Medieval democracy

I’ve shamefully neglected this blog as I’ve been away writing book four in the Hildegard series.  This time it’s set in London in the autumn of 1386 when the barons and Richard’s wicked uncles make the first move to seize his crown.

In those days nobody was elected to parliament by the people but representatives were commanded to attend when the king chose.  They came from all parts of the realm to the palace of Westminster just like now.   It was usually an excuse for the king to ask for money.  And it was usual for the two chambers to resist.

King Richard’s Chancellor was impeached – probably the first use of the word with its modern meaning – with the accusation that he had been embezzling money from the royal coffers.    He was easier to call to account than the king at that point.  Things changed later, of course.

This parliament is special for another reason.  It is the only one Geoffrey Chaucer was called to attend.  I don’t know what he did wrong but he was never called again.  I expect he got sick of the corruption, the buying and selling of support, that went on. Maybe he was too frightened to show his face. He failed to vote in support of his then benefactor, the Duke of Lancaster, Gaunt himself, a show of independence that would nark Gaunt no end.  Woodstock and Arundel wouldn’t be too pleased either.  It would be safer to get out of town until their rage had blown itself out.

Hildegard gets thoroughly embroiled and it’s serious – politics then was a matter of life and death.  The executioner’s block cast its shadow over London.  The stakes were high.  Dynasties were made and destroyed.  Nothing less than the succession to the crown of England was the prize…

There are 9 comments left Go To Comment

  1. blues buffett /

    Hi Cassandra
    Congratulations on your first two novels.

    Do you have any information regarding “The Law Of Angels” release in Australia? I’ve tried all the usual sites, including eBay (international). I don’t buy from Amazon.

    best regards, Ray

    1. Sasha /

      it with a hard g’ short e’ and a hard b’ short e’. Would you let me know if this is correct? I’m sorry to have to asdders you through your blog, but I could not find your email asdders. If you could, it would be helpful if you could reply by the email asdders I’ve given.As an aside, I would like you to know that I enjoyed the book very much.Thank you for your time.Denise Snow

      1. Bobi /

        Anna Posted on Wish I could have gone with you guys. I always want to look back at Hunter and then I aomlst fall over. Typical me LOVE these pictures of the ride.

  2. cassandra /

    Thanks for your question, Ray. I’m sorry I have no news on Law of Angels at this point. As you know publishing is in some disarray with the more desperate ones going for one off blockbusters (as they hope) which leaves series writers such as myself without much support. I hope to have more news shortly.
    best wishes

    1. Dilan /

      Well if it wasn’t abdication it prlabboy involved eating swan again or was it one of those really clever medieval things with a snipe inside a duck inside a goose inside a swan, etc., or something?I quite like the idea of all the feasting and so on, but the plague, leprosy, robber barons and awful smells are not so appealing, perhaps. On the other hand, we have mobile phones, traffic fumes, incessant noise and chavs. Hmmm.

  3. Cassandra /

    Yes, more news shortly!

    1. Kamwing /

      as Mo’ but up in the north of England people say the dahugter house name as Meoos or even Meooks.It’s lovely to know the book is being recorded for the blind. I had an experience that could have made me permanently blind a few years ago and after that I worked with the RNIB over here for a time so am aware of the value of fiction being available. I hope it comes off well and makes a good wishesCassandraI’m sorry I don’t have your email.

      1. Jhonlord /

        Posted on incredible, that was a very good read. In clinouscon, someone who actually thinks and understands what they are blogging about. Quite difficult to find of late, especially on the web . I bookmarked your web blog and will make sure to keep coming back here if this is how you always write. thank you, keep it up! .

  4. Cassandra / Post Author

    Thanks for all these comments. It’s good to know there’s somebody out there! For some reason they’ve just come up again and I wonder what’s happened to all you who were kind enough to leave messages? I hope you’re still reading the series. The Dragon of Handale will be out early in 2015 with St Martin’s again and the Velvet Turnshoe was reissued as an ebook and is attrracting many readers who prefer electronic books. I’ve just finished writing book 6 The Butcher of Avignon which has involved some exciting travels into the archives and to Avignon itself. It’s a most beaultiful and sinister place with, today, plenty of good restaurants. The Pope’s Palace itself is a labyrinth of corridors and secret chambers which were a thrill to explore. I hope you enjoy the resulting story. As usual I’ve mixed real historical characters, the anti-pope Clement and Cardinal Grizac being the main players. Watch my blog for more details later. Happy reading.

Leave a Reply