Lancaster Transition – 20th of October 1363

Pipa de Roet- 11 November 1363

Joan welcomed her visitors on the waterfront just in front of the Palais de l’Ombriere. ‘I am so pleased to see you. I think you already know that there will be a state dinner in your honour in three days time,  but there will be a small  private dinner to morrow night.

As they turned  turned to enter the Porte Cailhau Joan remembered to ask the right question. ‘Blanche how are your children?’

Phillipa is fine, we will visit Portugal after we leave here to finalise arrangements for her betrothal to the heir to the throne. John however is a sickly child. I did not want to leave him but I was convinced he would be well looked after by doctors and nurses.’

‘I am glad to hear it.’ She choked on the words. inside she was burning because after more than two years of marriage to the Black Prince she had failed to concieve. She was still yearning for a son to secure the succession. If she failed to produce son, there was a possibility that Philippa’s sickly son would inherit the throne.’

She took a deep breath and stopped in the centre of the great hall. gentlemen I want to take the ladies to my private appartments where they can refresh themselve. We should meet later in  the state reception room, up there.’

She pointed to the balcony which ran the full length of the inner wall of the great hall. She turned to the cluster of servants now gathered aroud her. Please show the gentlemen to their rooms and move all the luggage. The servants moved of to one end of the great hall and Joan guided the ladies to the other end. She led them up a wide staircase where they were faced with a long, blank wall and one central door.

She threw open the door and they were faced with a blaze of light and views down the river. She pointed at the overhanging roof. ‘ it is very clever from nowuntil april light floods into this room but in summer, when the sun is higher, it is totally shaded.

She produced two bottles of Limoux ,suitably cool. ‘Something I have caught from you Pipa. The local wine merchants find it impossible to forgive me for importing wine to bordeaux.’ She fluttered her eyelashes, ‘Until I smile at them of course.

Now to business. Blanche I take it you know Pipa? Blanche smiled icily and nodded in Pipa’s direction. I know of her of course, my husbands clerk Geoffrey Chaucer never  stops talking about her. I believe they were in Ireland together in the Court of the Duke of Clarence.’

Pipa blinked and her face stiffened

‘And Alyse. of course The Queens companion or should I say the Kings companion. I am a little surprised you managed to sneak away. I believe the King can be quite demanding. She turned and gazed intently at Joan

Joan groaned, this was not a good start, how on earth could she break down the barriers she could see forming before her eyes,

‘Downstairs we have a place where we might bathe. It is newly constructed and very pleasant, we should continue our discussions down there.’

‘Oh! But this is unbelievable. Alyse stood on tip toe hands over her face gazing through her fingers. It is exactly the same as the cavern at Foix.

Joan nodded. ‘Except it is marble, not stone’

‘Same balcony.’

Pipa chipped in.

‘same staircase’

Joan chuckled ‘I never visited the cavern. only heard about it from other people.’

Alyse continued. ‘Same four baths cut in the floor. same waterfall, and streams of water floor.’

‘It is so warm down here.’

Heating under the floor warmed by flues from a concealed boiler and that is where it is different the water which runs into the baths stays there and drains away continuously the waterfall can be swithed on and off because the boiler has a limited capacity. Nevertheless it is a wonderful experience.’

Joan removed her clothes and descended fom the balcony immersing herself in the nearest bath.  Pipa and Alyse  followed suit but stopped half way down the steps as blanche lingered full dressed on the balcony.

I cannot do this I have never been naked in front of other people not even servants.’

Once again Joan groaned. she sees pipa and alyse as servants she has not even taken the trouble to ask who they acually are.she climbed out of the bath and climbed back up the stairs.

She signalled   Pipa and Alyse to come back to the balcony  and when they had all pulled on a gown they  settled down round one of the tables on the balcony.

Truly, the fairest company

Of ladies that ever man might see

All together in one place.

Shall I call it luck or grace

Among these ladies thus each one

Truth to tell, I saw only  one

In all the world so did she

Surpass them all in her beauty,

In manners and in comeliness,

In stature and in fitting gladness,

In excellence, and form’s display –

In short, what more can I say?

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.