Senlac is a two-part historical novel that brings to life the turbulent period leading to the Norman conquest of England in 1066, when the English were forced to defend the kingdom against invasions by both the Normans and the Vikings. The book is named for the hill upon which the final defense was mounted. The results would dramatically change the course of history.
Senlac, Book One, opens during Christmas, 1065, a time of grave national crisis and disquieting omens in England, when the aged King Edward the Confessor, the seventh son of Æthelred the Unready, dies in the Palace of Westminster in London. Even as a successor is crowned by popular acclaim, King Harold II faces attack from two formidable neighbors: the Viking army of Harald Hardraada and the Norman forces led by William the Conqueror. Also in play is Harold’s own exiled younger brother, Tostig, who is bent on revenge against the King who banished him.
In Book Two of Senlac, the inevitable happens; forces are engaged in a violent, bloody war. Each of the three powerful leaders is forced to the very limit of their abilities and resources as they fight to achieve their ambitious goals. The result is the tragic year of The Three Battles, the death of thousands of warriors and common people conscripted for the carnage, and the destruction of a whole way of life. Nothing will ever be the same.
Carefully researched and re-imagined by Londoner and first-time novelist Julian del la Motte, Senlac turns the dust of history into living flesh and emotion. “It might just be the best historical fiction you’ll ever read,” says Charles McNair, who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel, Land O’ Goshen.
Praise for Senlac
“My astonishment grew by the page. Somehow Julian de la Motte summons up an image of the Europe of 1,000 years ago, an account that feels not at all like fiction, but instead real; an uncanny historical rendering that blends the exquisite detail of Hilary Mantel with the scope of Edward Gibbon. If you don't believe me then open Senlac. It might just be the best historical fiction you'll ever read.” —Charles McNair, author of Land O’ Goshen and the forthcoming The Epicureans
Julian de la Motte was born in London. He graduated in Medieval History and Theology from SDUC Lampeter, University of Wales, and gained a postgraduate qualification in Medieval Art from the University of York. After spending three years in Italy as an English teacher he returned to the U.K. and worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, materials writer, and specialist in Cross Cultural Training before becoming a Director of Foreign Language training to the U.K. corporate sector. This was followed by a career in International Sales and Marketing, involving extensive overseas business travel. Senlac is his first novel.