In late 1979, due to economic instability, the price of gold rocketed, enticing thousands to cash in on their unwanted jewellery. During this period of mass meltdown, I was offered a Memento Mori ring (a ring worn to honour the memory of a loved one) for the price of its weight in gold. This particular ring, was in excellent condition and a fine example of early 18th century craftsmanship. It contained an inscription and the initials of the deceased and the date of their death. Nevertheless, the seller was keen to be rid of it, stating forcibly that this was a Death Ring and was a morbid harbinger of bad luck due to its decoration of skull & crossbones, full skeleton and black enamel. She had found the ring in her gran's needlework box, wrapped in several layers of muslin, following her death and she assured me that the initials did not refer to any known ancestors.
Thirty-five years later and my curiosity was still piqued each time I examined the ring, wondering why it came to be hidden in a sewing box. I decided to bring it into the light by weaving my own story around this mysterious and beautiful object. Memento Mori, a psychological thriller requiring a lot of research, was released in November 2015. And to date, it is the book I am most proud of writing. Below is a brief introduction.
Introduction to Memento Mori
Gold rings can outlive man by hundreds or even thousands of years. These tokens of love which are just as important today, seem to have a life of their own; as if the emotion behind the reasons for fashioning them, is still present within the metal’s indestructible fabric.
As the ring passes through the centuries from generation to generation or from stranger to stranger, intrigue grows and curiosity burns. Method and style of workmanship, inscriptions and set gems, all give a clue as to the ring’s original intention and sometimes to its original owner, but with the duration of time, truths become difficult to trace.
This tale contains three sets of characters spanning three hundred years. Throughout the three centuries, it is the ring that is the binding factor, taking centre-stage as a character in itself. How its survival and avoidance of the melting pot, makes its mark on the hearts and minds of three different owners. And dare I say, altering the paths of their lives.