodmin Moor.|
Cornwall. A kingdom within a nation. A place where one step can take you on a journey the likes of which you could never imagine. This is a land of wild seas, myths and legends.
In the 6th Century, Cornwall was very much her own nation, just like she had always been. She was separated from the rest of mainland Britain by not only her language and her customs, but also by a spirit that refused to bow down to imposed authority. Whether that be Roman or Saxon.
My series, The Du Lac Chronicles, is set in war-torn South-West Britain, Brittany and Frank. But for today, I am going to talk about Cornwall, or the Kingdom of Cerniw, as she is known in my series.
Cornwall is my secret love affair. If I could choose to live anywhere in the world, it would probably be there. Not only does she have the most staggeringly beautiful countryside and sea, but her history is also something to admire, and her legends… Well, they are just my cup of tea.
Cornwall has an intriguing past. Now we all know that Emperor Hadrian built a huge wall to divide the North of the country from the South because the North was too wild to be conquered. But nothing is ever mentioned about the little kingdom in the far South-West of Britain. The Roman occupation of Cornwall is very intriguing. It has been suggested that the Roman's stopped at Devon. There are a few milestones and evidence of Roman occupation in Cornwall, but not on the scale of the rest of the county. Why? What was it about this little kingdom that stopped even the Roman Empire in its tracks?
Cornwall had something that the Roman’s wanted, and I think they kept their independence because they knew what they were doing when it came to commerce. In fact, Cornwall had something that everyone wanted. Tin. The history of mining for tin in Cornwall goes way back, far before the time of Winston Graham’s Poldark series. Cornwall was known as The Island of Tin. Silver has also been found in Cornwall. The land is rich with treasure for those who know where to look. And trade means money, and money… I heard that makes the world go round.
Fast-forward to the time when my books are set in, and once again Cornwall is standing strong against a foreign aggressor. Rome did not best her and nor would the Saxons.
I am fascinated by the Saxon invasion, and it is something that I explore in my series. In particular, I am interested in the Saxon, Cerdic of Wessex, and his journey to being crowned High King. While other kingdoms fell by the wayside and became incorporated into the Wessex realm, Cornwall held her ground. Cerdic landed in Hampshire in c.495. By 519, Cerdic had conquered the South of England, with the exception of Cornwall. It wasn't until the Battle of Hingston Down, in 838, when Cornwall finally lost her independence to the now vast Kingdom of Wessex. Cornwall repelled the Saxons for almost 350 years. Now, that is impressive.
As the water settles over Dozemary Pool and when the sun sets over the grass covered ruins of Castle Dore, it is easy to believe in the stories this land inspires. If King Arthur was not born at Tintagel Castle, then he should have been. If Arthur did not fall at Slaughter Bridge, then where did he? This is the land of King Arthur. This is the land where his reign began, and this is the land where it ended. If, you believe the stories that is.
Arthurian Legend and Cornwall have a relationship that spans over a thousand years. My series explores what happened after the death of King Arthur, and therefore Cornwall is a fundamental backdrop to my series.
Travel back to Dark Age Briton with Mary Anne Yarde.
King Arthur had fallen, but his knights are far from dead...
The Du Lac Prophecy
(Book 4 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
(Book 4 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
Two Prophesies. Two Noble Households. One Throne.
Distrust and greed threaten to destroy the House of du Lac. Mordred Pendragon strengthens his hold on Brittany and the surrounding kingdoms while Alan, Mordred’s cousin, embarks on a desperate quest to find Arthur’s lost knights. Without the knights and the relics they hold in trust, they cannot defeat Arthur’s only son – but finding the knights is only half of the battle. Convincing them to fight on the side of the Du Lac’s, their sworn enemy, will not be easy.
If Alden, King of Cerniw, cannot bring unity there will be no need for Arthur’s knights. With Budic threatening to invade Alden’s Kingdom, Merton putting love before duty, and Garren disappearing to goodness knows where, what hope does Alden have? If Alden cannot get his House in order, Mordred will destroy them all.
They won’t help you,” Bastian stated and Philippe turned to look at him. “The dead. They won’t help you.”
“I thought I was alone,” Philippe said as he looked back at Tristan’s tombstone.
“In Benwick Castle?” Bastian scoffed. “There is always someone watching. You know that as well as I do. Why are you here?”
“I came looking for answers.”
“Did you find any?” Bastian asked with cynicism.
“I didn’t think so.”
“Lancelot was a brave man, wasn’t he?” Philippe mumbled the question more to himself than anything else.
“As was Tristan,” Bastian agreed.
“Did you know him? Tristan, I mean.”
“A little. He kept himself to himself for the most part. He was wounded you see, during the battle of Benwick. He lost the use of his legs. He couldn’t walk. But he...” Bastian smiled as he remembered. “He was very wise. And he was happy to share that wisdom. I liked him. Although not everyone did. After Tristan died, there was talk. Some said he was a liar.”
“What did Lancelot say?” Philippe asked.
“I cannot imagine Lancelot being friends with someone who lied to him. But he neither condemned nor defended Tristan. He kept his own counsel. What are you going to do, Philippe?”
Philippe looked up at the sky. The lavender hue had changed to a blue one. He never appreciated how beautiful the sky was, until now. The day promised to be a warm one, but Philippe felt chilled.
“What would you do?” Philippe asked, as he rose to his feet and looked at his general.
“You have two choices. You can abdicate. Hand him the throne. Or...”
“Or...” Philippe encouraged.
“You could kill him,” Bastian said with a shrug.
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Mary Anne Yarde
Mary Anne Yarde is the multi award-winning author of the International Bestselling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Britain and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Mary Anne is the founder of The Coffee Pot Book Club. She has been a professional reader since 2016 and in this time Mary Anne has reviewed many books for the big and small publishing houses, as well as books penned by her fellow indie authors. Mary Anne is also an editorial reviewer The Coffee Pot Book Club and for The International Review of Books. Mary Anne has been a judge for a prestigious Historical Fiction Book Award for the last three years, as well as being a Top Reviewer on Netgalley.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury — the fabled Isle of Avalon — was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
You can contact Mary Anne by email: