Harry Nicholson grew up in Hartlepool, County Durham, England, from where his family have fished since the 16th C. His first career was as radio officer in the merchant navy, followed by television studio work. Since retirement, he has devoted himself to art, poetry and the teaching of meditation.
‘Sharp as quivering hares are the Flecks. We’ve eyes and ears for things other folk miss.’ Much later, in the aftermath of Flodden, a young man finally understands his father’s words. The year: 1513. The place: North-East England. Tom Fleck, a downtrodden farm worker, but gifted archer, yearns to escape his masters. He unearths two objects that could be keys to freedom: a torque of ancient gold and a Tudor seal ring. He cannot know how these finds will determine his future. Rachel Coronel craves an end to her wanderings. When the torque comes to rest around the neck of this mysterious foreign woman, an odyssey begins which draws Tom Fleck into borderlands of belief and race. The seal ring propels Tom on a journey of self-knowledge that can only climax in another borderland, among the ‘flowers of the forest’ of Flodden Field. Inside introduction: Here are Tudor kings and their nobles – their documented lives are rich material for writers – but now they play a minor part. This is the story of Tom Fleck, a penniless farm labourer, who shares his dwelling with cattle. He is fictional only because he leaves no record – his people live before the keeping of parish registers, so they make no marks on parchment and are lost to history. We find his rare surname in the register of St. Hilda’s church at Hartlepool: Baptisms 1596, September 19th : Christofer ye child of Willm. Fleck. Perhaps William heard tales of how his great grandfather, Thomas, loved a strange woman and stood with the army on the terrible battlefield of Flodden. This story brings him to life.
Humorous and sober short stories of the sea and of Yorkshire, interleaved with verse.
This story follows the struggles of a farm labourer in North-East England. The series began with the novel, ‘Tom Fleck’, in which we followed Tom’s adventures, loves, and troubles in the year 1513, the year of the Battle of Flodden. The present book re-enters his life twenty-three years later in 1536, in the dark year of the dissolution of the monasteries and the subsequent rebellion known as ‘The Pilgrimage of Grace’. Tom is on a journey with his wife and blind daughter and must travel through the chaos.