It's not May yet, but it's getting closer. Don't forget to stop by at Marg
blogs to see what they're cooking up.
So, are you dying to know more about the people and places in To Defy a King? Tired of waiting for May 6th to get here? Hoping that darned volcano doesn't delay the Royal Mail? Who would have thought that a little volcano in Iceland could impact book shipments anyway? To Defy a King
is about Mahelt Marshal, eldest daughter of my favorite hunk in history William Marshal
and Isabelle de Clare. The book covers Mahelt's life from her betrothal and marriage to Hugh Bigod, son of the Roger Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk through the Baron's rebellions against King John. You can read more about Mahelt here
and Hugh here
at Ms. Chadwick's blog Living the History. Prior to her marriage to Roger Hugh's mother, Ida de Tosny had a relationship with Henry II (covered in The Time of Singing
) and her first child, William Longespée
, was a result of that relationship - those who have read Roberta Gellis' Roselynde Chronicles should remember William and his relationship with half brother King John. On the other side of the sibling coin are Ida's children from her marriage to Roger and they in turn are related to William - including Mahelt's husband Hugh - and there's not much love lost between those two brothers.
Much of the action takes place at the Bigod's main residence at Framlingham, but another of their holdings, Bungay Castle, caught my interest and I thought I'd post a bit about it here. According to Wik
, the name of Bungay is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon title 'Bunincga-haye'. Due to its high position, protected by the River Waveney and marshes, the site was in a good defensive position and attracted settlers from early times. The castle was built by the first Earl of Norfolk and according to this
website it was a fortress built “to defy a king”
Not much left of the old castle now, but it must have been impressive in it's hey-day.
Eventually the Earldom was given to the Howards (Tudorphiles should recognize that name) along with Bungay Castle, although after time it fell into ruin and was given to the town of Bungay. It is now managed by a charitable trust, and you can find lots of fun info and legends here
. In the 18C author Elizabeth Bonhote used the castle for the setting of her book Bungay Castle
- do read it, it's good fun and perhaps the first teen detectives in fiction? As for the legends, were the Black Dogs of Bungay
real? Is St. Mary's church really haunted by the ghost of Hugh Bigod the first Earl of Norfolk? Inquiring minds want to know.....
How many days left?