Welcome to the OFFICIAL 'About The Author' page of:
Ann Marie Thomas
Ann’s ambition was to write science fiction, but, fascinated by Swansea Castle and distracted by a major stroke she researched local history, which culminated in the publication of Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth. The success of Alina led to a second local history book, Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John, and then to her new book, The Magna Carta Story. She is still writing science fiction.
AUTHOR: Ann Marie Thomas
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The eldest of four children, Ann has been writing poetry and making up stories since she was a child, in London. Her work brought her to Swansea, where she married and settled, having four children of her own. Ann only began to write for publication when her children left home.
Her ambition was to write science fiction, and she has three novels at various stages of completion in a series called Flight of the Kestrel. However, one day she looked up at the ruins of Swansea Castle and wondered what it was like when it was lived in. She Googled it and became fascinated by Gower medieval history. Her research led her to the story of Alina de Breos, but in the middle of assembling Alina’s story from multiple sources Ann had a major stroke.
When she came home from hospital, she occupied her time completing Alina’s story and learning to self-publish in print and ebook. Her husband contacted the local Art College and they found a talented student, Carrie Francis, who drew the illustrations for the book. Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth was published at Easter 2012, and is the only book about her.
Early retirement from work gave Ann more time to concentrate on her writing. The sales of over 300 copies of Alina in local shops and museums, and at speaking engagements, led to a second local history book, Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and then to The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015.
Ann continues to work on her recovery from the stroke, and although she is disabled leads a very busy life. She is very involved in her church and active on social media, including two blogs. She is still writing science fiction and has not given up on the hope of seeing it published.
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William de Breos, 4th Lord of Bramber, served King Henry II and King Richard, but really came to prominence under King John. He was a close confidant of the king and was rewarded with many lands, including the lordship of Gower in south Wales, a strategically important estate in the Norman Marcher territories.
King John came to fear his power, and when his wife revealed John's greatest secret John turned on William and treated him and his family very cruelly. They fled, William dying in France, his wife and eldest son captured and starved to death by John, and his grandsons imprisoned.
William's sons and grandson turned to Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd to help them regain their lands. The fall of the de Breos family was the final spark that lit the fire of Magna Carta and led to the offer of the English crown to the prince of France.
Well presented facts. There are very few well written non-fiction Welsh historical books. This is one of them. If you want to know more about the Gower's history and why such a small peninsula has the ruins of so many Norman castles this is the book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse into the past of one of the most beautiful parts of Wales. 5*
The people behind the dates. As a resident of the Gower Peninsula, I’ve really enjoyed Ann Marie Thomas’s colourful and insightful accounts of the area’s troubled history. The sequel (or prequel) to Ms Thomas’s previous book Alina: the White Lady of Oystermouth (Paperback) , ‘Broken Reed’ tells of Alina’s ancestor William de Breos and his turbulent friendship with King John (he of the Magna Carta). Ms Thomas’s conversational style and attention to detail make for an easy, interesting and informative read, while the extensive bibliography and endnotes provide ample resources for further exploration. 5*