Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Inspiration from art

The Romans Leaving Britain by Sir John Everett Millais Bt PRA (1829-96) Link to picture source
I'm working on my characters at the moment, and as part of that, am revisiting this image which inspired me to create my heroine Samhaira.  I find the work of the Pre-Raphaelites endlessly inspiring for writing historical romance and this sketch by Sir John Everett Millais has really captured my imagination.

I'm no art historian, but I'm sure there's some symbolism going on here, of how the province Britannia was left to defend herself when the Romans were recalled to help Rome in the early 400s.  My character Samhaira isn't going to have to put up with a sad ending like that though.  In Her Roman Solider, the year is 209AD, and Samhaira's Roman soldier isn't going anywhere anytime soon!


  1. That's a very inspiring painting. I got my inspiration from the paintings on display in the Roman museum at Caerleon, as that's where my Roman epic is set, a bit earlier than yours - 66 - 75AD.

    Also visiting the landscape and imagining it as it would have been is a great source for me.

    Good luck with it :-)

  2. Hi,

    Have you read "Mists of Avalon" Marion Zimmer Bradley - one of my favourite books and the first book my husband shared with me when we met. Mx

  3. That's definitely an inspiring pic - I love the pre-raphaeilites :)

    You know, I have Mists of Avalon on my pile waiting to be read. I love fantasy (it is fantasy, right??) but feel I ought to stick to things more relevant to my own writing at the moment...sadly.

  4. Christine, nice to know you are writing about a similar period. I've never been to Caerleon - would love to visit all the Roman sites eventually!

    Morton, I haven't read that book but it sounds like something I would enjoy.

    Cathryn, I know the feeling of having to stick to reading relevant to what you're doing. I have a growing pile of things to look at when I possibly can though!