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Synopsis

In 1927 a chance encounter in a public house with the person who found a solid gold bangle whilst walking his dog was to be a life changing moment in the life of Captain Cornelius Wood. His journal written in 1956 was found only a few years ago by his grandson, it is a fascinating document, it tells of his adventures in the underground city of the Nation of the Angeln, a community that has lived in the deepest caves and tunnels below Dudley castle in Warwickshire for a thousand years. They have earned their living collecting the detritus of the upper world, as they call it, with their horses and carts - rags, bones etc. - selling this on to give their women - dressed in upper world clothes - the money to buy produce in Dudley market to supplement their production of sheep and cattle which graze quite openly on the pasturelands surrounding the castle. The language they speak - Anglo Saxon - is not so very different to the Black Country spoken by Dudley people -this dialect is itself derived from Anglo Saxon. By hiding themselves in this way in full of the world they have remained undetected for generations. Captain Wood chances upon this community and their way of life and is sucked into a power battle that is taking place unknown to the rest of the world. This entaglement has an unlikely side effect, he falls in love with the queen of this strange world - the ruling monarch throughout their history, by ancient decree, has always been a woman - but unfortunately he is not permitted to marry her, again by decree her husband has to be of the Angeln. Love triumphs in the end but only after many hurdles, not least Queen Cathryn's brother the ambitious Aethelfred.

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