It was fascinating to hear local author Tessa West talk about her most recent biography of Sue Ryder (Baroness Ryder of Warsaw) and her experience preparing Polish freedom fighters returning to fight in occupied Poland during WW2. We also enjoyed earlier poetry and fiction (including poetry from 'The Other Vikings', about Viking women's experiences). Her explanation of the publishing process for a new author - including self publishing and the experience of finding interested publishers for both her biographies seemed as complex as the actual writing itself! Thank you Tessa for a really interesting talk - and what a character the very driven Sue Ryder was!
At our coffee morning on 13th September we discussed the mythical and archaeological concept of the Viking warrior and the recent discovery that one particular warrior always thought to be male was in fact female. We discussed the surprising change in perception and the response that publication of the findings received on social media. What part did myth (the Valkaries in particular) play in our perceptions, and how much can we really know about this individual warrior?