Ilka Tampke

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Ilka Tampke

Goodreads Author


Born
in Sydney, Australia
Website

Member Since
January 2015


Ilka Tampke teaches fiction at RMIT University. Her first novel, Skin, was published in eight countries and was nominated for the Voss Literary Prize and the Aurealis Awards in 2016. Ilka lives on five acres in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria.

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Ilka Tampke Hi Fiona,
Quite a bit of research went into creating the books. As it happens, I just had to write a summary of my research for an application, so I h…more
Hi Fiona,
Quite a bit of research went into creating the books. As it happens, I just had to write a summary of my research for an application, so I have copied it for you below. If you have any more questions, please be in touch.
Ilka

This research has drawn on three distinct sources of knowledge about this ancient period.

The first is the Roman written record, the only contemporaneous written accounts of the invasion and of the oral culture it displaced. This work comprises several histories written by witnesses to the period or shortly thereafter, such as Ceasar, Tacitus, Strabo, Dio, and others. This body of work gives the most direct and accessible account of both the military events of the invasion, the key historical figures engaged in the resistance, and the beliefs and rituals of the British knowledge custodians: the druids. However these sources must be understood as documents reflecting the interests and purposes of a colonising power, and interpreted accordingly. I have interrogated both the primary documents and a variety of secondary interpretations to piece together the narrative of this pivotal moment in history.

The second source is the archaeological or material remains, and the extensive work that has been done in interpreting it. Key sources here have been Francis Pryor, Barry Cunliffe, Miranda Aldhouse-Green, Neil Oliver, Ronald Hutton, among many others. The decorative weapons, jewellery and domestic items, as well as the broader house footings, field boundaries and hill town sites, are rich in abstract and mysterious detail, the symbolism of which is complex to decode. A consistency of pattern and motif is found throughout the Celtic world during the Iron Age period, so a wide geographic spread of objects has been considered. Three research trips to both museums and outdoor sites in the UK have enabled me to respond to material objects, dwellings, and landscapes first hand. The novels are my own interpretation of the meaning that they hold and stories they evoke. My travel has allowed me to meet with leading archaeologist, Francis Pryor, and tour significant sites with his personal guidance.

The third source is the earliest prose and poetic sagas of Ireland and Wales. This body of literature was transcribed (mostly by monks) between the 8th and 14th centuries CE, and is highly Christianised, but the underlying imagery (surreal and animistic) contained within it correlates to the earlier archaeological record, suggesting origins that may spring from the Iron Age and even earlier. These have proven to be perhaps the richest of the historical sources, as this highly mythological literature may be viewed as a version of creation stories, within whose dense symbolism are many clues about ancient values, views and preoccupations. As well as having studied both primary and numerous secondary sources connected to these texts, I have undertaken over two years of online tuition and personal mentorship under the guidance of Dr Gwilym Morus-Baird, scholar of Welsh Mythology.
(less)
Ilka Tampke Hi Lucy,
I'm so sorry to have taken so long to answer—I don't seem to see my questions until I go searching...
I'm thrilled that you loved the Skin cov…more
Hi Lucy,
I'm so sorry to have taken so long to answer—I don't seem to see my questions until I go searching...
I'm thrilled that you loved the Skin cover, I thought it was a beauty too! The new cover is released now. It has quite a different tone and mood to Skin. It is more in line with the UK paperback, more pictorial. Let me know what you think.
Ilka (less)
Average rating: 3.76 · 1,044 ratings · 240 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
Skin (Skin #1)

3.73 avg rating — 918 ratings — published 2015 — 20 editions
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Songwoman (Skin #2)

3.99 avg rating — 124 ratings6 editions
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Skin (2 Book Series)

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Die Hüterin der Lieder: Roman

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it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Songwoman

Dear book lovers,

For anyone who enjoyed my first novel, Skin, (or indeed anyone with a passion for ancient worlds), I wanted to let you know that I have just published my second novel—Songwoman.

This can be read as a sequel or as a standalone book. It returns to the late British Iron Age, and tells the story of one of Britain's most fascinating freedom-fighters: Caratacus.

If you enjoy being plung Read more of this blog post »
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Published on October 31, 2018 16:29 Tags: ancient-history, ancient-rome, celtic-britain
Skin Songwoman
(2 books)
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3.76 avg rating — 1,042 ratings

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This is inventive, atmospheric, nuanced and thematically dense.
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