An epic novel of Roman Britain.
Dr John Henry Clay is a Lecturer in History at the University of Durham, from where he has built up an international academic and research reputation in Anglo-Saxon and Frankish history and archaeology, particularly concerning themes of conversion and religious identity, landscape perception and the transition from the late-Roman to the early-medieval period both in Britain and on the Continent. He completed his PhD at the University of York in 2008 and spent time as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, before taking up his post in Durham in 2010.The Lion and the Lamb is his first novel.
The action of the novel is second to none. It races along, with punchy skirmishes and battles along the Wall and the northern reaches of the land. It is brutal. Life is short and cheap . . . Life on the wall is vividly recreated. Here are scenes in towns and forts that we know so well from archaeology and John Henry Clay makes them ring to the sound of marching hobnail boots once more. What turns The Lion and the Lamb into one of the best Roman reads I've had this year is the mix of action with character and in this book, a relative rarity in Roman historical fiction, the female characters are to my mind as successful as the male. Through the combination of stories we are shown a broad stripe of life in the later 4th century in Britain.* For Winter Nights *