What is the strangest fact about Hild's times that you uncovered in your research? (Or perhaps just your favorite piece of lore?)
That by one estimate women in early 7th-C Britain spent 65% of their time on the production of textiles. Think about: that's more than childcare and food preparation put together! It completely changed my approach to the book.
Verbs like weave and sow and harvest and rett and scutch and beat and spin and dye, not to mention comb and sew and shear and cut and clean and full took over my world. And made me reimagine the cultural institutions of the time. I mean, if you're spending two-thirds of your life on something, it will be woven into every aspect of your community. (It changed my metaphors, too...)