Biography

David Pilling is a writer and researcher, addicted to history for as long as he can remember. The medieval era has always held a fascination for him, perhaps because he spent much of his childhood exploring the misted ruins of castles in Wales. He also has an interest in the Byzantine Empire, the post-Roman period in Britain and the British & Irish Civil Wars.

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David is a prolific author and has written and published a number of series and stand-alone tales. These include his first published novel, Folville’s Law, which chronicled the adventures of Sir John Swale in the last days of the reign of Edward II of England. This was followed by The White Hawk series, set during the Wars of the Roses, a six-part Arthurian series, and many more. He has also co-written two high fantasy novels with his good friend, Martin Bolton.

Most of David’s books are available as ebooks and paperbacks, and many are in the process of being converted to audio.

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Books

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Articles

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The Last Welsh Prince

The Last Welsh Prince

On 11 December 1282 Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, was lured to a meeting near Builth, mid-Wales, and assassinated. Shortly afterwards his leaderless army was ambushed and routed – or 'discomfited', to use the contemporary term. When the slaughter was complete, the victorious ...
Mountain Lions: Edward I’s Elite Troops

Mountain Lions: Edward I’s Elite Troops

Over the winter of 1282-3, a new kind of soldier arrived in the British Isles. These were men of Gascony, part of the ancient duchy of Aquitaine in south-west France. They had been summoned by the King of England, Edward I, who was also (among other titles) the king-duke of Gascony. The Gascons
The Champion: Pascual de Valencia

The Champion: Pascual de Valencia

Among the knights of Edward I there was a certain Pascual de Valencia, called the 'Adalide'. Pascual, a knight of Aragon in modern-day Spain, was just one of several foreign knights serving in the household of the English king. There were also several Germans, any number of Gascons (from ...
The Battle of Llandeilo Fawr

The Battle of Llandeilo Fawr

16 June is the anniversary of the Battle of Llandeilo Fawr in 1282. Piecing together the various accounts of this battle was quite fun: there is no lack of chronicle and administrative evidence, though as usual we are left with gaps and speculation.In April 1282 Edward I met with his nobles
Origins of a Legend: Robin Hood and the Disinherited

Origins of a Legend: Robin Hood and the Disinherited

Robin Hood and the DisinheritedThe story of Robin Hood as we know it today is usually set in the reigns of Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199) and King John (1199-1216). This tradition goes back no further than 1521 and the work of John Major, a Scottish theologian, who in that year, ...
Henry III & the Truce with Navarre

Henry III & the Truce with Navarre

In the autumn of 1266 Henry III was bogged down at Kenilworth castle in Warwickshire, besieging the Montfortian garrison. While focused on crushing the revolt in England, the king also had other pressing business to attend to. While the siege was in progress, he agreed to the King of France's ...
Tourney at Chalon

Tourney at Chalon

In July 1274 the Little Battle or Little War of Chalon took place on the Saone in Burgundy-Franche-Comté. This was a tournament that turned nasty when the host, the Count of Chalon, tried in vain to unhorse Edward I. The tourney at Chalon was a strange affair. Walter of Guisborough identifies ...
The Oak Door of Aberffraw

The Oak Door of Aberffraw

The Oak Door of AberffrawIn spring 1283 the armies of Edward I stormed into Gwynedd. This was the final drama in a very long war: for 200 years, the princes of Gwynedd had attempted to forge a united Wales in the teeth of resistance from the English crown. They almost succeeded until Prince
Hereward the Wake

Hereward the Wake

In 1066 Harold Godwinsson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, was killed at the battle of Hastings. Yet England was not conquered in a single day. The victor, Duke William of Normandy, had to fight tooth and nail for several years to hold onto his conquest.To begin with, the most serious
The Legend of King Arthur

The Legend of King Arthur

The legend of King Arthur needs little introduction. From obscure origins, the tale surged in popularity in the twelfth century, largely thanks to Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose History of the Kings of Britain was the bestseller of its day. In the fifteenth century, Sir Thomas Malory's La Morte ...

Book Reviews

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De Montfort, by Darren Baker.

De Montfort, by Darren Baker.

Darren Baker's latest book is a narrative history of the Montforts, one of the most famous noble families of the medieval era. It follows on from his previous works on Simon de Montfort and Henry III and their consorts, the two Eleanors.This is an ambitious work, and covers the history of ...
Caesar’s Sword: The Red Death, by David Pilling

Caesar’s Sword: The Red Death, by David Pilling

David Pilling is a prolific author of historical fiction. With interests ranging from the Byzantine Empire, the post-Roman period in Britain and the British and Irish Civil Wars, he has written numerous tales of blood and chivalry across these eras. Caesar’s Sword: The Red Death is one such ...
Edward I and Wales: 1254-1307, by David Pilling

Edward I and Wales: 1254-1307, by David Pilling

Edward I & WalesAfter two centuries of conflict between the Welsh princes and the English crown, Edward I finally conquered Wales in the latter half of the 13th century. Edward – better known to many by the epithet ‘Longshanks’ – had accomplished something which had eluded English ...
At the Gates of Rome, by Don Hollway

At the Gates of Rome, by Don Hollway

In less assured hands, this could have been a turgid and thoroughly bewildering read. Thankfully, Don Hollway knows his subject inside out and neatly picks his way through the convoluted history of the late Roman Empire. As the title suggests, the focus is on events leading up to the climactic ...

Author Interview

David Pilling
What prompted you to choose the period that you wrote your first book in?My first book was a short detective novel set in England during the time of Edward II. I had always wanted to write a historical novel and had been reading quite a lot of medieval crime fiction, especially Ellis Peters (Brother ...
The Champion: David Pilling on Aragon and Peter III
David, congratulations on your latest book, Sword of Aragon: A Champion Tale. This is a prequel to your Champion series, which is set in France and Spain – what is it about this area of Medieval Europe that fascinates you?My interest stems from a childhood dragging my unfortunate parents about castles in Wales. These included the famous 'Iron Ring' built by ...