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The Song of Heledd

Arnopp, Judith

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In seventh century Powys at the hall of King Cynddylan of Pengwern, the princesses, Heledd and Ffreur attend a celebratory feast where fifteen-year-old Heledd develops an infatuation for a travelling minstrel. The illicit liaison triggers a chain of events that will destroy two kingdoms and bring down a dynasty.

Set against the backdrop of the pagan-Christian conflict between kings Penda and Oswiu The Song of Heledd sweeps the reader from the ancient kingdom of Pengwern to the lofty summits of Gwynedd where Heledd battles to control both her own destiny and that of those around her.

Judith Arnopp has taken the fragmented ninth century poems, Canu Llywarch Hen and Canu Heledd, and the history surrounding them to produce a fiction of what might have been.

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