A lifelong interest in local history was sparked by a village schoolmaster when the author was eight years old. He had led his pupils on a short walk from the school to the rather fine church where the group gathered in the shade of a yew tree. No doubt Mr Barnes pointed out important architectural details, but the author only remembers the excitement he felt when told he was standing in the very spot where the roundhead soldiers had stood an unimaginable three centuries earlier, as they attacked the decorated stonework of the church at East Knoyle. During a long life, mostly connected to farming in Ontario, Western Australia and Wiltshire, the fascination with history never faded. An understanding of recent centuries merely raised further questions of even earlier times; the succession of questions seemed to become one huge enquiry. Yet this has been a practical life, pursued for the most part in sunshine or rain, long hours of physical labour while caring for farm animals. The pleasure of writing fiction was a late discovery; now an ancient novice is hoping to share that pleasure.

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