A Swarming of Bees

A Swarming of Bees

A Swarming of Bees A herbwife on a mule may go where warriors cannot she may see what warriors cannot see and hear what warriors cannot hear The Monastery at Whitby is ruled over by the powerful and independent Abbess H

  • Title: A Swarming of Bees
  • Author: Theresa Tomlinson
  • ISBN: 9781909122222
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Paperback
  • A herbwife on a mule may go where warriors cannot she may see what warriors cannot see and hear what warriors cannot hear The Monastery at Whitby is ruled over by the powerful and independent Abbess Hild But when she needs someone to confide in, she turns to the honest warmth of her friend Fridgyth, the half pagan herb wife A divisive and life altering decision taken A herbwife on a mule may go where warriors cannot she may see what warriors cannot see and hear what warriors cannot hear The Monastery at Whitby is ruled over by the powerful and independent Abbess Hild But when she needs someone to confide in, she turns to the honest warmth of her friend Fridgyth, the half pagan herb wife A divisive and life altering decision taken at the Great Synod is swiftly overshadowed as the monastery is ravaged by a deadly plague As she tends the sick, Fridgyth starts to suspect that not all the deaths are natural Despite Hild s stern warnings not to meddle she sets out to investigate Can Fridgyth s wisdom and intuition unmask the murderer and unravel the dark politics surrounding the deaths and clandestine arrival of two young scholars A SWARMING OF BEES is an absorbing and richly atmospheric murder mystery.

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      Published :2019-03-06T10:27:47+00:00

    779 Comment

    I really liked 'A Swarming of Bees', by Theresa Tomlinson, and have no hesitation in awarding five stars. The subject matter, the presentation, the writing style: all of this came together just right for my taste. And it had a couple of maps, which always please me. These help the reader become oriented in the community of Whitby, called here by the Old English name of Streonshalh. For those who are not familiar with English geography, Whitby is on the east coast, in the modern county of Yorkshi [...]

    A wonderful tale about a herb wife and her role within an abbey and the seaside town it's set in. She finds that she can help where others maybe hindered. The story is rich with characters, plots, plague and bees. A lovely read.

    This appealing historical mystery is set in seventh-century Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, in the monastery at Streonshalh (modern Whitby). When two young scholars arrive from Ireland seeking the protection of Abbess Hild, the monastery herb-wife, Fridgyth, gives them shelter. But soon after their arrival, plague breaks out in the monastery and as she cares for the sick Fridgyth suspects that not all the deaths are natural. Is the plague being used as cover for something more sinister – murder? Revi [...]

    Set in 'dark ages' in a monastary in Northumberland. I was glad I had some knowledge of the historical period before reading this, but it's not necessary.

    The original review, and many other reviews and features, can be found at thebookeatersIn 664AD, the Monastery at Whitby is ruled by the powerful and independent Abbess Hild. She has already proved her wisdom by making the local cunning-woman Fridgyth, the monastery’s herb-wife, thus incorporating the local pagan faiths into those of the church and gaining herself and honest and sensible friend.As the Monastery plays host to King Oswry and dignitaries of the Irish and Roman Catholic Churches f [...]

    A bit disappointed with this one - chosen for our book group because the Northumbria connection and the fact that we liked medieval fiction. Theresa has mainly writing for children/young adults before and I didn't feel that her cross-over to adult fiction had been entirely successful in this tale. The book lacked the suspense of Umberto Eco and wasn't as engaging as the Brother Cadfael novels of Ellis Peters. I felt the dialogue was a bit trite in places (sometimes the characters were speaking i [...]

    This book was ok, I read my way through it as I enjoy this period of history and thought the plot sounded interesting. The Herb-wife in a Northumbrian monastry who is supposed to be able to go anywhere un-noticed and find who-ever is poisoning the community, but it was very slow and predictable. I kept waiting for the plot to pick up and give me some of the religous and political oomph that these times possessed, but it didn't really do that. There was a little excitement with the plague wiping [...]

    There was a lot to enjoy in this engaging tale. I was particularly drawn to it because of its setting in 7th century Whitby; I live locally to Whitby and abbess Hilda is one of my heroines. Tomlinson makes no great claims for historical accuracy, however, there was enough detail which gave it an authentic feel to me. The characters were interesting, the pace good and there was some wry humour to sweeten the pot.

    Skim read the end of this book for the last 100 pages or so. I had already worked out who the murderers were. Also found the names of the characters confusing at times which isn't the authors fault as she was trying to create authenticity, hence the two stars rather then one. The characters were a bit one dimensional not fully explored and I could always work out what they were going to do before they did it. I wouldn't read another book by this author but I'm glad I gave it a whirl.

    'A Swarming of Bees' is a novel set in medieval times, at the monastery and village of Streonshalh (modern-day Whitby, England). The story is told through the eyes of the herb-wife Fridgyth, who heals the people of the village, and helps them through birth and death. At the beginning of our story, the Great Synod takes place - it was an important meeting to decide whether the king of that area would accept the Christianity of Rome, or stay with the Christian teachings brought over from Ireland. [...]

    From Rebel AngelI can't even remember when I picked up this book, but I think it was during an Kindle books sale, and I was drawn to it because of the mention that it was set at the Monastery in Whitby at the time of the Synod in 664 - Whitby is fairly local to me, so I know it pretty well and thought it would be interesting to read more about its (partly fictional but based on facts) history. The central character is Fridgyth, an old herb wife, originally of the pagan religion, who now works a [...]

    Our family holiday to Northumbria this year included 2 trips to Lindisfarne, and I enjoyed Magnus Magnusson's book on Holy Island. This story was an easy choice therefore but I was concerned that A Swarming of Bees would be too similar to the Cadfael books I first enjoyed 30 years ago.Yes, and no. Firstly whilst this book is set several hundred years earlier than the Cadfael books in an altogether wilder area of the country, it takes place against a background of political upheaval. I actually f [...]

    Set in the year 664, this is the story of Fridgyth, a pagan herb-wife serving the Abbess Hild at the monastery of Streonshalh, the ancient name for Whitby. It takes place against the backdrop of the Whitby Synod and a plague that raged across the country at the time. Although it includes the historical events of the time, the story is really a murder mystery. Fridgyth, the ‘detective’ of the story is a strong-willed, inquisitive central character, strangely intuitive, especially in her almos [...]

    From the Anglo Saxon Chronicle A.D. 627 "This year was King Edwin baptized at Easter, with all his people ".Hild was an orphan who had become a member of the household of her great uncle, King Edwin and she is one of those baptized with Edwin. She becomes an Abbess and is wise, beloved and has political importance,so that the Synod of Whiby is held at her monastery sometime around 664.A delightful book with very well developed characters such as Hild, her herbwife Fridgyth and the daughter of Ki [...]

    Good historical murderder mystery. Set around the year 650 in the North East of England at a time when Christianity was becoming the dominant religion but forms of other worship remained. A monestary setting with The 2 main characters being 'Hild' an abess and 'Fridgyth' a herb-wife (probably herbalist in today's world) who form an unlikely friendship as they are on 'opposite' sides of the religious fence, but find a middle path on which their alliance travels.Enter some new strangers as charact [...]

    I started out by getting annoyed with the book, because I couldn't hold all the names in my mind. It was set at the time of the Synod of Whitby and had many old-English sounding names. I wanted to keep flicking back to a character list, but couldn't because I was reading it on the Kindle. However, I carried on and got more and more into the story. I ended up learning a lot about the era and the way of life in that time. The main characters were strongly written and very likeable. I found that so [...]

    This historical novel was recommended to me by the barmaid at the Badger Hounds, Hinderwell. I was keen to read this recreation of early Saxon Whitby and the North York Moors. Whilst it is a good and believable story I was sorry to find myself disappointed. I don't think that Theresa Tomlinson researched the period sufficiently to give a rounded sense of what life was like then. I was also frustrated that almost all the action takes place at Whitby Abbey. When the heroine does venture out into t [...]

    I found "A Swarming of Bees" to be a really enjoyable, straightforward read. The characters and setting are unique, and the whole book is imbued with a sort of warm feeling. (Plauge and warm fuzziness? You'll just have to take my word for it.) The plot is well-paced and thoroughly explained - you aren't left guessing about much of anything. That's fine, though - it's just not that kind of book. I thoroughly enjoyed my escape into Fridgyth's world and will likely be putting Theresa Tomlinson's ne [...]

    Another book club choice , again one I probably wouldn't scoop up in my local bookshop. Setting Anglo Saxon Northumbria , a herb wife who solves murders , alleviates the plague and solves the mystery around the arrival of young people at the Monastery at WhitbyNot a period of history I was familiar with, not sure I'm much better informed . Shades of Cadfeal , A gentle not too demanding read , sometimes a bit twee for me , particularly the songs of the simple cowherd .

    This was a very sweet book (which sounds odd considering lots of people died of plague etc!) It was very gently written. I think recommended this to me because of enjoying "Hild", and I have to say I did keep thinking of this book as reading an AU fic of that one! Which all historical fiction is, really :) I liked all the characters very much, and enjoyed the plot.

    A swarming of Bees by Theresa TomlinsonDelightful evocation of a wild and windswept headland in the days of Whitby's early abbey, with a fast paced and intriguing mystery at the heart of Saint Hilda's community. An excellent story with lively characters set realistically in their historical background

    BEST Historical Fiction I have read in a long time. Excellent mystery along with a fascinating look at a cool period in European history. Learned a lot as I found myself looking up the real story of many of the characters, and the book was quite on point about a lot of things. Great read even if historical fiction is not necessarily your thing.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the herb-wife's remedies in treating the sick. I did get a bit confused by the Anglo-Saxon names, but this didn't distract me from the mystery. I hope there are more adventures for the herb-wife, as I'll definitely read them.

    I won this book from Firstread.I have never read any of the books by Theresa Tomlinson but I found that 'A Swarming of Bees' to be an enjoyable book and a delightful read. I really did enjoy reading 'A Swarming of Bees' and would recommended to anyone who has thought about reading it, that you get to your local book shop and buy it.

    This was really how not to write a historical mystery. There was really no mystery, no tension, no one in any danger. Just a set of very ordinary events without any obvious link. It was pedestrian and at times dull.

    Really did like this. Set in and around Whitby about the time of the Synod (664ish) and with Caedmon, Cuthbert and Hilda as side characters - even Hartlepool's own King Oswy gets a mention. Liked the characters and the story. Good atmosphere.

    Historical mystery set in a 7th century monastery in which the monastery's "herb-wife" investigates a number of suspicious deaths. The Name of the Rose it ain't but it's an entertaining, undemanding read.

    I received this as a birthday present!Really enjoyed it characters & part of history I know little about.Buthaving been to Whitby & the moors I could visualise the area.Highly recommend this.

    We are proud to announce that A SWARMING OF BEES by Theresa Tomlinson is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!

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