Author Simon Scarrow visits St Albans schools

Simon Scarrow shares brutal details of gladiator times with Beaumont and Sandringham pupils

THE perilous and gory experiences of a gladiator living in Ancient Rome were recently brought to life in St Albans, the site of Verulamium, an ancient town in Roman Britain.

Simon Scarrow, a bestselling adult author, had in-depth discussions and gave an interactive presentation at the secondary schools of Beaumont and Sandringham last Wednesday, October 5.

He was promoting the paperback release of his first children’s book, Gladiator: Fight for Freedom, based on the violent life of the elite warriors in Rome, 61 BC.

At Beaumont School, librarian Rosie Dudgeon praised the author for his riveting visit with Year 7 pupils.

She said it was perfect timing as the students were studying the Romans, including the tough times faced by gladiators.

Rosie added: “He was brilliant. There was a long queue of children waiting to have their book signed by him.”

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Sandringham School’s librarian, Margaret Southgate, echoed Rosie’s sentiments, describing the author as, “absolutely brilliant as he brought Ancient Rome to life.”

She said that as the school encouraged boys to read, having an author personally visit to discuss gladiators’ brutal life with Year 7 and 8 lads helped stimulate their interest in books.

Margaret said she had been pleasantly surprised at the level of interest in Simon’s new book following his visit.

The author, a former teacher, has already published 13 novels for adults, including his bestselling The Eagle series. He is also the brother of Alex Scarrow, author of the Timeriders series.

He was born in Africa and lived in a number of countries including Hong Kong and the Bahamas, but now lives in Norfolk.

Always keen to write, his love of history was fostered at school, when taught about the ancient world by his Latin and history teachers.

Gladiator: Fight for Freedom is based on a young gladiator who is facing a new life of brutal training but seeking justice after his father is murdered by soldiers and his mother kidnapped and forced into slavery.