Les Rois Maudites

Other Characters

Philippe Torreton as Robert D’Artois

There is a popular french book, by Maurice de Duron, and two television series based on it, called “Les Rois Maudites”, which translates into English, rather awkardly, as “The Accursed Kings”.  One of the main characters in the book and in the television presentations is Isabella, 

Isabella had been upset when her father had arrested Jaques de Molay but now five years later in March 1314, the execution of Molay on an island on the Seine close to Paris was made a public spectacle.

Stands were built on the island and the execution was attended by the whole French royal family with the exception of Isabella.


During his execution, in which he was deliberately slow roasted, Molay declared that God was on his side and both the the Pope and the King of France would be dead within the year. He extended the threat by saying that the wrath of God would fall on Phillipe’s children. 


The first part of his curse was fulfilled. Both the Pope and Phillipe died within the year.

 Before he died Phillipe experienced what for him was the ultimate humiliation. He had three sons, Isabelle’s brothers—Louis, Phillipe and Charles. It was almost the ideal situation Louis, the eldest was expected to create male heirs but just in case there were two brothers in reserve.

They were married to the daughters of the Duke of Burgundy (Holy Roman Empire side of the border) and the Compte of Burgundy( French side of the border). (See Genealogy)

These marriages were without any intention to strengthen the boodline. As long as the Capets had male heirs, their “right to rule” was considered outstanding. These marriages were about territorial expansion. France coveted the rich lands of Burgundy.

Isabella had other ideas.

isabellas-visit On a visit to France in 1313 Isabella gave three embroidered handbags to all three of her brothers wives. A short time later she saw them in the possession of two Bretons.

She concluded that there must be extra marital relationship between her sisters-in-law and the Bretons. She gave testimony to support her discovery, her father took it seriously, and had the three girls watched.

condemned Isabelle’s suspicions were confirmed. Her brothers wives met regularly with the Bretons in La Tour Nestle the wives were arrested were arrested, their lovers executed. This testimony destabilised and ultimately destroyed the house of Capet.  the final male survivor of the house of Capet died in 1328. Apart from Isabella’s own children , there were no other male survivors, which is just possibly what she intended.

She had given birth to a son who had a unique combination of messianic descents and cleared the way for him to take the throne of France. In the same way that hugh Capet had come to the throne her son should she believed be chosen above all others for his superior nobility.  Unfortunately for Isabella’s plan was thwarted because  she dis not hide Edwards illegitimate birth in promoting her sons claim to the Frankish throne. After all she believed that Edward was ‘more noble’. to her surprise Edward was rejected because of his illegitimate birth.

it was only after this rejection was finally confirmed in 1329 that Edward kidnapped Roger Mortimer and hanged him. Perhaps he blamed Roger for the failure of the grand plan?


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.