2008 Germain Greer

Our heroine is a child of the universe. We tell the story of the life she lived seven hundred years ago but there are hints that she lived other lives before the time of our story and that she has lived again since. She has come striding, a stunningly beautiful libertine, from the mists of time. The present day authors are as much her disciples as they are the presenters of her story.

Brian and Helen Lilley were at one time married but were driven by the fates to the opposite ends of the globe.  They always stayed in touch, but suddenly developments in the world of technology permitted longer and more frequent conversations. 

Brian is most comfortable with facts, a keen amateur historian and therefore a student of what drives men to war and of their military skills. Helen is far more interested in people, and their emotions. She is concerned with how people cope with pleasure and pain and in the use of language to express these issues.  Because of the difference in time zones all the conversations involved one or the other getting up early or going to bed late to make the story weaving possible.

Brian told Helen that one of his supposed ancestors was of doubtful parentage. The mother assigned to the ancestor by many genealogies was only four when he was born. Thus there was suddenly a need to identify a mystery woman who was actually this mother! 

Helen told Brian of an article about Catherine de Roet, mistress and ultimately wife of John of Gaunt and how the article dismissed the political influence she undoubtedly wielded.

She discussed the role of literature and poetry in enhancing the appreciation of what life had to offer. There was a discussion of Jongleurs, Troubadours and the courts of love and why this totally alternative society had ceased to exist.

Suddenly there was a realisation that the conversations overlapped and overlaid continually like waves on a beach. They were being returned time and time again to the same point in history and the same geographical location, the mid 1300’s and Occitan or what is known today as Languedoc. The mystery woman began to intrude. 

Ximene and her adventures became real.  Her story only emerged as Brian and Helen were talking to each other.  Helen became Ximene, Brian became John Stanley. There was no story development until they spoke again. It was as if the nuances of her character and details of her adventures came directly from her input. It was as if Ximene still existed in the dark unfathomable void which lies between the physical entities used in communication. 

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.