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I live on a smallholding in West Wales with my husband, John, and two of our grown-up children. We used to do the whole self sufficiency thing but the fox ate all the chickens, the slugs ate all the lettuce and ill health forced us to give up the battle. Now we care for our daughter's three elderly ponies and wrestle with our two very naughty Jack Russells.
My greatest loves have always been writing and history. Since I was very small I have had a book in one hand and a pen in the other. These days, I have progressed to this wonderful machine which allows me to write the sort of books I love to read. Historical settings with a good strong lead female.
One of the great tragedies of history is that monastic chroniclers didn't think women sufficiently important enough to give them space on the record. This has caused women to be under-represented and, in my opinion, also often incorrectly cateogorised. Of course, the male section of medieval society tried to suppress their women; it still happens today but that doesn't mean that every one of them bowed down to male authority.
There were women like Aethelflaed, who ruled Mercia for thirty four years, led armies against the vikings, refortified the Roman towns of Chester and Tamworth, founded Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Warwick and Stafford. Eleanor of Aquitaine who, among other things, ruled England on behalf of her son, King Richard the lionheart's behalf until he could come to claim his throne. Margaret of Anjou who fought unsuccessfully for her son's rights and Margaret Beaufort whose campaign to put her son, Henry vii, on the throne, was rather more successful. Mary Banks who, along with her daughters and a handful of servants, withstood a siege at Corfe castle on behalf of King Charles during the civil war.
These are just a few examples of women who 'displayed a courage far above their sex as to surprise and disconcert their men' and they are the type of women you will find in my novels.
you can find more information and exerpts from my novels on www.juditharnopp.com and also follow my blog on http://juditharnoppnovelist.blogspot.com/