Introduction (ransom)

Covers period 1356 -1361 starts in bordeaux

ends with party at langon house (after black prince’s marriage to april 1361 and joan 10 oct 1361)

must deal with Ximene’s negotiations and way in which joans marriage to prince becomes acceptable.

must deal with john’s role in france

must deal with pipas role in ireland

must deal with lancasters inheritance and why it caused jelousy.

1356 John Battle of Poitiers Ximene Savoy hotel Lancaster scotland pipa Bordeaux

1357 john ximene bordeaux.pipa paris christmas lancaster meets chaucer

John And Pipa sort things out. John is committed to Ximene.

Believes that pipa would like him to committ to her Pipa will always fulfill the role of mistress if that is what she really wants. But is that what she wants?

1355 gaunt to france with henry of Lancaster& charles of navarre(15) no landing charles renagues

november picardy John of Gaunt knighted

nov 16 scots take berwick

english take edinburgh  baliol surrenders his claim to rdward

lancaster meets chaucer christmas 1357

1359 reims

1360 summonsed to parliament as earl of richmond

1365 end of provisions

1366 rejection of tribute to pope

1365 edmund and margaret

1366 gaut to spain with black prince

1366 constance and isabella tobordeaux

1359 gauntn marries blanch of lancaster(19)

blanche by hilary st clair 1378

made duke of lancaster  1362

gaunt’s daughter phillipa born 1361

phillipa’s daughter elizabeth born 13 64

phillipa marries chaucer 1366

phillip’s son thomas born1367

catherine 1371 birth of john 1371

married constanza 1371

king of spain 1372

grand chevauchee 1373

raid on st malo 1378

phillipa died 1787 ( in spain with gaunt) which there is the chaos in France after the battle of Poitiers.

There are numerous factions, King Jean II, his son,Charles,the Dauphin, Philip of Burgundy, the English, Ximene, Charles of Navarre, brother in law of Gaston Pheobus and finally representing a separate set of interests Gaston himself.

Gaston was arrested by king John at the palace in rouen in april  1356

The routers du Guesclin, amongst them, sell their services to any one of these factions. In addition the Routiers have such a strong presence in Carcassonne and Beziers that it almost like a separate nation.

Meanwhile in England.

The opening chapter deals with Ximene’s introduction to “the society” a supposedly Cathar cell, which turns out to be much much more.  she discovers a plot to depose king edward, and offers to identify who the plotters are.

Known about by joan her uncle’s  thomas wake was married to  blanche lancaster in 1314.  he died in 1342 blanche died in 1380 his sister was joan’s mother married 1825 edmund of woodstock edmund died 1330 her mother died in 1349. so the pressure of family ambition fell on joan’s shoulders

and by the earl whose sister sybil was  married to edmund arundel in 1349 Edmund  has been disinherited and his  step mother is Aileanor of lancaster

Firstly king John in england from 1357 and was free to socialise

lionel eight years younger than prince   b 1338 married 1352 daughter born 1355 wife died 1363 he died 1368 wife’s mother is maud

mowbray his wife is Joan and the fitzalans

the mortimers

The arundels (fitzalan) whose wife is alianore

the percies whose wife is mary

john of gaunt married blanche 1359

affair with  marie st hilaire 1358/1359

in 1356? french, lionel, mortimers percys (mary of lancaster),  edmund arundel son of dispenser and a wife who was earls sister ( his father’s second wife was eleanor of Lancaster)Pipa is spying on Both Lionel  and John of Gaunt.

lionel 2nd marriage 1368

Ximene is in England negotiating with Edward III about the exchange of her family treasure for estates in both England and Aquitaine. She is given accommodation at the Savoy palace in the Strand.

News trickles back to England about the battle of Poitiers. It is known that King Jean of the Franks has been captured but it is also known that Lord James has been badly injured. Ximene is worried John’s close relationship with Lord James could mean that John was close to him in the battle.

In Bordeaux, initial attempts to obtain a ransome for King Jean get no response from the Franks.

Pipa is a close relative to Jeanne de Bourbon, the wife of the Dauphin and at the instigation of the earl is easily accepted as one of the ladies of the Queen’s bedchamber.

1356 The Earl, fearing either a rescue or assassination sends King Jean to Château Filhot at Sauterne 9vins de landon, which has been assigned to Ximene by the Prince. He sends John, in command small army, to both constrain and protect the King. The Earl insists that there be no communication either in or out of the Château.

The Prince however entertains the King and to fill in the time teaches John to Joust.

Though raw the Earl sends John to a tournament in Paris. Pipa meets John and provides information that the Kings eldest son does not wish to ransom his father and is preparing to take over the kingdom.

1357 As there is no progress in raising King Jean’s Ransome, the King is taken back to England where he is also lodged at the savoy and therefore meets Ximene. The Savoy Palace is the home of the Lancaster heiress blanche. John of Gaunt is a frequent visitor.

The Prince is defeated by John at a tournament in Bordeaux. He retires immediately and commits himself to passing on all his expertise to John.

Ximene watches as King Jean is paraded though London. John on his left hand. Ximene finally knows he has survived.

At the time of the battle of Poitiers, Gaston is imprisoned because of a conflict between his brother in law, Charles of Navarre and King Jean. At Ximenes instigation he is released. Almost immediately he leaves for German crusades

Civil war breaks out between Charles of Navarre and the Dauphin Charles was initially a supporter of the Dauphin against his own father, but after imprisonment Charles invades Paris and behaves as if he were king. He does in fact have a claim to the french throne.

John returns to paris to take part in a tournament.

Pipa grumble to John that he has her favour but has not taken up the opportunity.

In England Ximene finds herself negotiating with King Jean as well as King Edward.

Ximene now buys Landon House in shaftsbury. At top of hill from The Royal palace at Gillingham.

Charles war against the dauphin intensifies. The dauphin flees to burgundy.

In May 1358 the peasants revolt nominally in favour of Charles but Charles uses his army to suppress the revolt. In this way he hopes to get the support of the french aristocracy . He immediately begins negotiation with remnants of the rebels who are finally defeated at metz by the unlikely combination of Gaston and the Captal de Buch, who are travelling together returning from the German Crusades.

John of Gaunt marries Blanche and so Ximene and King Jean are nowGuests in his house.

Ximene is asked to fund part of King Jeans ransom and is now in a position  to do so.

1360 The treaty of London is signed which is highly advantageous in the south Roquerc and Albi is gained by the english and Carcassonne and Beziers are assigned to Ximene. These  lands were however under the control of the routiers and Ximene has to find a way of gaining control. John joins Gaston in an attempt to remove the Routers from Occitan . They succeed in driving them to Aragon

No ransom payments are forthcoming from France. Frustrated King Edward invades France but fails to push home his advantage.  He agrees the treaty of Bretigny which is not so advantageous. Carcassonne and beziers revert to the french crown .

a French man challenges king edward to nominate a champion to fight to the death to obtain the release of King Jean. king edward nominates John Stanley who kills the frenchman under the walls of Winchester.

1361King Jean returns to France

In compensation Ximene is given trading rights from Narbonne  to Toulouse.

There is  however a much more stable situation in France and John finds time to become tournament champion of europe.

1363 King jean returns to England and dies 1364

The Earl sends pipa to house of lionel of antwerp there she meets Geoffry chaucer

Ximene instructs John to marry Pipa to keep their relationship. John refuses and Pipa becomes the mistress of john of gaunt, in turn marrying geoffrey chatter to keep her relationship with Gaunt a secret.

The book ends with the celebration at Christmas 1361. The prince’s marriage to Joan at Landon house

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.