ABOUT Judith Arnopp

Judith Arnopp
I write historical novels set in the late Anglo Saxon/ early Medieval period. My first novel Peaceweaver is told from the perspective of Eadgyth, wife and queen to Gruffydd ap Llewellyn of Wales and Harold ii of England. EAdgyth provides a female view of the  years leading up to and enc More...



1070, four years after the Battle of Hastings; Eadgyth, in hiding from the conquering King William of Normandy, relates her tale of passion and conflict.


Her story begins when she is sold into marriage to Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, leader of the Welsh; a man old enough to be her grandfather.   She is saved from sorrow  by love but the romance she finds is not in the arms of her husband.   When Harold Godwinson launches a surprise attack.  Gruffydd escapes but Eadgyth falls into the hands of the Saxons.


Eadgyth is taken to the court of King Edward the Confessor. There she befriends the queen and her feminine charms enable her to infiltrate the sticky intrigues of the Godwin family.  However  her happiness is threatened as  the portentous date of   October 14th 1066 looms.


Eadgyth's story highlights the plight of women, tossed in the tumultuous sea of feuding Anglo Saxon Britain.


Eadgyth, daughter of the powerful Earl Aelfgar of Mercia, is sold into marriage at the age of thirteen to the former enemy of her father, Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, the king of the Welsh. At his court at Rhuddlan she finds freindship and love but ultimately is accused of treason and incest. During a raid on the castle by Harold Godwinson of Wessex she is detached from the household and taken to the English court. There, she befriends Queen Edith and King Edward, ultimately marrying Edith's brother, HArold on his accession to the throne. Her future happines is threatened as William the Conqueror gathers his army in the south and Harold Hardrada plans to invade from the north. The fourteenth of October, 1066 looms. Peaceweaver is a story of a girl plunged into the feuding, male dominated world of Anglo Saxon Britain.

The setting and characters came alive in the very first paragraph, and The Conqueror came to town. Judith is an amazing, prolific writer, and the feeling of being placed in a different time and place was immediate. This read so authentically. I felt the rain, and most important, I felt the hatred the narrator had for this king. That hatred, in itself, is a brilliant hook into the story. I've seldom seen such succinct descriptions, and I'm thinking now of the dank description of King Diarmaid's cout - not at all what I expected, and these kinds of surprises, whether in character or environment, are always wonderful.  I especially loved the simple but profound statement at the end of the chapter - that an enemy can become a friend as easily as a friend becomes an enemy. What a brilliant segue into the rest of the story.

This is an intelligent book, one we not only enjoy but learn from. Because of the elegant prose, it is a lovely experience in every way. The text is polished to perfection and the literary talent sings.


Wonderful. Really good historic novel writers don't need to constantly remind the reader where they are, they know their period so well they live it and because of that, the reader lives there as well.
This author knows her period and I was there.

Rich, brooding, atmospheric, this well-written tale of medieval plotting and politicking feels entirely authentic. The landscape is alive in an animistic way, powerful, cruel, and beautiful. Eadgyth is chattel, a political pawn, as were all women of the period. A beautifully painted historical novel.