My book review of 'Anyone for Edmund?' by Simon Edge

Anyone for Edmund?

by Simon Edge
Anyone for Edmund?
by Simon Edge

It had long been thought that the body of the murdered saint Edmund lay under the tennis courts in the Abbey Gardens in the Suffolk town which bears his name, Bury St Edmunds.

In the anniversary of 1000 years since the foundation of the Abbey, archaeologists are seeking to establish whether this is indeed his last resting place.

Hannah is one of the members of the dig and is excited to tell her cousin, Mark, about progress. She's surprised that her usually disinterested relative is eager for regular updates.

But Mark, a parliamentary assistant, is keen to make his name and prove his worth with his boss, the culture secretary Marina Spencer and believes this is just the scoop he needs.

Edmund could be named the new patron saint for the United Kingdom if Mark could find credible links with Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Though lacking any historical evidence for his cause, Mark manufactures Edmund's story.

A series of falsehoods and their outcomes result, all overseen by the spirit of Edmund, apparently delighted to have his profile enhanced after all this time, and eager to help however he can.

The young medieval king had had a tough time of it. After losing the battle to the invading Danes and refusing to renounce his faith, he was stuck through with dozens of arrows, and beheaded.

When it was safe for his followers to seek his burial, there were stories of protective wolves and a miraculous reattachment of head to body, but then, in the Dissolution of the Monasteries, his shrine was destroyed and his body, seemingly, hidden away and ultimately forgotten about under a tennis court.

A hilarious and inventive, fast paced story with great characterisation. Ridiculous and believable! I loved it!

 

 

Review date: August 2020
Publication date: 1st September 2020