Dear readers, welcome!


Having written about William, Lord Hastings and Katherine Neville in THE GOLDEN WIDOWS, it was a delight to hear about the heart brooch found through a metal detector in the grounds of Lord Hastings’ castle at Kirby Muxloe earlier this year.
   It’s a gorgeous piece inlaid with white enamel and with the words ‘honor et joie’ inscribed on it. The trouble with jewellery, however, is that unless it is mentioned in a will (and it wouldn’t be if it was lost) then it’s guesswork who owned it and when they lost it. The Times and the BBC jumped to the conclusion that it had belonged to Katherine, especially as they could mention that her husband was beheaded by Richard III.
    Well, yes, it could have been Katherine’s. When Kirby Muxloe was being rebuilt in 1483, she would probably have ridden down from Ashby de la Zouche, which was their other castle, to oversee what was happening, and the duty would have most likely fallen to her since Hastings spent most of his time at court as chamberlain to Kings Edward IV and Edward V  before he was beheaded.
   Could the jewel have belonged to Katherine’s daughter by her first marriage, Cecily Bonville, who married Queen Elizabeth Woodville’s oldest son, Thomas Grey? Another possibility is William and Katherine’s daughter, Anne (c.1471-1520) who became Countess of Shrewsbury and served as a lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon. Or it could have been a noble lady visiting Kirby before the castle was renovated. Maybe more research will find the motto ‘honor et joie’ in connection with one of these ladies. If you would like the to see The Times article, it’s at: 

New Novel

I’m hoping to finish the first draft before Christmas but how it will end is not yet clear to me. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting your characters feel their way through the intrigue and whatever historical facts are known.


Plantagenet Society of Australia

PlantagenetsLogoAbout 15 years ago, six of us started a history society dedicated to the Plantagenet era (Henry II—Richard III). We meet six times a year and our invited speakers are experts from many fields.

We now have a Facebook page and you can find videos of the talks we’ve enjoyed  from guest speakers such as our patron: Professor Carole Cusack of Sydney University.

The next meetings this year  will be on Saturday 18 November and our speaker will be Susan Shaw with the second part of her presentation  'Life in Medieval York'.

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Upcoming events


23 -24 September 2017
Medieval Fair
St Ives Showground, Sydney
Lunch hour
Ku-ring-gai Library Tent
Isolde Martyn -- Saturday
Felicity Pulman  -- Sunday

Saturday 14 October 2017
Richard III Society
Talk by Isolde on 'Medieval Widows'
2 pm --4 pm
Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts
280 Pitt Street