from the dustjacket of the Bodley Head first edition
When Euan found a shipwrecked stranger on the rocks near his village one windy dawn, his first feeling was one of anger that this dark man with the beautiful woven wool tunic was not his own father, lost at sea with all the other men of the primitive little fishing community some weeks before. Now the women and children who remained were on the verge of starvation, and lived in dread of enslavement by neighbouring peoples.
But the stranger, Hadra, was to prove himself their saviour. Washed ashore with him were the remains of his boat and a bag of bronze axeheads and knife-blades the first bronze that had ever reached that part of Ireland. He bartered some of the wonderful bronze for food with the nearby Farming Folk, and then he enlisted the help of Euan and some of the older boys and girls in mending his slim, seagoing boat. That done, he proposed that they should set out over the open sea to the land of Albin to find if there were any survivors among the village men marooned along its rocky and desolate shores. The perils of this journey, their terrifying sojourn on the ill-famed Isle of the Mad Ones and their eventual return are the climax of an unusual historical novel.
About the AuthorJ. S. Andrews was born in Belfast in 1934, of a long-standing 'Ulster-Scot' family and a French mother. He was educated at Rossall School in Lancashire, and spent two years training in different parts of England before entering the family milling firm.
Ever since his first sail at the age of two, the sea has held for him an unquenchable fascination, and he has owned and sailed a variety of small boats and sea-going cruising craft.
He began writing technical articles and cruising stories for the yachting press at the age of 31, but with an interest in history and archaeology inspired by his grandfather, Sydney Andrews, shared and broadened since he married, it is not surprising that his first two novels, The Bell of Nendrum (see back panel of this jacket) and The Man from the Sea should be about the distant past of the waters on which he so often sails near his home.