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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Guest Author and Blogger Grace Elliot
Ring Masters Daughter
The New Romance by Author Grace Elliot            

I want to welcome Guest Author and Blogger, Grace Elliot, to my page today in which she speaks about the English city of St. Albans and its Roman connection. Thank you for being my guest, Grace. -jsh


Grace Elliot and Cat
Grace Elliot and Friend

Hello, my name is Grace and as a writer of historical fiction my favored period is the 18th century – but since I’m Jess’ guest it seemed appropriate to write a post with a Roman connection!


I live near London in the county of Hertfordshire with also boasts St Albans as its oldest settlement. In AD 43 the Romans built an encampment beside the River Ver and ‘Verulamium’ was born (later renamed St Albans) – and for a while this was the largest Roman town in England. However, at that time most of the buildings were made of wood and destroyed during Queen Boudica’s rebellion of AD 60 -61.


Undeterred the Romans rebuilt in stone and then a couple of centuries later erected a wall around the town. It was around this time AD 250 -275 (exact date uncertain) that the man who went onto give his name to St Albans - was martyred.


Alban is acknowledged as the first British Christian martyr and an account of his life is given by the Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History. The story goes that Alban was a pagan who gave a Christian priest, Amphibalus, shelter and hid him from Roman soldiers who were trying to capture him. However, during their time together the priest converted Alban to Christianity and when soldiers arrived to arrest Amphibalus, Alban donned the priest’s garments and took his place. A judge recognized the deception and insisted Alban renounce Christianity – and had him savagely beaten when he refused.


Alban was sentenced to death, but on the day of his execution a number of miracles happened which made the executioner refuse to perform his duty. A second executioner was found who beheaded Alban, along with the first executioner - but then this second executioner was struck blind. Alban’s head bounced down a hill (Holywell Hill) and a stream arose where it landed. The place of Alban’s execution is reputedly where St Alban’s cathedral stands today.

Shrine of St. Alban
Shrine of St. Alban

By AD 410 the roman presence dwindled as the army left, and many of their buildings fell into disrepair. The industrious locals reused bricks and stone, incorporating roman materials into their own houses and barns. Indeed, to this day St Albans is a place with a strong sense of history seeping from its very stones.

St. Albans Cathedral
St. Albans Cathedral


If you to enjoy history and like reading historical fiction or romance and don’t mind traveling from the roman era to the 18th century – then I’d be honored to share my new release, The Ringmaster’s Daughter, with you. The synopsis is below:

The Ring Masters Daughter Blog Tour

1770’s London


The ringmaster’s daughter, Henrietta Hart, was born and raised around the stables of Foxhall Gardens. Now her father is gravely ill, and their livelihood in danger. The Harts' only hope is to convince Foxhall’s new manager, Mr.Wolfson, to let Hetty wield the ringmaster’s whip. Hetty finds herself drawn to the arrogant Wolfson but, despite their mutual attraction, he gives her an ultimatum: entertain as never before – or leave Foxhall.


When the winsome Hetty defies society and performs in breeches, Wolfson’s stony heart is in danger. Loath as he is to admit it, Hetty has a way with horses…and men. Her audacity and determination awaken emotions long since suppressed.


But Hetty’s success in the ring threatens her future when she attracts the eye of the lascivious Lord Fordyce. The duke is determined, by fair means or foul, to possess Hetty as his mistress – and, as Wolfson’s feelings for Henrietta grow, disaster looms.

Photos-St. Albans Cathedral by Wikipedia

12:21 pm pst          Comments

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