Out of the research came new ideas.
John Stanley had an involvement in Ireland much earlier than the appointment which is supposed to have clinched his marriage to Isobel Latham.
There were questions to be asked about the death of the parents of the heir to the throne.
The whole question of Isobel’s previous marriage to Arthur Worsley and it’s disastrous outcome came as a complete surprise.
The history of the Black Prince’s involvement in the wars with the Franks showed that he was not quite the paragon of chivalry depicted in mainstream history.
I had known from my schooldays that Joan of Kent was christened “the most amorous lady in Europe”, but had no idea what that meant.
The fact that she was married to both William Montacute and the Black Prince and that they were close friends is not emphasised in convention history.
My conclusion was that all those involved in the story were human beings with human frailties. For me this was not a repellant but an inspiration.
All that remained was to fit Ximene into this group. Inevitably she must also have her own frailties, after all she was a cathar, who believed that it was impossible to sin below the waist.