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Carla Nayland is a scientist with a lifelong interest in history and archaeology. She has long been fascinated by the early medieval period, sometimes called the ‘Heroic Age’ or the ‘Dark Ages’, the centuries after the end of the western Roman Empire. This was a formative time in British history, and it was in this period that the countries of England, Scotland and Wales first began to emerge. It was a colourful period of tremendous diversity, with numerous religions, ethnic groups, languages and cultures all jostling for position. We are lucky enough to have a near-contemporary source, a history of the church in England written by the Venerable Bede in 731 AD, which is full of vivid characters, drama, warfare, intrigue and betrayal. Carla Nayland set out to bring this little-known period of history to life through historical fiction.
Numerous articles on the history and culture of seventh-century Britain, including the historical background to Paths of Exile, can be found on Carla’s website and blog.
Subjects range from the use of silk in Anglo-Saxon England to human sacrifice, and new articles are regularly added.
She also writes fiction set in an invented world loosely based on medieval Britain: "Ingeld's Daughter" is available as a free PDF from Carla's website.