My New Book!

The Perfect Sword: Forging the Dark Ages

On 3 November my new book, The Perfect Sword: Forging the Dark Ages, hits all good bookshops and online retailers.

I co-wrote the book with archaeologist Paul Gething and it tells the story of a very special sword, the Bamburgh Blade, and the men who found, forged and wielded it. We’re particularly delighted that Tom Holland (the historian, not Spider-man) read the book and said this about it:

‘Revelatory and fascinating … the kind of book that Wayland the Smith would have adored.’

This is what it says on the inside cover:

In 2000, archaeologist Paul Gething rediscovered a sword. An unprepossessing length of rusty metal, it had been left in a suitcase for thirty years. But Paul had a suspicion that the sword had more to tell than appeared, so he sent it for specialist tests. When the results came back, he realised that what he had in his possession was possibly the finest, and certainly the most complex, sword ever made, which had been forged in seventh-century Northumberland by an anonymous swordsmith.

This is the story of the Bamburgh Sword – of how and why it was made, who made it and what it meant to the warriors and kings who wielded it over three centuries. It is also the remarkable story of the archaeologists and swordsmiths who found, studied and attempted to recreate the weapon using only the materials and technologies available to the original smith. 

I hope you will enjoy it!


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