2019 February Netflix

Dear ——-

I understand your company has been appointed as a licensed agent for Netflix

I was particularly drawn by your interest in ——

I believe my novel The Prisoner of Foix offers locations and situations which would be suitable for presentation on the screen and I offer it for your consideration.

Ximene Trencavel, heiress to the lands of Occitan in Europe, has been brought up in the Cathar faith, a religion which sees nothing sinful in the giving or receiving sexual pleasure; which it regards as simply a sample of what reunion with the good God would be like. She has been educated in every aspect of the arts of making love. 

John Stanley, has been brought up in a fundamentalist Christian family and at the age of seventeen has never so much as laid a hand on a woman. He has however been recruited into the army of the Black Prince, the heir to the English throne, and promoted to become one of the Prince’s personal bodyguards.

Ximene’s uncle has offered her hand in marriage to the Black Prince. King Jean of the Franks is determined to prevent this marriage and hires the brutal Bertrand du Guesclin to murder Ximene.

Ximene decides she needs John’s help in her bid to escape from her dominating and manipulative uncle. She sets out to seduce John to win his support, but runs into a problem. John has no idea how to respond to her advances.  Ximene arranges for John to partake in a Cathar ‘Transition’ where young people receive practical experience in sexual matters.

Together, Ximene and John survive a series of attacks by du Guesclin, each one more threatening than the last until finally John suffers a life threatening injury.  As she kneels by John Stanley at the edge of a battlefield, Ximene realises how much John means to her.  She discovers for the first time in her life, a love totally separated from passion, desire, or the potential for political advantage. It is this discovery which makes her proud, intensely proud to be Ximene Trencavel. She determines that she must save John’s life.

The story settings include: A siege in Brittany involving the use of flaming projectiles from a trebuchet, the spectacular Chateau Foix and its underground cavern, the courts of England and Bordeaux , a shipwreck at the entrance to the Bay of Arcachon, a Cathar ritual on a hill above the Chateau Clermont-Dessou. The characters appear in elaborate 14th century costume or in various stages of undress.

The novel is complete at 280,000 words and has sequels of similar size. In the period up to January 2019 one can read the entire novel on ximene.net

I have been inspired to write The Prisoner of Foix because I was in the south of France at a time when the movement for the independence of Occitan was gathering strength.  In 2016 this movement reached the stage where a newly created region of France was named Occitanie.

The novel would appeal to all those who view The Outlander or Poldark or who read historical novels such as 1356 (Bernard Cornwell), The Sword of Albion(Mark Chadbourne) or the works of Phillipa Gregory  or Alison Wier

I have worked for twenty years as a consultant in engineering management. Longmans have published a series of books to support the lecture tours which I conducted on their behalf throughout Australasia and South East Asia.


Brian Lilley

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.