The Black Prince

The Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Prince of Aquitaine and heir to the English throne could be viewed as a hedonist. Certainly, he loves pleasure.

He takes pleasure wherever he finds it, hunting, horse racing, tournaments, good food and drink and women. Despite a  large number of romantic entanglements, he is and always has been in love with his cousin, Joan of Kent.

He is impulsive, making decisions on the run, preferring to learn from his own mistakes rather than study any theory. He is clever, in fact, intelligent enough to avoid any tasks which he finds distasteful or boring. This makes him a good leader of armed forces. He delegates tasks to others and does not over supervise their activities. Those who work with him are given every opportunity to use their own skill and experience in the execution of their duties.

They know that there are two possible outcomes; they achieve what is required of them, in which case the Prince is quick to give praise and reward them with improved opportunities. Alternatively, if they fail to meet his expectations they know that they will be quickly replaced.

The Prince, however, though often apparently removed from the action, is quick to offer assistance to those faced with political or organisational difficulty.  Those who find themselves under physical threat may find the prince suddenly at their shoulder sword in hand. Inevitably this style of leadership is soon reflected throughout every aspect of his organisation.

It is not a good match for political governance with any semblance of democracy. Even away from the battlefield, the Princ tends to want to tell people what to do not have them tell him what to do or even tell him their requirements, He believes in the feudal system but at  a time when that system is being abandonned.

The most dangerous woman in the world

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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.’