Friday 11 March 2011

I think Eleanor's mad at me

As some regular readers know, it is my intention to post on the lives of the queens of England, moving through them from William I's wife to the current Queen, over the course of a year or two. The research for each chapter, however long or short, does take quite a bit of work, which is why the regularity of The Queens of England Series is much slower than I would originally have liked. Please accept my apologies and my thanks to those of you who have been kind enough to get in touch telling me how much you have enjoyed the five installments in that series since July (Seems pitiful, doesn't it? When stated like that!)

The most recent post in the series was on the life of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Louis VII, King of France and Henry II, King of England. Due to the length of Eleanor's life and the great drama of her story, I took the decision to divide the posts on her into three sections - one chronicling her first marriage as Queen of France, the second covering her time as Queen of England and the third, her lengthy career as England's first post-conquest Queen Mother. (Adeliza of Louvain was Queen Dowager, not Queen Mother.) The first in the Eleanor posts, Daughter of Riches, was posted on January 23rd and I had hoped to have written and uploaded the second post, A Woman Out of Legend, by now. However, I got back from Connecticut to find that we are currently renovating our study - which is something that we've really needed to do for awhile - and so all my books are currently in storage and I'm loathe to start ransacking the place to get the books I wanted to write the next chapter on Queen Eleanor. Sadly, I don't think winging it is a great idea, since Eleanor's period is not one I'm expert enough to write in without having a few books to hand to cross-reference! So, please bear with me and hopefully when it's ready, A Woman Out of Legend will be worth the wait.

I've also just completed the manuscript for Popular's sequel and I definitely enjoyed the challenges that came from writing the second installment in a series. Christopher Gortner is half-way through his sequel to A Tudor Secret and we've very, very briefly discussed how different it is to write an immediate sequel to a first installment. I think it's a really peculiar set of challenges, but, again, hopefully it's been worth it. I've just started the edits with my new editor at Penguin, Alexandra, who's working with me on this project. Honestly, a great editor is such a God-send and I've been lucky enough to have two, so far! Also, thanks to all those friends who have been so supportive during the writing of the new book. Some have offered support and some have done what all good Irish folk are supposed to do - namely dragged me out to the pub when it's necessary!

Anyway! Here's hoping the study renovation goes swiftly and delightfully and Eleanor's looming presence can be ameliorated sooner rather than later. I'll post some links below to the Queens of England posts uploaded so far.


2. "The Friend of True Piety" - the life of Matilda of Flanders (died 1083), wife of William the Conqueror, mother of William II and Henry I

3. Daughter of the Church - the life of Matilda of Scotland (1080 - 1118), first wife of Henry I

4. "The Fair Maid of Brabant" - the life of Adeliza of Louvain (died 1151), second wife of Henry I

5. The Other Queen - the life of Matilda of Boulogne (died 1152), wife of King Stephen

7. Daughter of Riches - the early life of Eleanor of Aquitaine (died 1204), wife of Louis VII and Henry II

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