About the author

A student of history

I am Brian Charles Lilley, creator of the character Ximene and the stories about her adventures as she fights against oppression in Occitan.

Germaine is an anglicised version of the name, but in Catalan and Occitan it is pronounced ‘Sheamaine”.

On the subject of names I have had to resort to using my middle name to identify myself positively on the web as there are several other Brian Lilleys (including the well known journalist and broadcaster in Canada.)

Fair maid I have always been an avid student of History. I still can remember the feeling of fascination when we studied people rather than events. Two of the names which stayed with me were “Joan, Fair Maid of Kent” and “Edward The Black Prince”.

Our history lessons displayed the attitudes prevailing at the time. Joan was sidelined as “beautiful” whilst the Prince was “the embodiment of chivalry”

Black Prince at Crecy

The Prince’s chivalry seemed to have a strange foundation in that he stole the coat of arms of the King of Luxembourg, whom he found dead on the battlefield after the battle of Crecy At the time however this seemed perfectly sensible.

I am now most interested in powerful women, particularly in 14th century England and this certainly includes Joan of Kent. However it is the book about Ximene Trencavel which has lead me back to this area of study.

The Visigothic Treasure

45/Treasure/ terrain/364 Additionally the website gives details of my search for the last hiding place for the Visigothic treasure. Although the treasure is an important part of the stories about Ximene it has become an independent exiting project, with as many twists and turns as any mystery novel. It is possible, perhaps probable that a large proportion of the treasure still lies hidden in the rugged terrain of the Northern Pyrenees.


the-gate-of-all-lands A spin off from investigations of the Visigothic Treasure led my to a totally different mystery; the campsite at Persepolis built to celebrate two thousand five hundred years of the peacock throne.

Does the orientation and layout of the site have a special meaning? If so what can it be?

The most dangerous woman in the world