My lovely friend Kasia has been running a blog about Henry the Young King (1155-1183), son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, for a year now, and marked the anniversary yesterday by, yay, interviewing me about Edward II! I'm honoured and privileged! Here's the interview, and here's the front page of Kasia's blog, and here's her website. Please do visit - her work is superb. Henry the Young King, incidentally, was the elder brother of Edward II's great-grandfather King John.
Another lovely friend of mine, the historical novelist Susan Higginbotham (blog; website), has recently published a non-fiction book about the Woodvilles, the infamous family who rose to prominence during the Wars of the Roses when Elizabeth Woodville married Edward IV in 1464. Susan was kind enough to thank me in the book for helping her with several translations and commenting on her first draft. Here it is!
Today, 8 November, is the anniversary of the death of Edward II's great-grandmother Berenguela, queen of Castile and Leon, in 1246. Berenguela was sixty-six at the time of her death, born in 1180. She was the niece of Henry the Young King, above, being the eldest child of Henry's sister Eleanor, who married Alfonso VIII of Castile. Berenguela's younger sister Blanche (1188-1252) is very famous as the queen-regent of France and mother of Saint Louis IX; Berenguela's son Fernando III of Castile and Leon, Edward II's grandfather, was also canonised. There are two books about the great Queen Berenguela which I'm dying to read: one by Miriam Shadis and one by Janna Bianchini. The daughters and granddaughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine fascinate me, and I'd love to read a novel about any or all of them.
Another non-fiction book I'm dying to read is Blood Cries Afar by Sean McGlynn, about Louis of France's invasion of England in 1216 at the end of King John's reign. Louis was of course the husband of Blanche of Castile, above. There's also a new biography of Edward II's grandfather Henry III by John Paul Davis, yippee, and Adrian Jobson's The First English Revolution about Simon de Montfort and the baronial rebellion of the 1260s. All so exciting!
In general, I'd dearly love to read any kind of fiction or non-fiction about al-Andalus. I'm also interested in historical fiction or non-fiction about or set in the Byzantine Empire, Russia, India, Africa, in any period before c. 1500 - basically I'd love to branch out in my reading and extend my knowledge of the history of other countries and cultures. If you have any recommendations for me, please do leave a comment, or email me at edwardofcaernarfon(at)yahoo.com if you prefer.