The book entwines strands of romance, gripping history and humour, painting a vivid picture of mediaeval life. Despite modern attempts to reconstruct Prince John's reputation, his deeds stain history still, and he remains a byword for power-seeking perfidy, merciless cruelty and greed. This carefully-researched book is a gripping read, and one to curl up with in a cushioned window-seat.
Would Sir prefer a little wild boar or perhaps just the pheasant today?
One cannot help but imagine things a little less spick and span in the Castelnaud kitchen in medieval times.
Meat, meat, meat if you were rich enough. Otherwise, turnips, cabbage, oats, barley, wheat, apples, plums, elderberries and wild garlic. Nothing of which inspires me! The meat led to horrible intestinal problems for the rich, so they died just as early as the poor. Henry 11 a case in point.
Easier to say what one could NOT eat. There were of course no New World vegetables. No potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts, beans, sunflower seeds, squash, sweet potatoes and worst of all no chocolate.
No swede - some advantages after all. No African fruit so no melons. Dates, coffee, oranges and lemons were brought back by Crusaders,
Other things were not eaten much as they had not been developed to a size we know today. Carrots for one. They had the disadvantage of the plant's resemblance to Hemlock, a deadly poison.
Honey was used for sweetening. Hives had to be destroyed to harvest the honey. Of course there was mead to drink, as well as wine and ale. It has been calculated that without the extra calories provided by the ale, many would have starved. Nowadays, it just gives us beer-bellies.
'I am Sir Luke de Brigaine, you will address me as “Sire” in public and “Sir Luke”—reverently—when speaking of me.' Twice rescued by the sardonic knight, Elizabeth discovers Sir Luke, accustomed to command, can be as arrogant as the next crusading knight.
The Queen's Knight new on e-book. Published today, on Amazon. Have a look here http://amzn.to/1sd6dJJ
Simon de Montfort was the leader of the crusade against the Cathars, instituted by the Pope to reassert the authority of the church.
Simon beseiged and took Castelnaud from the Cathar, Bernard de Casnac and installed his own garrison.
Bernard retook it and hanged the surviving members of the garrison.
About this Blog
My travels through contemporary France in search of Richard the Lionheart and relics of his 12th century kingdom.
Paris, Rouen then the Duchy of Aquitaine, seeking useful detail and atmosphere for the second novel in the Lionheart Chronicles.