In the years after the Norman Conquest, a guild of painters are brought from France to Sussex to decorate the austere Saxon churches with murals. They go about their work among a people still hostile to them.

In the village of Hardham, Guy, one of the painters, encounters Truda, a farmer’s daughter, and she becomes the inspiration for the figure of Eve in his mural. When the painters have left the village, Truda discovers she is carrying Guy’s child. She follows him to Lewes Priory only to find he has already returned to France.

Given refuge by the monks, Truda begins to manifest a strange power over nature. This encourages the local population to believe the child she carries is the long awaited Messiah.

Stephen Plaice’s visionary novel transports us to 12th century Sussex, and captures the fervour that impelled the ordinary poor into rebellion and crusade.

Read the first chapter online exclusively for Parvenu Press.

Publication Date: September 21st, 2021
Price: £25 + P&P

Stephen Plaice is well known as a poet, playwright, and international librettist. He has lived in Sussex for most of his adult life, and much of his work is inspired by its history and landscape. He was writer-in-residence at Lewes Prison for seven years, and is currently Professor of Dramatic Writing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.