Uetred thought he had discovered pig bones. He did not know or care why they were in the cesspit at the base of Bampton Castle Wall.
Then he found the skull. Uetred was a villein, bound to the land of Lord Gilbert, third Baron Talbot, lord of Bampton Castle and had slaughtered many pigs. He knew the difference between human and pig skulls.
I was browsing in the library, when the medieval style script on the spine of this book caught my eye. Taking it from the shelf I was also struck by the dramatic cover, showing a strange wooden or leather artificial foot. When I read the opening paragraphs and flicked through the pages I decided to borrow the book. It seems it’s a good choice because the library assistant said she had enjoyed it as she likes historical crime fiction – so do I. And there are more books in the series.
It’s The Unquiet Bones: the first chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon by Melvin R Starr.
I was interested in the foot – is it a genuine medieval prosthetic? I discovered that it is actually an Ancient Egyptian prosthetic toe found on a female mummy at Luxor. The big toe is carved from wood and has holes for lacing it to a leather-type casing.
Now, as far as I know, this is nothing to do with The Unquiet Bones, which is set in the English village of Bampton, but I think it’s fascinating. It certainly drew my attention to the book.
First Chapter, First Paragraphs is a weekly event hosted by Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea.