13th century East Hessen: Squire Erkenbert von Buchenau wants to become a knight. But instead, he gets involved in conflicts and even gets expelled from his castle. Writer Christian Radimsky reports on the theme and extensive research of the epic.
Eiterfeld – The idea to write a medieval novel came to the woman from Eiterfeld in Wales, where she lived with her husband for 16 years. During this time she always yearned for Buchenau Castle, which not only enchanted her in her childhood. Born in Leibolzer, she began researching the history of the castle in Hünfelder Land. “There were no stories about Buchenau. I always expected who lived there,” she explains in an interview with our newspaper.
During her search, she “met” the young square, Erkenbert, who was living in the castle. Therefore, the novel is historical and revolves around his life in the middle of the thirteenth century. Erkenbert wants to become a knight, but he cannot complete his training because he has lost his patron – his trainer. “I saw it all in front of me when I wrote the songs. I enjoy immersing myself in this parallel world,” says the author.
Fulda and Honfelder Land: The Knight’s Historical Novel “Buchenau Saga” has been published
The fact that she ever published the book was a coincidence. She also never wanted to be an author because she was already working as an occupational therapist and currently works as a school social worker. “I actually wrote the book just for myself. My friend encouraged me to publish the book. Fortunately, I found a publisher quickly,” explains Radimsky, who has received a lot of positive feedback – especially because she wrote about her homeland. (You may also be interested in this: “Confess your mother tongue” – a new dialect book by Eberhardt Lauer)
However, it took a relatively long time before the book was finished because she wanted to document everything historically. “It’s a historical novel full of a little imagination,” Radimsky says with a chuckle. For example, Erkenbert participates in a tournament, which should prepare him for training a potential jockey.
However, due to a series of unfortunate events, he is banished from his castle, where he lives with his uncle and brother, among others. As a result, he became involved in the founding history of the Landgraviate of Hesse because he had to take care of the future heir to the throne, who was still a child at the time.
Establishing the Landgraviate of Hesse as a central theme
“I find it interesting what Erkenbert was able to experience during that time. I asked myself many questions about him, and was happy to answer them. And then I was able to include my home country,” says the school social worker. Because most of the novel’s events take place in Fulda County, located in the east of Hesse. Erkenbert’s uncle lives in Burg Buchenau in the Eiterfeld district of the same name, while other East Hessian cities such as Fulda or Bad Hersfeld play a central role. Knights from other provincial towns also play a role.
As a result, there are several stages in the story of the square: including Erkenbert’s training, the founding of the Landgraviate of Hesse, but also the forbidden love of a middle-class girl and a pilgrimage to Italy. All of this is told from Erkenbert’s perspective. “I wanted to experience his character. That’s why it was immediately clear how I was going to write the novel,” Radimsky says.
Video: Medieval market in the courtyard of Gersfeld Castle
This is also noticeable in the language that was originally adapted to the Middle Ages. This is why there are some terms that seem completely alien to the reader, such as Kemenate or Schultheiss. But Radimsky took precautions: at the end of the book there is an index in which the author explains the terms. 750 years is a long time. I was always happy when these terms were explained in other books. That’s why I did it,” she says.
About the author
Christian Radimsky was born in Fulda in 1966. She graduated from the Weigbert School in Hünfeld after attending the Lichberg School in Eiterfeld. She has lived in Eiterfeld-Leibolz since Brexit. Before that she lived in Wales with her husband for 16 years.
The novel “Erkenbert – The Buchenau Saga” was published last year. It is a four-part novel. The second part is scheduled to appear this year. Radimsky currently works at an elementary school in Bebra as a school social worker.
The first part of the Buchenau saga was published by Oeverbos Verlag. The cost of the book is 17.90 euros.
It also predicts what will happen in the second part. The role of women in the Middle Ages is discussed, as well as the further history of the square. “Look at the family history. It’s about love, struggles, and the time of thief emperors,” reveals the school’s social worker.