Karen Maitland introduces THE PLAGUE CHARMER
Posted on: 03/10/2016 with tags: historical fiction, historical novel, karen maitland, Medieval, medieval england, medieval history, plague, Medieval
My new novel is set in 1361 when the Black Death swept across England for the second time. When it first struck in 1348, the plague had seemed like the end of the world, but when it returned it just thirteen years later it was with a far more cruel and devastating twist.
It is strange how ideas come together to create a novel. I was watching the news about Ebola when the reporter turned to the camera and asked a simple, but chilling, question – what would you do to save the lives of those you love? I found myself asking what if someone told you they could save your family from a horrific death, but the price they demanded wasn’t money, but something even the most loving person might blanch at? Would you pay that price?
The isolated coastal village of Porlock Weir is the setting for this novel, clinging by its fingernails to the steep cliffs of Exmoor. And, as I watched the waves thundering in over the remains of the ancient stone fish-weirs there, I remembered that, when I was child, an elderly fishermen told me he’d never learned to swim, because if the sea wanted you and you escaped from her, she would take three lives in your place. In medieval times, everyone living in these fishing villages depended for their very lives on what the sea gave them, yet the sea could turn on them in a heartbeat. Ghost ships ride on the ocean and corpses drift under it. Life and death come out of the sea, but who knows which one the storm will cast up on the shore?
I would be delighted if you would like to read THE PLAGUE CHARMER and I do hope that you will enjoy reading it as much I did writing it.