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Ellen Foster

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In Search of Medieval Voice

Valparaiso, IN, June 10, 2010 --( Hoosier author Ellen Foster has created a new historical mystery novel, Effigy of the Cloven Hoof. Its real-life images of English medieval people share with her readers some realities of chivalry, the role of women, and the class bound hopes of common folk.

The author lived in England four different years from the late 1980’s through the 1990’s while experiencing hands-on medieval history as a steward and guide to the 14th century Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Exeter, Devon. Able to explore the British Isles during those years of residence she has placed her fictional characters within real space. Although some places she describes lie in ruins in the 21st century she brings them back to significant life in the year 1400.

Turning to writers of the period--chiefly Geoffrey Chaucer and Mother Julian of Norwich--the author conveys her readers into the presence of good and evil people recognizable to the communities of the high Middle Ages. Her characters speak to her readers in voices of the period, not Chaucer’s English but the language of courtesy within one’s household, villages, towns and the powerful medieval Christian Church.

The opening pages of the novel carry the reader into the midst of a demonic storm raging on the banks of the Severn River in Gloucestershire. Unknown to the household of Lady Apollonia of Aust, a tidal bore has surged from the sea up the Severn Estuary leaving in its wake a pre-dawn tide of dead lepers. One savagely decapitated body discovered in a tidal pool is revealed to be not a leper but an ancient adversary of the Lady.

Ellen Foster and her husband Lou live in Valparaiso, Indiana.
(219) 462-8338

Her book may be found at

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Ellen Foster
Ruth Ellen Foster

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