Edward IV


Edward’s claim to the throne was tenuous. His grandfather, Richard of Conisburgh had been disowned by his own family, possibly because it was thought he was the illegitimate son of a relationship between his mother, Isabelle of Castile and John Holland, Duke of Exeter.  John Holland in turn was the son of Joan of Kent and quite possibly the illegitimate son of the Black Prince. By implication John Holland was full brother to the deposed and murdered King Richard II and Edward IV was the senior descendant of Edward III, but by a doubly illegitimate line.

Richard of Conisbugh’s mother, Isabelle had arranged that Richard II would pay an annual allowance to him but Henry IV  had discontinued the allowance.

Richard was plotting to have Henry V deposed in favour of Edmund de Mortimer, who was the rightful heir to the throne after the murder of Richard II. Mortimer himself betrayed the plot to Henry V  and  Conisburgh was executed.

Despite all this activity Conisburgh had limited claim to the throne particularly in view of his possible triple illigitimacy. Because of his marriage to Anne Mortimer, however, his son was the rightful heir to the throne .

Richard of York pursured his claim cautiously, perhaps too cautiously.

His technique seemed to be to gain conirol of government, firstly d=ring Henry Vi’s minority and then during his illnesses, without directly claiming the crown.

At Towton on March 29th, 1461 over 100,000 men fought all day in a blinding blizzard. The population of England in 1461 was under two million and so this one battle engaged 5% of the total population, or nearly 25% of men aged between 20 and 40.

Edward IV, at eighteen years of age, had declared himself King the previous day. Approximately 28,000 men died in this crucial test of wether he could fulfil his proclamation. Many believed that he was the rightful King of England and were prepared to die to make that come about, but nothing about the “Wars of the Roses” is absolutely certain!

The Wars of the Roses is also called the “Cousins War” because this conflict was between two factions of the rulers of the Plantagenet Empire. The Empire they were fighting over nominally included England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and most of what is today Northern and Western France.  For a short period the Plantagenets also claimed Castile, which in turn was the largest part of what is now Spain. The Wars covered the period 1399-1505 and distracted the Plantagenets from the routine governance of their Empire.  The wars were therefore a major contributor to the loss of Scotland and virtually all their European possessions. They had particularly unfortunate outcomes for the governance of Ireland.

The two sides in the conflict, chose roses as their symbols; the red rose for the house of Lancaster, the white rose for the house of York.


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The two sides in the conflict, chose roses as their symbols; the red rose for the house of Lancaster, the white rose for the house of York.

Lancastrian Witches

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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.