Saturday, July 27, 2013

Christ's Mass 1203 - The Canterbury Murders

Nicolaa de Haye and Bascot are a fine team that I visit every chance that Maureen Ash gives me. Christ's Mass season in 1203 in Canterbury was just such an occasion with King John. King John, like all Plantagenets is a complicated person, and he surely added unnecessary twists to this murder investigation.

Nicolaa as a historical figure is always intriguing to me, as she was a very important and capable person and valuable to the throne. Maureen Ash's history and sense of time and place is always impeccable.
Nicholaa and King John are always the most vivid characters for me, although that surely varies for others.

I am looking forward to the next episode.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Devil's Companion ~ A Fine Read

Very glad indeed that I happened upon this book by a favorite author! This is a period in time skipped over by many but very important to know about,William Rufus's reign is often relegated to the events of his death.

Robert Fitzhamo(Fitzhamon),Earl of Gloucester,who died young and in the King's service was also called the Lord of Tewkesbury. His family served,Duke William in Normandy and likely came with his entourage.His father Haimo and Grandfather Richard were hereditary feudal lords in Lower Normandy. Apparently they earned the respect of the native Saxons as well as their Norman peers.

Maureen Ash's characters had depth, vibrancy and very much came alive to tell their own story. I hope there will be a sequel as Fitzhaimo's relationship with Sybil de Montgomery has just begun with the ending of the book. The remainder of their life appears to be eventful and worthwhile to read about in such eventful times.

Their daughter Mabel married an illegitimate son of Henry I and together they established a line of important personages in England.
I hope to hear about them soon.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Outlaw Knight ~ Fulke FitzWarin as Robber Baron

The story of the Outlaw Knight was not new to me as Fulke FitzWarin was already a favorite character. Revisiting him and his world was surely no chore for me at all. Elizabeth Chadwick has no equal, I do not think.

Beginning with the most probably true story of Fulke's argument with Prince John over chess, their personal history is always one of struggle. As King, John was terribly unfair to Fulke about awarding Whittington Castle to another. Fulke has been awarded the right to the Castle in the Curia Regis court and as a consequence he turned outlaw.
Outlaw Knight is a very apt title for the book as he was truly an outlaw for a period, though surely not the only man driven to such by the crown.

Fulke as a Robber Baron is superb and the history supports the events of his life. He lived and loved hard and well. It is a story worth retelling and no one tells a story better than Elizabeth Chadwick

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

So missing Gail Frazer~ Two last volumes

Gail Frazer was a great writer and an extremely fine person and I mourn her passing. She and her children devised a plan to digitize her works and I am so glad I purchased this one.

Although I have read one of the three short works in the book, the other two as well as the "tour" of St. Frideswides' Abbey and surrounding lands and houses made it a very worthwhile purchase for me. The tour was much more educational and surely more enjoyable than other works about Medieval life I have read.

"Margaret" Frazer wrote so well and entertainingly about this period and this place. She was , I believe my first venture into medieval historical novels. So worthwhile!