Thank you so much for getting in touch!
Is there anything in particular you are interested in knowing???
I’ll be honest and tell you that I have taken artistic licence with the facts, but I’ve attempted to stay true to the time....know what I mean???
The biggest deviation from fact is that in the story I state that Whitred of Kent died while Ine was still ruling...that is incorrect as King Ine abdicated to make a pilgrimage to Rome and Whitred didn’t die until the following year.
But it was necessary for the plot of my story.
Also I’ve given Whitred a daughter although I can find no evidence that he had one and filled in the blanks: I know that he had three sons and three wives, but cannot be sure which son(s) belonged to which wife.
The time period is very fascinating, Ine was Christian and his laws reflected that fact. The time period was also very mindful of women and gave them a great deal of respect that was missing from later times (some point to the Norman invasion as the turning point).
It is suggested that well born women could be very powerful and well educated, and also that in some cases they could inherit. It was also common for people to choose their own spouses rather than enter an arranged marriage and it is suggested that they did not marry so young as it became the custom to after the Norman’s arrived.
Women would also be given a ‘morning gift’ by their husbands, often money or land, and that was hers to do as she wanted with which gave her a certain amount of independence.
Also if they were mistreated Aethelburt’s laws stated that they could leave their husbands, taking their children with them and half of everything he had!!!
And Aethelraed’s law stated that they could not be forced into second marriages, Cnut later added that they could not be forced to become Nun’s either.
There were also laws that stated a wife could not be held responsible of her husband’s criminal activities.
Which is obviously not what you expect from ‘The Dark Ages’!!!?
But the Saxons did keep slaves: it was one of the reasons for war. The capture of booty and slaves was what brought wealth to a kingdom. Or they became slaves for crimes that they had committed.
Another reason for becoming a slave was selling yourself during famine.
If you owned a slave that committed wrongdoing, you were legally responsible for their actions; this might mean the paying of a fine depending on what crime they had committed.
But wills from the time show that it was not uncommon for slaves (along with their children and any children yet unborn) to be freed in the will of their owner.
There are also recorded incidents of men of the church buying slaves in order to set them free.
A master who killed his slave paid a fine to the church.
That got a bit involved, didn’t it!?!?!
I’m not too sure if I’ve answered your questions; if not just drop me a note!!!
(Also for those of you who I haven’t told yet: The Promise is now available on Amazon and smashwords!!! Yay!!!)