Simon Acland has written two historical novels. The Waste Land chronicles the adventures of Hugh de Verdon, monk turned knight, during the extraordinary events of the 1st Crusade. He journeys from the great Monastery of Cluny to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem. He encounters the Assassins, endures a personal epiphany and discovers the “truth” behind the Holy Grail. The Flowers of Evil takes up his story in the early years of the 12th Century, a turbulent period when the victorious First Crusaders fought to hold on to the lands they had won in Outremer. Unfinished business takes Hugh on a journey of vengeance and fulfilment.
In each book, Hugh de Verdon’s tale is retold by a group of desperate Oxford dons, who discover his autobiographical manuscript in their College library. Their humorous – and murderous – story also provides a commentary on the Eleventh Century events and suggests that they are not all they seem.
Simon Acland used to work in venture capital.