All posts by brian

Historical Romance

Ximene’s adventures have all the required ingredients for a classical historical romance.

We meet her when she is a virtual prisoner in the Chateau de Foix and learn that she is being auctioned to the highest bidder.

Despite these circumstances she has the highest expectations of fulfilling her destiny, which she has been programmed to believe is to recreate the state of Occitan, destroyed one hundred years earlier during the genocidal Albigensian crusade.

Her objective is to then use Occitan as a haven for those who espouse the Cathar faith a radically different form of Christianity, if indeed it is Christian at all.

She is sure that she will find a soulmate who will help her achieve her objectives, but will it be the Black Prince, heir apparent to the english throne or will it be John Stanley a young squire in the Prince’s service?

Ximene find’s herself draw towards John  and begins to question everything about herself and her destiny.

Everything in the book is historically accurate with the exception of Ximene herself and her romance with John Stanley.


The first users of books were the early christians

The switch in technology from papyrus scrolls to “Codex”, what we know today as books was made by the early christian church.


The propagation of christianity was centred around quotations from the scriptures and the papyrus scrolls were difficult to transport and access. Also the scrolls made it difficult to access specific quotations. The use of Codex, the literal translation of which is “trunk of a tree” made random access of bulky text possible. The ability to find and quote instantly seemed to early audiences as a miracle in itself.

I have used this knowledge as an inspiration to break away from the scrolling metaphor of blogs on the internet to give point by point versions as an alternative.

Not the Old Testament

And Still More   ➤



The Occitan Independence movement gathers strength

Reports from France indicate that the French government is paying increased attention to the campaign to “Free Occitan” . At the very least they appear to be prepared to give attention to the preservation of the Occitan language and  the granting of a limited degree of self government.





[tabs title=”” width=700  height = 400  speed=200  event=”click” active=0 ]

[tab title=”Political programme”]

- The recognition of the Occitan community by the French, Spanish and Italian states and the European Union.

- A wide reaching autonomy for Occitania on the whole of the area of the Occitan language (including the Occitan alpine valleys presently under Italian rule and the Aran valley in the Spanish state).

- The setting-up of an Assembly of the Autonomous Occitan Community, with an appointed executive and regrouping the elected members for Auvergne, Dauphiné, Gascony, Guyenne, Languedoc, Limousin and Provence.

- The putting into effect of a co-ordinated policy throughout the whole of the Occitan area based on sustainable development, social justice and respect for the environment.

- A cultural policy promoting the Occitan language and giving it its full place in society.

- Direct representation of the Autonomous Occitan Community in European institutions within the framework of a federal Europe of peoples and regions.


[tab title=”Humanist philosophy”]

- The Occitan Party, a progressive autonomist movement, is part of the democratic framework of a pluralist political life.

- The Occitan Party rejects the use of violence to reach its political aims and operates by legal means.

- The Occitan Party condemns all forms of racism, fascism, totalitarianism and national jingoism.

- The Occitan Party supports the right of all peoples to self-determination, and to safeguard their political, economical and cultural rights. It rejects all forms of colonialism and imperialism.

- The Occitan Party works for the respect of human rights and for peace.





And Still More  ➤


Isabel Lathom had been married before!

The Stanley family archive in the Isle of Mann shows John Stanley as Isabel’s first husband. In fact she was married before to Geoffrey Worsley and had at least one possibly two children by him. The marriage was then declared “unlawful” and the children declared illigitimate. So much for the image of Isabel as a love struck young girl.

This imformation has come to me almost at the same instant from two different sources, the records of the parishes and manors of Lathom and Worsley and also from “bond 0007” at There is no doubt about it. it is a complete surprise and tends to give increased credibility to my Aunt Gertrude’s original story!

John Stanley/186/Geoffrey Worsley1883

Monomyth-a story development structure and support for publishing.

As work on the Ximene website nears completion so does the editing process for the first of Ximene’s adventures. Rebekah Jennings has done an excellent job and it is back with me to take on board all her corrections and consider her structural advice. The workshopping within Monomyth will originate within the web, but i would very much like it to be more than that with groups getting together  to use the monomyth development structure and support for the publishing process.

180/Monomyth/ LOGO/1908  

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Revision of data and presentation

Another important day. I have set about reorganising the site to make it centre on Ximene. I hope to still find a way to distinguish between what is main stream history and what I have christened “pseudo history”,which was one of my initial preoccupations but in the end it is what Ximene thinks and feels which really matters.

I have also completely redone the interface to improve reader navigation and sadly have had to abandon the old theme which no longer supports all the new features in word press which I want to use.

I will send e-mails all those who have registered on the site to make sure they know what is happening.

Site login

It is a sad day really. because of surfeit of spammers and some spam review posts we have reluctantly decided and implemented a login requirement. From now on if any visitor desires to leave a comment it will be necessary to log on first.

To all our other visitors I must apologise for this apparently unneccesary barrier. The logon facility is on the sidebar which can be seen from every page.

This then pulls up another window where you can enter  a user name and password.

A new start

Today is a red letter day. I have hoovered up all the bits and pieces from the original blogs and put it into pages in a hierachical structure, which hopefully makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for. Now I can begin to use the blog as I suspect it was meant to be used, for interesting sidelights on information in the pages or the process of writing and publishing my book(s).