A photograph of Laurence J Brown

My Novels

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Indulge your passion for history and drama

I have written two published novels: 'Housecarl' first published in 2001 and a sequel, 'Cold Heart, Cruel Hand: a novel of Hereward the Wake' published in July 2004. The two novels together cover the Norman Conquest and its aftermath.

In 'Housecarl' we follow the tragic and bloody road that leads King Harold Godwineson and his elite housecarl regiment to their final destiny at Senlac Hill on the 14th October 1066. The novel follows Harold and his men to Stamford Bridge and back, his ultimately doomed campaign seen through the eyes of Ranulf Redbeard, Harold's personal Champion. After three ferocious battles in the space of a month 'Housecarl' concludes with the Crowning of William the Bastard as King of England in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. But that is not the end…

In 'Cold Heart, Cruel Hand: a novel of Hereward the Wake' the year is now 1070 and William the Conqueror has been King of England for three years. His reign, however, has not been a peaceful one. Rebellion has followed bloody rebellion, each one crushed with ruthless efficiency. In the fens of East Anglia a Saxon nobleman dispossessed of his lands lights the flame of rebellion one last time and calls upon the people to join him. His name is Hereward the Wake and he is destined to give the Conqueror the toughest fight of his career. Into this cauldron comes the hero from Housecarl, Ranulf Redbeard and his family, determined to join the Wake in his fight for freedom.

'Cold Heart, Cruel Hand' is a dark and brooding novel of savage battles, love and hope - and sacrifice - set on the mist shrouded Isle of Ely.

The cover of 'Housecarl' shows a scene in the style of the Bayeux tapestry. Saxon housecarls line up in chain-mail armour with helmets, shields, axes and spears, while the red dragon of Wessex, Harol's personal banner of is held aloft. A single archer is shown, much smaller than the rest, wearing a white tunic.


The cover of 'Cold Heart, Cruel Hand' is covered in orange flame.

Cold Heart, Cruel Hand
a novel of Hereward the Wake


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