August 1, 2019 at 3:54 pm #5752
So, here I am. Sheepishly sidling onto the Podium again because the second book in my historical novella series has been released. I’m aware that I was only here two months ago so I will attempt to be less rambly than I was last time.
For those of you who have already read The King’s Knight Book 1 – Revolt, book 2 – Treason, is available here.
If you haven’t read book one and you think you might like to, it’s currently on special offer for £0.99 here.
Having got the technical stuff out of the way, no doubt you’re all wondering if I found new research rabbit holes to lose myself down. The answer is always yes. I can no more resist a research rabbit hole than I can go without sunblock in our current summer weather.
It was less about bread this time but in terms of 14th C socio-economic factors, a lavish coronation style party cost around £15,000 (which is the equivalent of a couple of million in today’s money). Part of the reason Richard II and Parliament did not get along was the king’s unwise expenditure. 15k would have paid for a decent sized invasion; many lords were finding the 100 years war very profitable and would far rather the money got spent on that than a medieval knees up.
Contraception. That was a bizarre rabbit hole. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the knowledge – passed from woman to woman and rarely included in herbals etc which tended to be transcribed by men – there’s a huge gap in the historical record. The later persecution of wealthy and knowledgeable woman as witches, the advent of the Puritans, persecution by the Church in general and the publication of the Malleous Maeficarum, not to mention the general class and gender oppression of non-noble women, all destroyed the record further. However, contrary to popular belief, contraception was both understood and practiced in the Midde Ages. It was also fairly effective when it was used. There are definitely places I wouldn’t want to put iris roots and honey – anywhere in fact! – but we do have a tendacy to assume that all medicine was useless until about 1930, and it simply isn’t true. While less effective compared to modern methods of birth control, Medieval contraception was still effective enough to make being female in the Middle Ages far less of an obstacle than we’re taught in school. (The more research I do, the more I realise that almost everything I was taught in school about women in history was mostly rubbish!)
The death penalty. I wrongly assumed that a traitor’s death was hanging, drawing and quartering. In fact, it was fairly extreme for this method to be used. In 1300-1400, ‘drawing’ referred to be tied to a hurdle and pulled through the streets to the scaffold. Ok, not pleasant but still better than being publically disembowelled. Hanging was the usual punishment for treason. In 14th C this was a short drop hanging, which does not break the neck but instead provides a slow but largely uneventful death (because the condemned loses consciousness within a minute) by strangulation.
And while it would not have been funny for the man in question, when I discovered that Robert Treselian, wanted man and Chief Justice, hid from the Merciless Parliament by disguising himself as a begger and donning a large false beard made of sheep’s wool, I had a laugh out loud moment. Seriously, you think things like Blackadder are being silly and then it turns out that there was historical precident.
Anyway, in book two Gregory Maudesley is once again drawn very reluctantly into a national disaster as the king and his lords teeter on the verge of a civil war with each other. No good deed goes unpunish and it’s not long before Gregory finds himself fighting for his life…
Thanks for reading this far 😉August 6, 2019 at 8:09 am #5764SquidgeParticipant
Must download these! Have been remiss and not done it yet. xAugust 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm #5771SquidgeParticipant
Done it now, though…August 6, 2019 at 2:10 pm #5772August 6, 2019 at 11:57 pm #5775Mad IguanaParticipant
Super stuff Jules!! Haven’t read the first one yet – bought it, but haven’t read it. I’ll get the 2nd anyway, so it’s ready for when I am.August 9, 2019 at 7:40 am #5791KazGParticipant
This looks absolutely brilliant! They both do actually and thank you for the reminder about book 1 – I’ve just downloaded both of them and am really looking forward to getting my teeth into them.
Contraception details! Sheep wool beards!! Are you planning on releasing a kind of “Ironside’s Notes’ on your research rabbit holes to accompany your books? and if not, please do 🙂August 9, 2019 at 8:28 am #5792ElleParticipant
Congratulations, sounds like a fascinating story!August 9, 2019 at 10:49 am #5795
Thanks Elle and Mad 🙂
And Kaz, I am now tempted to do exactly that. ‘Ironside’s Guide to the bizarre Middle Ages’ :’DAugust 12, 2019 at 2:24 am #5807
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