dan canwell - the portchester chronicles


the portchester chronicles

This is a series of books, that through fiction explore the founding and development of one of Britain's most historic settlements. It is a fascinating story, told over nearly 2,000 years, of strife, combat, deprivation and hardship. If you have read the rest of this website then it isn't a hard task to work out that the books are based on where I grew up, the settlement that eventually became Portsmouth, Britain's only island city, and one with an amazing but largely untold history.

It promises to be an exciting series, once again intertwining historical fact with compelling and enthralling fiction.

The first book in the series, 'Caer Perris' is complete. The first draft is now with my reading group and I will start work on amendments shortly. 

The plot seeks to follow what is known of the founding of the settlement that became Portchester. Today a small and rather sleepy suburb, that was born out of conflict, grew out of Royal patronage and later, as power moved to Portsea Island, faded into obscurity. It is a violent and bloody story that sees father fighting son and brother fighting brother before ending in a murder. Caer Perris means 'Fortress of Perris' and the man behind the name is the central character in the story of greed, violence and death. 

Research and outlines are already being started for book 2 which is provisionally titled 'Portus Adurni' and set in Roman times. The fort, the best preserved Roman fort north of the Alps, is known now as Portchester Castle and lies, relatively unknown and undisturbed at the north end of Portsmouth Harbour. Only about one eighth of the fort, that retains its Roman walls, has a Norman keep and gatehouse and a Saxon church, has been excavated - just imagine what may remain hidden underground?



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