An Accidental King (2013): Mark Patton

★★

In 79 AD, an old man looks back over his life and prepares to write his memoirs for his granddaughter. He is Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, born and bred in the British southlands of the Regenses. Trained as a priest, he was then crowned an unwilling king, first of his own tribe and then as Great King of all the Britons, with the weight of the emperor’s authority behind him. As he remembers his experiences across three decades – from a visit to Rome with the then-general Vespasian, to the horror and fire of Boudica’s revolt – Cogidubnus meditates on the tightrope he has had to walk throughout his life: defending his people, while remaining loyal to a vast and unpredictable foreign power.

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