Today I am featuring Mark Patton's historical fiction book AN ACCIDENTAL KING!


79 AD.

As he approaches the end of his life, Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, the native-born but loyally pro-Roman client king of Britain, looks back on the thirty-six years of his reign.

He recalls how, as a young man, he was seduced by the grandeur of Rome and the beauty of the written word; how he was befriended by the Emperor Claudius, and by the Roman General, Vespasian, later to rule as Emperor himself.

He remembers the difficulties he encountered whilst trying to mediate between the British aristocracy and Roman officials who were often cruel and frequently corrupt.

Most significantly he reflects on the Boudiccan revolt of 60/61 AD, which he tried to prevent, and in the course of which Britain was almost lost to Rome.

Roman Britain. One man. His fate.


“Although this tale can never be told in public, I feel that I must share it with you, for it is the story of who you are, though not, perhaps, of the person you thought yourself to be. It is the story, also, of the land in which we live, but it is not the history of the land it believed itself to be in the dazzling sunshine of the springtime of my youth …

I sought to promote peace and prosperity on these islands, and to avoid the bloodshed that others tried to incite. There was just one moment when I failed, and almost failed completely …

It was a year of madness that, in my darkest moments, I feared might extend even to the gods …

The chaos and bloodshed of that year would have spread much further, and lasted far longer, if your father and I had not acted as we did. But such is the glory of kings, like that of butterflies, that we are masters of the moment. The colours on my wings are already fading faster than my eyesight. Those powers that I have exercised, along with all the influence I have flourished, and the wealth I have accrued, were never truly mine, but merely lent to me by the gods. Unlike your other grandfather, it will never fall to me to be numbered amongst them …

Your loving grandfather, Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus.”


Mark Patton was born and brought up on the island of Jersey. He studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge and completed his PhD at university College London. He has taught at various universities in the Netherlands, France and the UK, and currently teaches for The Open University. His first novel, Undreamed Shores, was published in 2012, and his second, An Accidental King, in 2013, both of them by Crooked Cat Publishing.

You can find Mark at:

You can find AN ACCIDENTAL KING at:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Crooked Cat Books


  1. Welcome, Mark! What an interesting book! As a fiction writer, I can appreciate the way you take history and breathe life into it, and this topic sounds fascinating!

  2. Sounds like an interesting book. My hubby is a Roman history enthusiast. I'll have to tell him about this one.

    1. I know. It must be fun to try to imagine what historical figures were thinking prior to, during, or after historically significant events. I've been interested in Roman times since reading Morgan O'Neill's time travel romances. Thanks for joining us and commenting, Brenna!

  3. Thanks, it helps that we actually know so little about the real man (just one sentence in Tacitus and one inscription from a temple he dedicated). I had to put the rest of the story together based on the rather limited archaeological evidence, and on what seemed to make sense in relation to more recent conflicts. It's surprising how many resonances there are between such a remote period and our own times!

  4. Sounds fascinating. I love any history (before the Industrial Revolution). I've tweeted :)

    1. Andrea- thanks for the added push on Twitter! I loved history as I was growing up and we do a lot of trips to historical locations. It's fun to learn how people went about their daily lives long before you. I appreciate you stopping in today, Andrea.

  5. Congratulations, Mark. I am fascinated by ancient Rome, and I'm adding your novel on my TBR list. I look forward to seeing how you fleshed out the man, given the lack of information about his life. May you have much success and many sales!

    1. Deborah, I think that's why I find the concept behind Mark's book interesting, because I so enjoyed your Roman time travel series! Thanks for dropping in!


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