The follow-up to Sheriff and Priest, The Priest’s Son follows the tale of Wimer’s (imaginary) adopted son Jean, who has to fight off all kinds of (real!) threats to the Priory.
King John is on the throne, using the Church as a cash cow. England is under a country-wide excommunication… Jean wants nothing more than to become a postulant and live in peace – but he must fight off the powers that want to split up the Priory and take its lands. Finally the Pope intervenes – but at a cost…
I live about 1/4 mile away from where Dodnash Priory is marked on the map. It’s at the bottom of a steep valley, and is flooded with the first autumn storm, and stays that way all winter. It’s the last place you’d want to build a church and a community! Sheriff and Priest tells the story of how Wimer the Chaplain founded the Priory in a much more suitable place. Working as an amateur archaeologist, I stumbled over that site, and later confirmed it with research in the Suffolk Record Office; there’s no doubt that the Priory moved over to the flooded meadow below somewhere in the early 13th century, and it’s long intrigued me as to why.
The Priest’s Son is the culmination of another 3 years’ research; the events are real and documented, as are the major players. Jean and Edeva are fictional, because events alone do not make a story 🙂
Incidentally, if you sign up for my newsletter (link in the menu above) I will send you a link showing the timeline of the events in The Priest’s Son.
Blog posts about The Priest’s Son, Jean, and the research and writing process behind it can be found here.
The “new” site of Dodnash Priory, late autumn; the lump of stone is the only material remains. The original site’s structure is much better preserved!