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Sea Sagas with Jules Pretty


Saturday 22 June 2019
21:00 – 21:30

Sunday 23 June 2019
02.45 – 03.15
07:30 – 08:30

Interstellar Ideas on the Green

These sea sagas weave long-eon tales of North Sea and North Atlantic, stories of the rise and fall of cities, of people and the fish, the ebb and flow of mariners of England and the Shetlands, Iceland and the Faroe, Norway and Denmark. Sea roads linked these places, fish grounds were common meeting places. Crossings are dangerous, the seas mighty, the fearful monsters dark below. The scald sees from near and far, speaks of days gone by and eras still to come.

Pull up a chair, come listen to those distant voices, fading in and out of crackling wireless, winnowed by the wind – listen to these sagas…

Saturday 21.00 – 21.30

In which Doggerland is slow-drowned, surrounded and becomes an isle. It is a shock, the sun rises from the sea, sets too in waves. The hunter mesoliths retreat, to west and east, do not know if flood will ever stop, and are offered new high land by the green monarch, Herne the king of woods. The new north sea now will stay.


Sunday 02.45 – 03.15 

In which Gudrun the scald sails from the monastery of Jarrow, as observer and recorder of the Battle of Maldon in 991. The Norse Olaf sails with 100 ships to obtain silver tribute from Æthelred, whose reign descends to chaos as he looks inward for excuses. The wise and humble Knute follows later to unite the whole country.


Sunday 07.30 – 08.00

In which the sun-drenched empire of the Norse began. Longships clinker-built square-sailed away across the gannet’s bath. The expeditionary force faced storm and loss, and pitched up on Lindisfarne, to raid the undefended monastery. Only one ship returned, with gold and silver hoard, but it does not look like success to women waiting at the shore.

From Sea Sagas of the North by Jules Pretty winner of the East Anglian Book Awards 2018 for East Country and winner of the New Angle Prize for Literature for This Luminous Coast.

Attendees will receive a free copy of the Sea Sagas booklets – three in all…