May

22

2017

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE HOLY LAND STAYS IN THE HOLY LAND?

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE HOLY LAND STAYS IN THE HOLY LAND? Speculation on what William Marshal did during his time in Outremer. Recently I was commissioned to write a novel about the great William Marshal and what he did during his time pilgrimage to the Holy Land between 1183 and 1186. It is a subject […]

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Beer and ale (both words known to the Anglo Saxons) were regular table beverages in Northern Europe in the high Middle Ages. Physicians viewed the drinks as better than consuming plain water, even spring water, but not as good as wine (see footnote).  The Regimen sanitatis Salernitanum says that beer must be drunk in moderation […]

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There is a myth sadly still doing the rounds (for example you will find Alison Weir stating in her biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine on the section about medieval life. ‘Stuffings, marinades and rich sauces often flavoured with garlic were used to disguise the taste and smell of rancid meat which had in many cases […]

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I am currently writing a novel about William Marshal’s experiences in the Holy Land where he went on pilgrimage, setting out in the late summer of 1183, and returning to Normandy in early 1186.  The novel has a working title of TEMPLAR SILKS, a reference to the two pieces of silk that William Marshal brought […]

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Dec

18

2016

William Marshal: Time Travelling in Food.

The lovely people at my publishers asked me what I would give William Marshal for Christmas dinner should he suddenly find himself capable of time travel and turn up on my doorstep on Christmas Day. In His own time William Marshal was known as ‘Gaste Viande’ which basically means ‘Greedy Guts’. This nickname, however, was […]

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Nov

06

2016

WILLIAM MARSHAL: What did he look like?

That’s a question that frequently gets asked on various forums and everyone has their own ideas and then long discussions ensue! I am often asked about my personal thought regarding his appearance. William’s biography, the Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal, written in rhyming verse and completed about 6 years after his death,  gives us a […]

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Oct

30

2016

CAROLE BLAKE: a tribute

I was eating breakfast on Wednesday morning (26th October) when the phone rang. Glancing at the number at first I thought it was my oldest son – it began with the same digits. But when I answered, it was Isobel Dixon, agent at Blake Friedmann and a friend of long standing. She gave me the […]

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At the Historical Novel Society Conference 1216, I was asked to take part in a panel on Medieval women and their relevance in today’s society. My third novel in my trilogy about Eleanor of Aquitaine, THE AUTUMN THRONE has just been published, and so my given 10 minutes was on Eleanor of Aquitaine. Here are […]

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