Bryn  Hammond

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Bryn Hammond

Goodreads Author


Born
in Chavey Down, The United Kingdom
May 23, 1964

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Twitter

Genre

Influences
Beowulf, T.H. White, Dostoyevsky, James Tiptree Jr.

Member Since
December 2011

URL


Writer, Australia, ex-UK.
I've been quietly at work on my historical fiction about 12th and 13th-century Mongols since 2003. It's my main occupation/obsession.
Before that, I spent years on a creative translation of Beowulf (unfinished) and wrote science fiction.
Keen on: walks by the sea, where I live. Baroque opera, Shostakovich, David Bowie. Books, old and a few new. Doctor Who and Star Trek: Discovery.
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Bryn Hammond Chosen for its cuteness. No story attached I'm afraid. Except that I did want to tell the world, 'how cute is this Mongol name?'

I am a serious name f…more
Chosen for its cuteness. No story attached I'm afraid. Except that I did want to tell the world, 'how cute is this Mongol name?'

I am a serious name fan. Names are such a thing with me I flick through novels to see whether the author & I have similar ideas on what's a great name, and if we don't... I figure I mightn't like the novel either.

Temujin, Jamuqa. Toqtoa, Tarqutai. Khabul, Daritai. Ambaghai, Bultachu. There was almost no name that turned up in his story, which I didn't have a strong urge to seize upon and use. Yes, this was a significant factor in my choice of story.

Cheers for the question. (less)
Bryn Hammond At first I thought ‘bah, humbug’ when Goodreads asked me this question, because 1) I’ve been in an anti-romantic mood for several years, and 2) it’s a…moreAt first I thought ‘bah, humbug’ when Goodreads asked me this question, because 1) I’ve been in an anti-romantic mood for several years, and 2) it’s a question from the establishment, not from a reader. But other writers’ answers have been such fun that my hard heart went to butter, as the Mongols say.

Other writers are entirely right to quote as one of their favourites a couple of their own. We write out our idea and our ideal of love, whatever that may be. Mine is extreme, and that’s because I grew up on medieval love, when they went at it with a religious intensity. As I wondered who on earth to answer with, I contemplated Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan and Isolde, as an exemplar of the medieval European state of love. Then there’s the medieval love traditions in Persian and Arabic of which you can say the same: religious intensity, extreme ethic. I don’t believe people invented romantic love in the 12th century, that’s a nonsense, but they made a cult of it. There’s a question as to how far this was an cultural cult, just fiction – how often practiced in real life and not by poets. But we live by fiction, and you can bet people took this artistic fashion seriously.

My favourite lover is Lancelot. As Malory gives his elegy:

“A, Launcelot!” he sayd, “thou were hede of al Crysten knightes. And now I dare say,” sayd Syr Ector, “thou Sir Launcelot, there thou lyest, that thou were never matched of erthely knightes hande; and thou were the curtest knighte [this means ‘most courteous’] that ever bare shelde; and thou were the truest frende to thy lovar that ever bestrad hors; and thou were the truest lover, of a synful man, that ever loved woman; and thou were the kyndest man that ever strake with swerde; and thou were the godelyest persone that ever cam emonge press of knightes; and thou was the mekest man and the jentyllest that ever ete in hall emong ladyes; and thou were the sternest knyght to thy mortal foo that ever put spere in the reeste.”

My next favourite lover is Don Quixote, who dragged knightship into the early modern world at the cost of great ridicule. To be ridiculed for love was a martyrdom in love’s heyday from Aquitaine to Baghdad.(less)
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More books by Bryn Hammond…

Mongols and the plague

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was plague present in Mongol armies from the beginning of the conquests? New research by Dr Monica Green in the ‘biological archives’ has put the date of the Black Death back by a century. You can read a write-up in the Smithsonian. Dr Green’s original article The Four Black Deaths may need institutional access, but she summarises her findings in a Twitter thread.

It’s going to

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Published on April 03, 2021 18:57
Against Walls Imaginary Kings
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Bryn’s Recent Updates

The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
" Your first point about stats: I test-rest his Mongol section, and thought the same. "
Bryn Hammond is now friends with Risha Rederich
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Bryn Hammond has read
The Horde by Marie Favereau
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I reviewed this for the Asian Review of Books:
https://asianreviewofbooks.com/conten...
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Bryn Hammond is on page 150 of 800 of Dostoevsky: So much for memory: I've previously read all this so far, and much the most of the rest, as proved by the pencil marks. That's fine. Nineteenth-century Russia remains the most interesting time/place I've ever found (along with the thirteenth-century Mongol world) and this is research for a biographical short story.
Dostoevsky by Joseph Frank
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Dostoevsky by Joseph Frank
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The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
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Dostoevsky in Love by Alex Christofi
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Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
Confessions of the Fox
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Beowulf by Meghan Purvis
Beowulf
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Dostoevsky in Love by Alex Christofi
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More of Bryn's books…
“Our children aren't here to fix our mistakes, but to have lives, lives we can't guess at.”
Bryn Hammond, Against Walls

“If I laid a wager on which was to panic first, a block of granite or Jamuqa, I'd go the granite.”
Bryn Hammond, Imaginary Kings

“Temujin: "You are hard to get a plan past, my wife the queen."
Borte: "Indeed; that is what your wife the queen is for.”
Bryn Hammond, Imaginary Kings

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September 2013: Featured Author Read

 
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“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
I am human, and think nothing human alien to me.”
Terence

“No, I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses, reckon up their own;
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel.

--Sonnet 121”
Shakespeare

“I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!”
Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

“They accuse me--Me--the present writer of
The present poem--of--I know not what,--
A tendency to under-rate and scoff
At human power and virtue, and all that;
And this they say in language rather rough.
Good God! I wonder what they would be at!
I say no more than has been said in Dante's
Verse, and by Solomon and by Cervantes;

By Swift, by Machiavel, by Rochefoucault;
By Fenelon, by Luther and by Plato;
By Tillotson, and Wesley, and Rousseau,
Who knew this life was not worth a potato.
'Tis not their fault, nor mine, if this be so--
For my part, I pretend not to be Cato,
Nor even Diogenes.--We live and die,
But which is best, you know no more than I.”
George Gordon Byron, Don Juan

“Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.”
Howard Nemerov

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Comments (showing 1-4)    post a comment »
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message 4: by Bryn

Bryn Hammond Me too you. Right back. :)


message 3: by Bryn

Bryn Hammond Steve wrote: "...have you ever heard of this?

No... not until your blog. I'll go read about it there.


message 2: by Steve

Steve Evans Hey Bryn hope all is well in your world...have you ever heard of this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-env... aka the voynich document? What do you think?


Arkadagy Saparshy Thanks for Great Steppe's list :)


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