SELECTED ITEMS FROM THE VAULT
Since 1982 I have published an unconscionable number of books for children on subjects ranging from jellyfish to Pele, from Cleopatra to Tudor Travellers.
Many of the books belong to series, for which I have written multiple titles. I show just a few on this page to give a flavour of what I do. For further info, even on out-of-print titles, see Goodreads and Amazon.
First, though, here is a selection of my fiction titles for adults.
The People in the Picture
My first published novel, after ten years of trying. The publisher promoted it by claiming, ‘Few novelists have evoked the power of ancient cultural traditions and their effect on modern lives as has Haydn Middleton in his first novel. His voice is unique in today’s Britain.’ (I couldn’t possibly comment!)
An engrossing and affecting modern fairy-tale… A marvelous, romantic tale; the debut of a significant new fantasist (Kirkus Reviews, USA)
The Lie of the Land
Novel #2. The publisher billed this one as, ‘A seamless blend of reality and myth, Haydn Middleton’s new novel limns that most modern of dilemmas – the need to be connected to others and to history while still remaining true to oneself.’
A compelling story … Brilliantly contrived. I found myself, at the darkest moments, holding my breath and clutching hard at the book (Washington Post)
Son of Two Worlds
A retelling of the traditional tale of Pryderi from Britain’s Heroic Age, based on original, fragmentary, source material preserved in medieval texts (USA only).
The King’s Evil
The opening volume of my ‘Mordred Cycle’ trilogy of novels, presenting the Arthurian saga from the point of view of his illegitimate son.
What makes The Mordred Cycle so powerful is the underlying weight of sexuality and universal myth which pervades it. There’s a great new story being told – you have no sense what the outcome will be (Michael Moorcock)
Grimm’s Last Fairytale
A novel based on the life and traumas of Jacob Grimm, the elder of the two literary brothers. It has been translated into Russian, Italian and Japanese.
A subtle, entertaining and unusual novel. Its many layers include an account of Jacob Grimm’s last days, Teutonic forest mysticism, the ideals of pan-German unity in the time of Bismarck as well as a judicious seasoning of eroticism (Guardian)
Island of the Mighty
A weaving-together for children of several stories from the treasury of medieval Celtic myth, legend and imaginary history, with evocative illustrations by Anthea Toorchen.
Come and Have a Go If You Think You’re Smart Enough
First in a series of 8 short novels for children about a precociously gifted footballer who plays for a fictional version of my hometown club, Reading FC.
On Me ‘Ead, Santa!
My son swears (possibly tongue-in-cheek) that the story I have in this anthology – Pratt’s Dad – is the best thing I’ve written.
Frank Lloyd Wright
I had to familiarise myself with this fascinating part-Welsh architect from scratch, since all I previously knew about him was that he figured in the title and chorus of a Paul Simon song. I very much appreciate how much I have learned from researching the subjects of my books for children.
One of several notable writers I’ve written about for children, along with Mark Twain, George Orwell, William Shakespeare (three times) and R L Stine.
One of a number of books I’ve written on the Olympics, ancient and modern.
Diana Princess of Wales
One of two books I was asked to write about the princess (a little to my own surprise) immediately after she died. The publishers were ahead of me in grasping how significant her story would later appear.
My daughter, doing her GCSEs at the time, got a credit in this one for undertaking the initial research – a form of domestic internship.
This biography of a different type of creative artist sits alongside four others of mine in the True Lives series, including volumes on Cleopatra, Henry Ford and a long-time personal hero, Captain James Cook.
Part of a series called Visiting the Past, which in a sense is what I did here – the publishers sending me to Giza for a week with a photographer to compile an on-the-spot history of this stupendous heritage site.
Heroes or Villains?
One of many titles I’ve written for OUP’s Project X, a schools programme specially developed to motivate boys and address the gender gap in literacy.
Fashions through history – from a 4-book series, each of which has the word ‘Dead’ in its title to suggest they are all about the past. On reflection, I’ve probably made up better titles…