Eleanor the Crusader

My next book – due for release in October, all being well – is about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. They were one of Europe’s most fabulous power couples, ruling lands that spread from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. Eleanor was nine years Henry’s senior. When they married in 1152, he was a… Continue reading Eleanor the Crusader

Princess Cecily of York, a very daring lady….

  Some of you will know that in the 1970s I wrote a trilogy about Cicely/Cecily, daughter of Edward IV. I called her Cicely back then, and have stuck with it, but now she is generally known as Cecily. She had been the third daughter, but on the death of her sister Mary, because second… Continue reading Princess Cecily of York, a very daring lady….

Edward IV, Dame Eleanor and the Phantom Web of Impediments

Introduction The precontract (i.e. prior marriage) between Edward IV and Eleanor Butler, née Talbot, has long been a subject of debate, but what has not previously been claimed is that Edward and Eleanor were so closely related as to have been unable to make a valid marriage without a special dispensation from the Pope.  Recently,… Continue reading Edward IV, Dame Eleanor and the Phantom Web of Impediments

The black widow that bit herself

Since John Ashdown-Hill’s iconic Eleanor was published eleven years ago, we have seen some desperate attempts to contradict his proven conclusion that Lady Eleanor Talbot contracted a valid marriage to Edward IV before his contract to Elizabeth Widville and many such attempts have rebounded on the denialist in question. Now a troll naming herself Latrodecta… Continue reading The black widow that bit herself

On consanguinity

When comparing the descent of two people who wished to marry each other, it was necessary to investigate their ancestry as far back as their great-great-grandparents. If an ancestor was common to both, they would require a dispensation before marrying. Now if only every mediaeval Pope had a laptop and access to this simple Consanguinity… Continue reading On consanguinity

To avoid any confusion:

When Edward IV married Lady Eleanor Talbot in spring 1461, they were not more closely related than fourth cousins, through her mother, Margaret Beauchamp (see Eleanor, fig.11). Under the rules of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 (p.112), such distant blood relations were permitted to marry without a dispensation. It no longer amounted to consanguinity.… Continue reading To avoid any confusion: