A strange, haunting story of two ill-starred lovers, set against the backdrop of the religious upheaval of Henry VIII's time. Hazel, a peasant girl marked by the witches' brand and a dangerous beauty, loves Black John, an outlaw and aristocrat, whom she rescues from the gallows. Together they struggle to survive a world
in which brutal death awaits at every corner, and stumble along a fateful collision towards
a harrowing climax. Winner of the First Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize founded in memory
of Georgette Heyer by Bodley Head and Corgi Books. Rhona Martin's remarkable first novel won the award in 1977, its first year, in competition with 150 entries.
About the author
The Historical Novel Prize was founded in memory of Georgette Heyer, by Bodley Head and
Corgi Books, in 1977. Rhona Martin's remarkable first novel won the award in competition with 150 entries.
Martin was born in London. Her father came from South Dakota, and her mother was a descendant of the Bishop John Hooper who was burnt at the stake for his religious beliefs by 'Bloody' Queen Mary.
She studied art and the history of costume at the Bristol Academy of Art and worked for a time as a theatrical designer. She emerged from marriage with two daughters and a desire
to get back into the entertainment world, and then worked in a disco and in cinema management.
Five years ago she changed to secretarial work in order to have more time for writing. Gallows Wedding is the result.
I love books set in the Tudor period and this one is no exception. The author mentions Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries but the book is more about ordinary people surviving in the late middle ages. It is absolutely haunting
and the character of Hazel will stay with me forever. The tension of fighting for survival is tempered by the romance that runs through it but the book is authentically gritty - none of the romantic happy ever after ending in this case. I don't want to spoil
the book by saying more but I found it fascinating and the attention to detail is second to none. A really moving book that will stay with you long after you finish the last page. I really didn't want it to end and even though I love this period, I found out
lots about local customs and traditions that I didn't know before.