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Tom Fleck

Harry Nicholson
By Author


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‘Sharp as quivering hares are the Flecks. We’ve eyes and ears for things other folk miss. 'Much later, in the aftermath of the battle of Flodden, a young man finally understands his father’s words. The year is 1513. The place is North-East England. Tom Fleck, a downtrodden farm worker, but gifted archer, yearns to escape his masters. He unearths two objects that could be keys to freedom: a torque of ancient gold and a Tudor seal ring. He cannot know how these finds will determine his future. Rachel Coronel craves an end to her wanderings. When the torque comes to rest around the neck of this mysterious foreign woman, an odyssey begins which draws Tom Fleck into borderlands of belief and race. The seal ring propels Tom on a journey of self-knowledge that can only climax in another borderland, among the ‘flowers of the forest’ of Flodden Field. Here are Tudor kings and their nobles – their documented lives are rich material for writers – but now they play a minor part. This is the story of Tom Fleck, a penniless farm labourer, who shares his dwelling with cattle. He is fictional only because he leaves no record – his people live before the keeping of parish registers, so they make no marks on parchment and are lost to history. We find his rare surname in the register of St. Hilda’s church at Hartlepool: Baptisms 1596, September 19th: Christofer ye child of Willm. Fleck. Perhaps William heard tales of how his great grandfather Thomas loved a strange woman and stood with the army on the terrible battlefield of Flodden. This story brings him to life.

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