Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

Walking, landscape and writers.

I’ve been re-reading a recent translation of this medieval poem, which is appropriate for everyone who loves the British countryside.

Many years ago I struggled through it in the original Middle English, which I think is hard work even if you can manage quite well with Chaucer and Langland – as I could at the time.

This recent translation is by the poet and Oxford don Bernard O’Donoghue (Penguin 2006). This translation concentrates on the tale itself and the rhythm of the original, veering away from the alliteration and half lines of the original. I think O’Donoghue captures the spirit of the poem well.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a beautiful tribute to the English countryside. As Sir Gawain rides on his quest to the castle of the Green Knight we get wonderful pictures of the landscape of England, and possibly Wales, grand vistas of nature and the seasons, with a bit of sexual seduction, courtly love and romance – in the historic sense of the word – thrown in.

The poet is unknown but his words live on.

And this is a very good time of the year to read his words.Arnside 045


Our New Detective Novel

Our new detective novel is now out in paperback and on eBook for Kindle and Nook eReaders – Kobo to follow in the New Year.

THE SEAFRONT CORPSEA view of Clevedon Pier in Somerset, England
A 1930s detective on England’s south coast …

Inspector Eddie Chance – Edgar if you want to annoy him – is nobody’s fool, if inclined to be lazy. Newly promoted, he’s looking forward to a quiet life back in his home town.

In March 1931 the Sussex seaside resort of Tennysham is starting to get spruced up for Easter and the first day-trippers.

When a body is found on the promenade, Inspector Chance’s troubles are just about to start…

To order either the paperback or the Kindle edition just click on the link below. And if you buy the paperback and have a Kindle account you can download the Kindle edition as well for free…

And I’m is taking a break now until after the Christmas holiday.

Thank you to everyone who has bought one of our books this year.

Compliments of the Season

Robin Hood Nearly Back in Sherwood

The next in the Robin Hood novels will be out in early February, so do follow for updates, extracts etc. as they come.

In the meantime “Loxley” the first in The Chronicles of Robin Hood sequence is now out in paperback and on Kindle.

It will also be available on Kobo and Nook eReaders from early January.

So if you’re looking for a last minute stocking-filler for a friend or family member, or yourself, please do take a look. Just click on the link at the foot of this page to order:Loxley Cover

Here’s the synopsis:

“1198 A.D A hooded man brings rebellion to the forest…

Lionheart’s England, with the King fighting in Normandy… For the oppressed villagers of Sherwood there is no escape from persecution and despair. They exist under the sufferance of their brutal overlords.

When a mysterious stranger saves a miller’s son from cruel punishment, the Sheriff of Nottingham sends the ruthless Sir Guy of Gisborne to hunt him down.

His past life destroyed, Robin of Loxley must face his greatest challenge yet. Deadly with a longbow and a sword, he will fight tyranny and injustice, encounter allies and enemies old and new.

The vast Sherwood Forest with its hidden glades and ancient pathways is the last refuge of wolfsheads. Here their bloody battles will be fought, friendships forged and loyalties tested.

Loxley will become Robin Hood. Notorious leader of outlaws.

Their daring deeds will become legend.

This is the first in a four-part series “The Chronicles of Robin Hood”, and includes an historical note on the origins of the famous outlaw.”



The New Walking Book

My new walking book is out. It’s called “Wayfarer’s Dole”.Wayfarers_Dole_Cover_for_Ko

If my other book “The Compleat Trespasser” was a celebration of all the places you are not supposed to walk, then Wayfarer’s Dole is a love letter to all of the wild moorlands, mountains, downlands and country paths where you can.

But the book is not just about places. It’s about the whole ethos of country walking. And from my own very personal viewpoint. So there’s something about how an individual becomes a walker, a bit of controversy, and a look at why and how ramblers relate to wild places.

A lot of places too…

From Dartmoor to the South Downs, Glastonbury to the Pennines, Dorset footpaths to the Lakeland Fells, the Black Country to the Scottish Highlands.

Oh, and a few snippets on the vagabond life as well – chapters on maps, roadside fires, the need to protect our ancient trackways – and why we’re all better off mentally and spiritually if we explore the British countryside on foot.

So please do partake of the Wayfarer’s Dole…

It’s now out in paperback and on Kindle and Nook eReaders. Kobo eBooks should have it in a week or so. Just click on the links below.

And if you’re looking for a Christmas present for someone who loves the British countryside and walking, well…

And what is Wayfarer’s Dole?

Here’s the explanation from the official publisher’s blurb for the book…

“In a series of solitary journeys on foot the writer and novelist John Bainbridge explores the ethos of rambling and hiking in rural England and Scotland.

On his journey he seeks out the remaining wild places and ancient trackways, meeting vagabonds and outdoors folk along the way, and follows in the footsteps of writers, poets and early travellers.

This is a book for everyone who loves the British countryside and walking its long-established footpaths and bridleways.

And for the armchair traveller…

Wayfarer’s Dole takes its title from an ancient tradition – In medieval times pilgrims travelling the road through Winchester to Canterbury would halt at the St Cross Hospital, a place of rest and refuge for those on holy journeys, and demand the Wayfarer’s Dole – small portions of ale and bread to ease the hunger and thirst incurred on their travels.”

Here’s the link for the paperback…

And here’s the link for the Kindle version…