And so our story has come to an end. And I say *our* story because it really was. I wrote it, but everyone who read the book and commented on it had a say in the story. I had encouragement from reader through the Amazon Discussion Boards, on this blog, through email, through Facebook and Twitter, through Amazon reviews, and in person. And I thank all of you for making The Scourge as successful as it has been.
And, speaking of Amazon reviews, If you have enjoyed the book, a good review is always welcome. Such reviews make the novel more appealing to others and show my publishers that there is broad appeal for The Scourge.
*** Okay, this is the point in the post where the spoilers come in, so if you haven’t finished episode 8, you might want to return after reading it. For those of you in the know, onward! ***
The historical elements of this episode included masties (bull mastiffs), the aptly named River Brain, Hedingham, St. Edmund, and St. Edmund’s Bury. A lot to talk about, so I will just touch on a few points.
As usual, I will start with the animals.
Isabella owns “masties.”
Isabella owns *plagued* masties.
The dogs did not start out plagued in her case, but that’s a topic for another day. Masties are the medieval name for English Mastiffs. These dogs are horrifyingly large and often were used as guard dogs. Unfortunately, they were also used for bear-baiting and bull-baiting. And, because of their strength and size, they were even pitted against lions. There are few dog breeds that are taller than the mastiff, and none that can match the mastiff in both size and girth.
Um. There’s something about using the words size and girth together that makes that sentence seem dirty. Ah well. I digress. Suffice it to say, a human would be a small meal for one of these creatures. Although these days, the Mastiffs are known to be extremely gentle. They’ve come a long way from their bull-baiting days.
Hedingham has one of the best preserved Norman keeps in England. Edward and his knights never made it to the castle, but if you get a chance, you should. It’s beautiful and they hold jousting tournaments and other medieval events here throughout the year.
Apart from the cathedral and the Church of Saint Mary, the Abbey Gatehouse, to the left, is one of the few undamaged structures left at the monastery. The walls of the sprawling abbey run all over the town. The Abbot’s Bridge over the River Lark is still there and there are ruins where the other buildings used to be, but they are a shadow of what this incredible compound used to be. Still *very* worth a visit. The gatehouses and grounds are kept meticulously. And the walls, though worn and decayed, are still a site to see as they wind around the entire town. There’s a gorgeous garden on the abbey grounds during the summer and spring. And if that isn’t enough, the town itself is beautiful and cozy and has lots of great shopping, restaurants, and history. A cool abstract statue of St. Edmund tied to a tree and shot through with arrows is worth a look, on a roundabout behind the ARC shopping center.
Well, that’s it for today, and for this volume of The Scourge. Thanks again to everyone who took this journey with me, Edward, Tristan and Morgan (yes, and Zhuri too). I hope to see all of you very soon with news about Edward and the gang.