The Sixth Surrender

Penguin/Plume

The nature of “the facts” may be debatable, but it is indisputable that some 800 years after their deaths, the affairs of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, and the rest of the Angevins/Plantagenets continue to enjoy popularity thanks to a number of talented writers of historical fiction.

Mine has been a challenging journey along which I met many fascinating characters. My characters, “real” or imagined, also take us on a journey, a journey through their 13th century France, truly a time when chivalry reigned and treachery ruled.

The Sixth Surrender spans the 4-year long struggle between the French king Philip Augustus and John of England over the duchy of Normandy which John inherited from his brother Richard. The catalyst in that struggle was the marriage of Isabelle d’Angoulême, the child-heiress of the count of Angoulême, to John I of England.

Regarded as the most beautiful woman of her time, Isabelle was originally pledged to marry Hugh de Lusignan,a scion of one of the most troublesome baronial families of Poitou, reputed to be descendants of the half-serpent sprite Mélusine.

The Lusignans were not amused—about the marriage, that is.

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