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I was born in England in 1950 and educated at Watford Boys' Grammar School and Sussex University, where my interest in natural history led me to read biology.
My first successful novel was "The Stone Arrow", which was published to critical acclaim in 1978. It subsequently won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, administered by the Royal Society of Literature in London, and was the first in a trilogy. This was followed by "The Penal Colony" (1987), a futuristic thriller that formed the basis of the 1994 movie "No Escape", starring Ray Liotta.
The main difficulty for the author is making his voice heard in the roar of self-promotion. I believe that the work I am producing now is of higher quality than my prize-winning first, and ask you, the reader, to help spread the word by telling your friends if you have enjoyed one of my books.
C S McClellan
on Feb. 24, 2012 :
If you love historical fiction, you need to acquaint yourself with Richard Herley. His novels are not only rich in detail, they're beautifully written. His descriptions draw you in with the sounds, scents, and views of an often wild and unfriendly, but beautiful world. His nature isn't a passive thing that you merely look at. It's active and engaging, and always very much a part of the story. When he writes about a flock of seabirds swooping over the water, you can see and hear them.
His descriptions of manual skills and handcrafts, often of another time and place are thoroughly convincing and contribute to the feeling of authenticity about the periods he writes about. I think his knowledge must be based as much on his own skills as on research.
The heart of The Tide Mill is about the intersection of the lives of serfs, free men, and nobles. Characters defy their ordained destinies, suffer the consequences, or reap the rewards. Nothing about this life is easy, even for the highborn, who have to balance the opposing demands of their king and the church. The characters struggle against each other, and against nature, mostly in the form of the sea that edges the village. Most of all, they struggle against themselves. Two threads wind through the story, the forbidden love of two people from different social classes, and the construction of a new kind of mill that attracts the greedy attention of the Church.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Aug. 30, 2010 :
Another superb novel from Richard Herley, bringing the 13th century to life in extraordinary detail. Who would have thought that building a mill could be exciting? But I couldn't put it down!
(reviewed long after purchase)