A Knight and a Spy
War, Intrigue and Romance
January, 1410 and King Henry IV is brought down with an unknown illness. Despite his 10 year reign the kingdom is far from secure: he is at odds with his son Prince Hal who vies for a new Council; Owen Glyndower threatens his Welsh border, whilst the Scots are ever in revolt seeking secret alliances with France.
Burgundy and the French King Charles VI plan to take back Calais and re-ignite the 100 years war. England is torn with enemies on each side and within.
The court is a swirl of rumours and treachery, with the powerful seeking the ultimate prize: the English crown.
Power is controlled by unlikely forces, the most important of these men is Sir Richard Whittington, merchant, former Lord mayor of London, financier, adviser to the Crown and spy master for the King. Realising the peril of the kingdom, he needs someone who can move inconspicuously abroad and at home. Skilled yet unobtrusive.
Jamie de Grispere: squire in training, son of a merchant, known to Whittington, is tasked to do his bidding and spy for the good of the crown. He holds the future of the realm in his hands. It is a perilous path, from the depths of France to Wales and the Scottish borders. Joining with two comrades he seeks to aid the crown and Sir Richard's plans for the safety of the realm.
Treachery, the 100 years war, revolts, battles, the wool trade, piracy and pivotal events: all are brought alive in this story of the 15th Century England and the fight for the crown.
Equine and Human!
Two of the most important characters, to my wife's mind, are Richard the horse and Contessa Alessandria di Felicini!
Richard is still going strong. He was my son's polo pony and in his day, could do everything I describe in the book. Just as Richard was thought too big to be an agile destrier, at 15.3hh Richard was also thought too big to be an agile polo pony. But, hell, could he turn and spin quicker than any other horse I have known. He was exceptionally fast, having been clocked at 44mph.
The beautiful lady on the right epitomises to me my vision of the Contessa who features both in my short story available to subscribers to my mailing list and plays a significant role within the first book. Alice Scappini, is the daughter of our dear friends from Tarquinia, Lazio and she kindly agreed to be my muse.