Three lions on a shirt….English football and Richard the Lionheart….

“….He spent little time in England but one very famous king’s emblem is now on the lips of millions in the country he ruled but rarely visited. Football fans across the land are singing ‘Three Lions on a Shirt’ and it’s all thanks to Richard I….” Well, that’s about all for which England has to… Continue reading Three lions on a shirt….English football and Richard the Lionheart….

Eleanor of Aquitaine is to get the Starz treatment….!

Eleanor of Aquitaine needs to keep her head down, I fear – Starz is coming after her, aided and abetted by Alison Weir this time. See this link.  Has Philippa Gregory had the elbow? Whatever, we can batten down the hatches for another storm of misinformatiion! And one thing’s certain – it won’t be even… Continue reading Eleanor of Aquitaine is to get the Starz treatment….!

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

THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood

Preface I conceived this article as a defence of King Henry V against the accusation that he was a war criminal. It became apparent, however, that my research was drawing me away from Henry’s campaigns towards a broader study of the origin and causes of the Hundred Years War. Soon, I was reading material going… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood

Dismal Sewage

They say every writer should find a niche. Unfortunately, certain ‘popular historians’ seem to have leapt onto  ‘gimmicks’ than a niche and write all or most of their books in similar vein, often to the detriment of their work and a growing lack of credibility with each further tome. A trend amongst several notable authors… Continue reading Dismal Sewage

The mystery of the vanished manor of Ostenhanger….

  There once was an Anglo-Saxon manor in the south of Kent called Berwic, which became known as Le Hangre, and was then split into two manors, Westenhanger and Ostenhanger. Westenhanger is still very much in evidence (see illustration above) but Ostenhanger as such has disappeared entirely. It’s still there really, of course, but was… Continue reading The mystery of the vanished manor of Ostenhanger….

SARUM LIGHTS–A COMMEMORATION

2020 is the 800th Anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral. Before ‘New Salisbury’ came into existence, the town stood on the windy cone of Old Sarum, a huge iron-age hillfort with massive earthen ramparts. There was a particularly forbidding Norman castle on the height, with a windswept bridge over a deep moat–here, Henry II… Continue reading SARUM LIGHTS–A COMMEMORATION

Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Kingmaker and Richard II: the eyes have it….!

Well, I have to say that the above carving is very startling. It is believed to be of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and has just been discovered at Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes. There is nothing in this article to say why they are so certain it’s Eleanor, but they seem in no doubt. The first thing… Continue reading Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Kingmaker and Richard II: the eyes have it….!

Joan Plantagenet Queen of Sicily

Being a Sicilian living in the UK, I am fond of both countries’ history. I have often wondered if there was a link between these two islands and I soon found one: Joan Plantagenet Queen of Sicily. The story of this woman is so interesting and compelling especially because Joan was a very strong and… Continue reading Joan Plantagenet Queen of Sicily

Biggest Lies of the Middle Ages

There are many, many  false ideas and funny beliefs about the Middle Ages and  some of the notable figures  who lived in those times. Alfred and the cakes, Edward II and the hot poker, Eleanor of Aquitaine flinging poisoned toads on Fair Rosamund… And of course, almost everything you can think of about Richard III. … Continue reading Biggest Lies of the Middle Ages