Copyright 2013 Mike Dixon
In 1436 a dispute arose between the people of Sherborne and their abbot over the ownership of a baptismal font. Before it was settled, the abbey was burnt down and a bishop murdered. Some saw the hand of evil at work and blamed Alice de Lambert, a newcomer to the town, accusing her of being a witch. Others saw Alice as a saint. Wolf Wood is set in the turbulent years of the late middle ages. The old feudal aristocracy is losing control, a new middleclass is flexing its muscles, the authority of the church is being questioned, law and order have broken down and England is facing defeat in France.
Alice arrives in Sherborne as the matron of the almshouse. Part One describes the turbulent events leading to her marriage to Harald Gascoigne of Wolf Wood Manor, the gentle son of a ferocious family. Alice's interest in herbal medicines entangles her with Eleanor Cobham, the scheming wife of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester. Her association with dissident elements in the town earns her the implacable hatred of William Bradford, Abbot of Sherborne. He blames her for the riot that led to the abbey fire and accuses her of being a witch.