Edward I

Oh woe, my toe!

Today’s post is about an ailment, namely gout. Why? Because I discovered some months ago that Edward I, a larger-than-life presence in my upcoming rlease, apparently suffered from this disease. Now, In Sweden gout has pejoratively been known as “portvinstå” – portwinetoe – and was assumed to afflict only very sedentary, very rich, somewhat obese, […]

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A slow march into permanent night – of a queen’s death

I have previously written about Eleanor of Castile, but in that post I focussed on the children she birthed. And lost. She lost most of them, unfortunate woman that she was. This post is about her last few years—mainly because that’s where I’ve been spending time with her, as my latest novel is set 1287-1290,

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What is in a name? A desire to rebel?

One of the huge benefits of writing historical fiction is all the tangential little research excursions. In my upcoming release, Her Castilian Heart, I needed a location for dire deeds. I knew roughly what I wanted—an abandoned, ruined castle—but in 1289, not all that many medieval castles were abandoned or ruined as they were still

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A softer approach – or when Edward I did his peace dove act

Edward I of England is one of those historical characters that tend to inspire a lot of ambivalence. This man, who chose to have “Hammer of the Scots” inscribed on his tomb was many things: dutiful son, loving husband, harsh conqueror, efficient ruler, capable warrior, devout Crusader, ruthless when he felt wronged—and once upon a

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Woe, the unloved wife – of Joan of Bar and her not-so-loving hubby, John de Warenne

In a previous post, I wrote about Eleanor, eldest surviving daughter of Edward I and his wife, Eleanor of Castile. That poor lady was destined for a short life, but she lived long enough to marry and have two children, one born in 1295 or so, the second born a year later. When Eleanor died,

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My new book! Welcome Robert and his fiery Castilian hawk!

If I were to collect all the tears I’ve shed as I’ve read one more tragic depiction after the other of the sad fate of the last Welsh princes and their families, I’d likely have a bath tub full. Welsh princes? some of you query. After all, there were many Welsh princes back then, not

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The queen that never was

In 1269, Eleanor of Castile gave birth to a little girl, named after her mother. At the time, Eleanor was some years shy of thirty years, had been married to Edward of England for fifteen years and had, so far, been brought to bed of six children that we know of. Three of those were

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The mouse that squeaked – or the story of a VERY short siege

There’s something about sieges, isn’t there? An encircled fortress—or city—and it is all one long waiting game as the cat outside wonders just how long the mouse will stay in its hole before lack of food and water forces it to venture beyond the safety of its walled haven. Mind you, I don’t think the

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When the Welsh underdog bites

In 1283, the last true Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Gruffud, was hauled up the gallows in Shrewsbury and subjected to the horrifying ordeal of being hanged, drawn and quartered. Whether he died bravely or not we do not know. Personally, I think it is unlikely any human being can be subjected to such cruelty

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He had it all – and lost it

Some weeks ago I wrote about the very tragic life of Elisabeth de Ferrers who lost husband and all her children in the aftermath of Edward I’s conquest of Wales. In passing, I mentioned that Elizabeth had a rather unsavoury brother, and today’s post is about him, the brother. Should one write a short epitaph

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