Cuddy by  Benjamin Myers


Benjamin Myers

The immense personality and legacy of St Cuthbert (Cuddy) shines through every page of this alternative history of Northeast England. It could have been like a novel by Tolstoy – a saga of the significance of common people - but although epic in dimension, it defies genre. Instead it delivers a forceful fusion of scholarly hagiography, psychic poetry, wonderment at architectural triumph and a profound empathy for the victims of history.


Only when they are half-mad with hunger and lack of sleep and their throats are hoarse from prayer do they finally emerge blinking into the present moment, where Owl Eyes has thought to build a fire and I have prepared a great vat of mutton stew.

The men are intoxicated by their own deep devotion. They all speak at once.

Edmund says: Oh, dear sainted Cuddy spoke to me.

Stitheard says: And to me. I do believe we are close.

Franco says: A sign, a sign, I received a sign from Him.

Chad says: Our piety and prayers are being rewarded.

Eadmer says: I think this might be the place, brothers.

Bishop Aldhun says: Yonder hill. This is to be his home.

Hunred says: Ediva told us all this over two days ago.

At this point the brothers look at me, and finally see me, as I turn and point.

Point to the wooded island of a hill once more. Point to the place of our calling.


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