Re-Release – The Mangrove Legacy by Kit Marlowe

We are delighted, this Christmas day to announce the re release of a book I reviewed some years ago. It’s always a delight to get a book I enjoyed back out into print/devices so other people can enjoy it, and this one is really fun.

The Mangrove Legacy by Kit Marlowe, with cover art by the fabulous S.L. Johnson closes out a 2020 that has been strange and challenging at best, for all of us. It has not however, lacked in good books to read.

Gothic castles, highwaymen, ghosts, pirates-and a surprising variety of cheeses!

The adventure begins in the middle of Lord Mangrove’s funeral cortege, when cousins Alice and Lizzie are spirited away by masked riders. Next they’re sold to nefarious seamen-then captured by pirates, until they’re lost at sea without so much as an improving book to read! The two intrepid young women discover romance, heartache, fisticuffs, and the vital importance of pockets.

Heartily recommended to anyone who has a sense of humour, even if comedy, gothic and romance are three genres they firmly shun under normal circumstances. ~ Un:Bound

Buy it here!

Foxy Friday: Kathryn ‘Kit’ Marlowe

Top Five Medieval(ish) Movies

The Lion in Winter

What’s not to love? Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, Nigel Terry, Timothy Dalton, and the debut of Anthony Hopkins, a real medieval castle and a whole lot of family drama – and not just any family! Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the most powerful women to ever live, going toe-to-toe with her second husband Henry II over which of their sons will become king. Bonus: the poignant evocation of the overlooked middle child, Geoffrey (sob!).


A gorgeous film that shows exactly why a medieval teen girl might decide to become an anchoress, which means being walled into the side of a church. Sounds mad, right? But to know that you wouldn’t be forced to work in the fields or to marry a man much older than you – plus everyone suddenly thinks your important and holy. Bonus: Christopher Eccleston is the priest.

Hrafninn Flygur/The Raven Flies

This is an Icelandic film; director Hrafn Gunnlaugsson wanted to use the Viking sagas to create a set of films that had the appeal of a spaghetti western. The film succeeds in the same fun sense of adventure. It doesn’t borrow directly from any one saga but uses familiar tropes of revenge, masculine one-upsmanship, the conflict between the Norse gods followers and Christians, and the divided loyalties of former slaves who become wives. Bonus: Icelandic horses are awesome albeit tiny and who knew there were Vatican ninjas?

Kristen Lavransdatter

Directed by the legendary Liv Ullman, this sumptuous film captures a good sense of how disruptive modern notions of love would be in the Middle Ages. Kristen’s mother offers a realistic picture of the reality of marriage as something one grew into when there were no other options. The film shows how the convent was really just as much a girls school as any modern one, with the same furtive conversations about sex and religion. Bonus: it’s so beautiful!

The Wife of Bath

This is a bit of a cheat: it’s a modernisation of Chaucer’s tale but it’s just so good (all the films in this BBC series range from good to extraordinary). Julie Walters plays the wife as an aging soap star who falls for a younger man after he joins the show. She’s larger than life and bawdy as they come, just like the original. The main story is the Prologue and her many marriages, while the plot of the soap borrows from the Tale (which is quite clever! Well done, Sally Wainwright). Bonus: Bill Nighy!

I could name a lot more but these will get you started.

Kathryn ‘Kit’ Marlowe is a writer of historical fiction, often with a good bit of humour. There are those who say she’s secretly an English professor who writes under other names. You can find her on Facebook, too. Her lovely author portrait was created by the fabulous artist S. L. Johnson.

Author Post : Kit Marlowe

The Curious Incident of the Cheese at the Right Time

Kit Marlowe



The incredible importance of cheese to the remarkable history of the civilised world has often been overlooked. From the beginning of man (and woman, at least when she was not slimming), cheese has always been the lynch pin that set the world to rights or changed the course of history, which as the scholars note, has never run smoothly.

In the beginning was the word, and the word was cheese and the cheese was good. Strict cheese creationists believe this, but those who require a more scientific explanation will do well to look at the work of curdologist Dr. Blaise Silver who posits a more natural origin story based on a knowledge of the fossil record and a lifetime spent with aging cheddars.

When milk from a startled wildebeest-like bison fell into a depression on the windswept plains of ancient Africa after a sabre-toothed lion-like tiger whipped off said beast to feed her young, the resultant dairy curdled in the afternoon sun creating the ür-cheese. Paleontologists refer to it as homo caseus. I have it on good authority, though the fossil record might be best described as non-existent.

It is said the matrilineal hyenas were the first to taste this rudimentary cheese and delight in its aroma, but without opposable thumbs were unable to develop anything more than coincidental cheese production. It took the arrival of humanity to do so.

Nonetheless, from the first of early hominids cheese proved a lucrative bartering good and by the time of the Egyptians, it had reached the level of near deification. As the so-called Book of the Dead recounts, prayers were said to the mighty Mish, a cheese that provided the weight against which the heart or ib was weighed.

In the Indian epic The Mahabharata the fates of the Kaurava and Pandava princes in the midst of the Kurukshetra War nonetheless digress into philosophical topics such as a discussion of the purusharthas, or the four cheese goals of life. Cheeses must have the flavour of either salt, sweet, sour or fire in order to guide the life stories of the princes in the medieval paneer epic.

Meanwhile over in England the story of the saintly King Edmund fired the long-standing cheese love of Britain before it had a unifying identity as one nation. Facing the fearsome cheese-raiding Vikings, the brave king declared his faithfulness to the curd and refused to give over his Wensleydale and Stilton. The Norsemen simply removed his head as well as the wheels of cheese. But in a well-documented miracle his men later found the missing head when it cried, “Double Gloucester!” and was found resting between the paws of a wolf, who tamely followed the soldiers back to their town then, given a snack of Ilchester, disappeared into the woods once more.

Scotland and Wales are mostly made of cheese, hence the hills. We shall not discuss Ireland given the current situation: far be it from me to invoke the Yeats and his opinions on the cheese of the Sidhe.

Of course the role of cheese in the American and French revolutions is know to every school boy or girl, so I will not teach grandma to suck Edam but merely say, let us behold the golden treasure and rejoice. Praise cheeses!


Kit Marlowe is the author of the forthcoming humorous Gothic novel The Mangrove Legacy and can be found on the world wide web about here. Her work also appears in Pirates and Things in the Dark.