The Whole Story

Vol I The Prisoner of Foix

Ximene Trencavel is proposed as the wife of Edward the Black Prince. She is determined to escape from her uncle Gaston de Foix so that she may have personal control over the negotiation of her marriage contract.

Her initial aim is to reclaim her inheritance, roughly coinciding with the state of Occitan,stolen from her family during the Albigensian crusade over one hundred years earlier. Her underlying objective is to create a haven for credenties those who believe in the cathar faith. As a first step to deliver against she insists on meeting the prince.

This puts her in contact with John Stanley and starts a very unconventional relationship with him.

It turns out that the Prince does not want to marry her. In turn she decides that the recreation of the state of Occitan is not her preferred option. A concerted effort to eliminate her driven by the evil Bertrand du Guesclin leads to John Stanley suffering a life threatening injury.

Vol II First knight of Occitan

Ximene rescues John and nurses him back to health in Château Mazarou, a Cathar safe house. As part of the recovery process, she builds her own strength and develops martial arts skills. They explore the countryside around the Château and find Ximenes family treasure.

To recover the valuable treasure they need help and it just so happens that the Black Prince has a sizable army nearby.

John leaves to seek the Princes help and whilst he is away Ximene is kidnapped by du Guesclin.

Using her newly developed martial arts skills she kills a man who tries to rape her whilst she is in custody. She is declared a witch and condemned to be burt at the stake, but is rescued by John.

The Black prince’s army recovers the treasure. Du Guesclin continues to attack Ximene. She changes her identity to hide from him.

The earl starts a relationship with Pipa

Ximene goes to england to negotiate the transfer of the treasure but John nmust remain in Aquitane to help the prince prepare for the battle of Poitiers.

As they part the make a pact to keep their relationship a secret. they promise each other they will remain indivisibly and invisibly entwined.

Pipa goes to paris as a spy working for the Earl

Volume III A Kings Ransom.

Charles de la Cerda is murdered in L’aigle. It is Charles of Navarre’s bizarre way of declaring a claim to the french throne. Gaston De Foix visits Charles in Rouen ( Dauphin’s stronghold) and together with Charles is captured by John II.(5th april 1356)

Ximene travels back to England with Joan of Kent and Don Fernandino.  She decides that the way forward is to create a trading company. she knows this will be compatible with the prince’s own plans and uses joan to win the princes support.

As the negotiations over the transfer of the treasure procede, Joan persuades her to employ Thierry as fleet manager and Juan as manager of trade.

Ximene is living with the Lancasters at the savoy palace. She forms a friendship with the ten year old Phillipa of Lancaster. Ximene becomes aware of some disquiet about the Lancasters possessions and land ownership.

Meanwhile in france  ximene arranges for John to prepare the princes army for an invasion of northern france. He is based in the Cognac region and gets to know the area well.

The invasion is a failure An attempt to link with Navarrese on north of river failed.(point de ce/tours 19 sept 1356) but the french army is defeated at Poitiers and king John II captured. Charles of Navarre escapes from Arleux.

Ximene’s own land transfers commence, shipbuilding starts in la rochelle. havens for cathars are created in La Rochelle, gillingham/salisbury/lugershall and Pau

Northern France ( but not the south) is consumed by civil war Charles v Dauphin. Joan saves John from the never ending conflict by making him her equerry. which she uses to control his love life. Parisians and Peasants v nobility. John II returns 1360-64

Ximene opts to side with  Charles of navarre and  gaston

maiden voyage house at shaftesbury

As the first part of her pact with john Ximene arranges for john to train the prince’s army becoming in the process a military strategist. In return she asks John to act as manager of estates she is given by king john in return for providing part of his ransom.

Volume IV  The shadow without a Name.

Ximene’s commercial venture is successful.

She arranges for john to be the negotiant for the process of getting the  lords affected by the treaty of bretigny to swear allegiance to the prince. In return she asks john to by properties on her behalf along the Garonne valley. John’s activities in doing this results in john being asked to marry marie. because she does not regard marriage to be of any great consequence she asks John to go ahead with the marriage but it becomes a disaster.

Ximene is working with john to  take possession of the properties he has bought on her behalf and leans of his maritial difficulties. she attemps to lead them throgh a transition but Marie does not want to know.

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.