The Purple Thread
By John Broughton
It is 733 AD in Anglo-Saxon Britain – a time and a world of warriors, wars and religious extremes.
Begiloc, a young freedman from Wimborne with a wife and son, is most definitely a man of action.
But his world is turned upside down when the young Briton and best friend Meryn are ordered away to protect English missionaries in Germany.
For a man accustomed to brutality, Begiloc has a soft spot for the purple-tinged mountains, waterfalls, lakes, animals, trees and flowers – beginning to muse whether they, rather than Man, do not better embody the essence of God.
However, mission follows mission across the continent and Begiloc is driven ever further from his loved ones at home.
His ultimate foe is the worldly, corrupt and cruel Bishop of Rems, Milo, who blinds Meryn. Thwarted by vows of obedience in his desire for revenge, Begiloc is sent on a further mission to Rome where he meets Pope Gregory III who promotes him for his services to the Church – but sends him deeper into pagan lands.
On his return, Begiloc discovers his family has died of fever. How will the devastated Briton respond? Can he get free from his obligations to the Church? Will he ever be reunited with his most beloved friends from whom he has been so long separated?
John Broughton’s The Purple Thread is a historical fiction thrill-ride across 8th century Europe – but cannily rings some very contemporary bells. Spanning 21 years, the adventures are linked together by a purple thread, a colour often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, ambition – and magic.
John Broughton was born in Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, studied at the local grammar school and went on to take an honours degree in Medieval and Modern History at the University of Nottingham, where he also studied Archaeology.
John retired in January 2014 and chose the period that fascinates him most – the Anglo-Saxon period – as the setting for his first historical novel.