Ostara Publishing Colourfon

Ostara Publishing

10 Jul 2013
Books: Falconer's Crusade
Falconer's Judgement
Falconer and the Face of God
A Psalm for Falconer
Falconer and the Great Beast
Falconer and the Rain of Blood

William Falconer: a life in fiction


William Falconer: a life in fiction


Regent Master William Falconer of Oxford University was born in 1225, or 1994, depending on how you view history. Although his early life remains obscure, it is thought he was an orphan brought up by monks. Showing an aptitude for scholarship, he was despatched to Oxford University when he was a young man. There he encountered Friar Roger Bacon, who was to remain his friend for the rest of their lives. However, even the great polymath Bacon could not prevent the frustration of Falconer over the narrowness of university life. William sought adventure as a mercenary, and it was only around 1250 that he became jaded with a life of warfare and death. And, given that his eyesight was growing too poor for a soldier, he returned to the academic life.

With a new pair of eye-lenses, and a love of logic, he embarked on a teaching career, renting Aristotle’s Hall from Oseney Abbey as a lodging house for his students. His maverick temperament and love of science soon drew him into one scrape after another. His first encounter with murder was in 1264, and involved a killer seeking revenge for the ancient crusade against the Cathars in France (Falconer’s Crusade). Not long after that he solved the case of the murder a man at the Papal Legate’s court (Falconer’s Judgement). The next Christmastide revels brought the puzzle of the death of a travelling player (Falconer and the Face of God), and then on a journey of his own to the north, he encountered a body in the quicksands of Morecambe Bay (A Psalm for Falconer). By 1268 he was back in Oxford when a member of the Mongol delegation to the royal court was murdered (Falconer and the Great Beast).

He has had several trials and tribulations since then, but Falconer and the Rain of Blood records his final murder case in Oxford in 1275.

Ian Morson,

July 2013.


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