Bryn  Hammond

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Bryn Hammond

Goodreads Author

in Chavey Down, The United Kingdom
May 23, 1964




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

Member Since
December 2011


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…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)
Average rating: 4.09 · 82 ratings · 36 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
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Me and Atrocity

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More books by Bryn Hammond…

I am honoured to be reviewed by novelist Dmitry Kosyrev in the Asian Review of Books.

‘I happen to know this world: I’ve been to Mongolia three times and, recently, in Russia’s Altai, which is about the same. I know that Bryn Hammond did a miracle of transporting the reader there, but I’ve no idea how she did it (that’s a real compliment from one writer to another). That’s a wolf’s world, whatev...

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Against Walls Imaginary Kings
(2 books)
4.04 avg rating — 74 ratings

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Crime and Punishment
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Bryn Hammond Bryn Hammond said: " Reading the Oliver Ready translation (Penguin, 2014).

Others read:
Julius Katzer (Raduga Publishers Moscow, 1985) -- my first owned.
David McDuff (Penguin, 1991, 2003).
Pevear and Volokhonsky (Vintage, 1992).

Raskolnikov tries to be a rational kill
...more "

Women and the Mak...
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Five Dynasties an...
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Bryn’s Recent Updates

Bryn Hammond made a comment in the group Historical Fictionistas2018: What are you reading topic
" reading The Watermelon Boys by Ruqaya Izzidien -- First World War Iraq. "
Go Back to Where You Came From by Sasha Polakow-Suransky
"This a very sobering look at the trajectory of contemporary politics in the Western world. The author gets remarkable access to some of the top figures of the resurgent far-right in Europe, while drawing the outlines of the migration crisis that i..." Read more of this review »
Bryn Hammond and 3 other people liked Joe's review of Selected Stories:
Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov
"The concept of irony befuddles me. I've looked up the definition many times (including just now), puzzled over it and read differing opinions over whether Alanis Morissette's famous song 'Ironic' contains examples of irony. And yet I still feel in..." Read more of this review »
The Wonder Down Under by Nina Brochmann
"Totally spiffing and absolutely necessary. An easy-to-read, informative and completely shame-free guide to all things relating to the vulva and its use.

Despite being of a certain age, I had pretty good access to sex education as a young thing - b..." Read more of this review »
Bryn Hammond wants to read
Cataphracts by Erich B. Anderson
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Cataphracts by Erich B. Anderson
" Not an Osprey type then, for illos. Thanks Chris, now can buy. "
Cataphracts by Erich B. Anderson
"A thorough review of the evolution and equipment of 'eastern style' heavy cavalry. Tracing the path of this type of horseman from the Scythians, to its full maturation in Iran and Byzantium. The military history aspects are appropriately clipped t..." Read more of this review »
Bryn Hammond wants to read
Hard Times by Vasily Sleptsov
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Bryn Hammond is on page 191 of 702 of Crime and Punishment: Love this translation. Strong on idioms and speech expressions, and intertextuality/quotation (which his intro was about). Little things make more sense. Humour. Never had such a sense of C&P as a comic novel.
Warmth. I mean, it has Razumikhin.
God I even like Raskolnikov.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Bryn Hammond wants to read
Transgressive Typologies by Rebecca Doran
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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


June 2013: FA Read

  50 votes 54.9%

  28 votes 30.8%

  13 votes 14.3%

91 total votes

Topics Mentioning This Author

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

“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”

“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? aka the voynich document? What do you think?

Arkadagy Saparshy Thanks for Great Steppe's list :)

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