King Edward III

King Edward was at the height of his powers in 1355.

He is generally considered by historians to have been a “Good King”. He won a series of battles with the French—at Sluy, Winchelsea and Crecy,

He learned to speak English and introduced the use of English to both houses of Parliament. It was during hid reign that the first literature in the English language was published by Geoffry Chaucer. He helped reorganise agriculture and encouraged the growth of industry.

Despite all this he became a deeply troubled man.

He was continually rumoured  to be illegitimate, fathered by Roger Mortimer not by King Edward II.  He came to the throne in 1327 at the age of fifteen,  after Edward II was deposed by Roger Mortimer with the willing assistance of his mother, Isabella of France.

Edward III believed that he in turn would be deposed  and at the age of 18  with the help of close friends captured Mortimer, who was subsequently tried and executed.

When in 1328 Charles IV died the direct  line of French kings became extinct, the French changed their rules of succession to bar Edward III from the throne. Edward believed that thereupon he was rejected was because of doubts over his legitimacy.  

In 1346 when the town of Calais denied him entry he engaged in a successful siege and proposed to execute the Burghers who had stood against him. His wife Philippa d’Avenses persuaded him to pardon the burghers. This led to a temporary separation between the King and his Queen. he used this as an opportunity to force himself Joan, Countess of Kent . 

Later in life he came to believe that “God had turned against him” and took solace in the company of Alice Perrrers.

When Queen Philippa died in 1369, Alice became the virtual Queen of England and was praised by Edward as “the lady of the sun”

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents


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.’