Monday, November 30, 2009

Male On Monday - Michael Wood

Please welcome Historicals author Carol Townend, with a MoM entry that goes beyond good looks...

Michael Wood is my Male on Monday, because he has long been one of my heroes. As we all know, to be a hero you have to be more than eye candy. A real hero must have an interesting mind; he should be someone with whom you can share common interests, and feel you would love to talk to, and talk to, and talk to...

This photograph of Michael Wood is taken from the back cover of his book: Domesday, A Search for the Roots of England. He is a little older now (he was born in 1948) but you can see that he doesn’t do at all badly in the eye candy stakes either.

History is Michael Wood’s passion. He writes and talks about it with such clarity and enthusiasm that one is carried away, right back to the past. He brings history to life, and his books and broadcasts are filled with insights about what life was really like for ordinary people as well as for kings and queens. He has a wide range, some of the subjects he has written and broadcasted about are:

The Dark Ages
Anglo-Saxon England
The Trojan War
Alexander the Great
Myths and Heroes
And more…

In this You Tube clip, Michael Wood discusses fourteenth century England. It is the year of the Great Plague.

And in this short interview he talks about the making of his documentary on the Trojan War, referring to it as ‘a mystery story and adventure’ in itself:

Recently on the Beeb,Michael Wood introduced Julian Glover’s inspired and passionate performance of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.

Reading Old English is something of a challenge (!!?), so in case anyone wants to read it in translation, Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf version is brilliant with the Anglo-Saxon sitting alongside his poetic modern English.

Carol’s latest book: Runaway Lady, Conquering Lord is out with Harlequin Historicals in the US, and with Mills & Boon in the UK. It is set in England and France shortly after the Norman Conquest, and tells the story of a fallen Saxon lady, and the Norman knight she is forced to appeal to for help.

Carol keeps trying to move on to the twelfth century, but the eleventh century seems to have her firmly in its grasp. She is currently working on a novel set in the Byzantine Empire.

Carol’s blog:

Her website is currently being revamped, but she hopes it will be updated very soon! This is the link:


  1. Ah yes, Michael Wood aka the thinking woman's crumpet of tv presenters. He is rather lovely and I am positive almost single handedly inspired young women to have an interest in the early Medieval period.
    He just is.
    He is someone I always watch when his programmes ocome on the BBC. The series on India was fantastic.

  2. Fantastic choice, Carol. I was always into the medieval period (my mum introduced me to Malory when I was quite small!) and when I first saw him presenting in the 1980s - wow. Listening to him speak Anglo Saxon sends shivers down my spine. (And I have to admit he did have something to do with my archaeologist hero...)

  3. Ahh, Carol, I love your choice. I've long been a fan of Michael Wood's.

    I'll have to look for more of his series :-)!

  4. Hi Michelle, Oh, yes, Michael Wood's programmes are certainly very inspirational.
    And Kate, now you mention it,there is something Indiana Jones about him...
    Hello Terry - it is good to know that others agree with my choice!
    Best wishes...

  5. Ah, yes, we do like Michael Wood over here across the pond. His passion for history is infectious. I love watching his programmes particularly the one he did on Shakespeare.

  6. What a delightful post. I enjoy reading Anglo-Saxon, although I'm a complete amateur. I have Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf, as well as an Anglo-Saxon grammar and reader. I would love to hear Michael Wood read Anglo-Saxon out loud! Is that available online?

  7. Hi Elizabeth & Barbara!
    There used to be a recording on the BBC of Michael Wood reading Anglo Saxon, but it is no longer there. Google may come up with something. Sorry not to know more, but am away from my desk at the moment on a borrowed computer! best wishes...

  8. Hi again,
    If anyone is interested there are some readings of Anglo-Saxon to be found at this link: