Paula de Fougerolles’ The Chronicles of Iona
Author and medieval historian Paula de Fougerolles has extensive connections to both New England and Celtic culture and history. While a New Englander through-and-through (her mother’s family arrived on the Mayflower; her father’s was amongst the first to settle Quebec), Paula has always looked back across the Atlantic for inspiration for her work. What started as a love affair with Celtic myths and legends as a child has evolved into a dedicated pursuit to understand and communicate the early history of Celtic-speaking peoples.
As a visiting scholar from Brandeis University (based at the University College of North Wales, Bangor) she went to Ireland for the first time. A year-long Thomas J. Watson Fellowship later allowed her to travel extensively throughout Europe to conduct research into early medieval history–research which ultimately led to the historical-fiction series The Chronicles of Iona. With a Ph.D. from the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, Paula also has numerous non-fiction books and academic articles to her name.
The Chronicles of Iona: Exile follows the lives of the 6th-century Donegal saint and statesman Colm Cille (Columba) and the warlord Áedán mac nGabráin, king of the Scots of Dalriada. For both, what begins as a personal imperative becomes a series of events that literally change the world: how Columba overcame exile and a crisis of faith to found a monastic federation which included Derry and Iona (one of the greatest centers of civilization in Dark Age Europe); and how Áedán overcame his own exile and became, against all odds, the progenitor of Scottish kings and the greatest warlord of his time. It is the first in a series.
Paula splits her time between Boston and the Berkshires.