A Young Earl, A Bad Marriage

ranulf_de_blondeville-2Some medieval arranged marriages were successful: Edward III & Philippa; William Marshal and Isabel de Clare. Love blossomed between couples brought together for political or business alliances.

Last week on English Historical Fiction Authors I shared the story of a not-so-happily-ever-after. Constance of Brittany, the widow of Henry II’s son, married Ranulf de Blundeville, 6th earl of Chester in 1188. One biographer describes their relationship as one of a “lifelong mutual loathing.”*

Ranulf appears in For King and Country in scenes leading up to, and including, the March 1194 Siege of Nottingham. He returns in Battle Scars III, Swords of the KingRead about Ranulf’s life on EHFA. Enjoy! 

*Soden, I. (2013). Ranulf de Blondeville: the First English Hero. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Amberley Publishing.


Charlene Newcomb is the author of the Battle Scars series, 12th century historical adventures set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. There will be more to come, so sign up for Char’s Mailing List. It will be used – sparingly – to offer exclusive content and and to let you be the first to know about special offers.

Chancellor, justiciar, and papal legate William Longchamp – my guest post on #EHFA

To his contemporaries, William Longchamp became “a man with three titles and three heads,” exercising power as justiciar, chancellor, and papal legate. His critics claim he was greedy, ambitious, and unscrupulous. Learn more about the man Richard the Lionheart left to attend to the business of his kingdom in my guest post on English Historical Fiction Authors.

For King and Country and Men of the Cross

are available on Amazon sites worldwide.

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway now through July 5
for a signed copy of For King and Country


History comes alive – this week on #EHFA – May 7


Read EHFA this week!

Medieval war and the common people.
And three kings:
the early years of the Merry Monarch,
the king who returns to England to secure his kingdom,
and the king who is crowned without the usual celebrations.

The Doubtful Triumph of James VI and I, May 7th 1603
By Mark Patton

The Battle before the Battle
by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

Richard the Lionheart and the Siege of Nottingham, 1194
by Charlene Newcomb

Charles Stuart, Prince of Wales
By Cryssa Bazos

And from the EHFA Archives

Godiva: Her Literary Legend
by Octavia Randolph

19th Century Artist in London Residence James McNeil Whistler and visiting friends from across the water
by Michelle Shine

English Historical Fiction Authors weekly round-up – #EHFA

This week on #EHFA: a 17th century actress, Gibraltar, English Puritanism, Cromwell & more.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity: the building of Gibraltar’s Protestant church by Jacqueline Reiter

The “great shaft of Cornehill” and the Origins of English Puritanism by Mark Patton

Order! Order! – Cromwell loses it, and dissolves Parliament by Deborah Swift

Mistress of More Variety: Actress Susanna Verbruggen by Margaret Porter

A Whiff of Swedish Sin by Anna Belfrage

From the Archives –

London’s Lost Jewels: Wealth and Display in the 16th and 17th Centuries by Mark Patton

“Stone walls do not a prison make”: The Infamous Westminster Gate-House by Nancy Bilyeau

Pinkie and Blue Boy ~ A Matched Set? by Debra Brown


Promoting other authors – #EHFA

EHFABlogbutton-3_zps13174d93Back in 2015 I was invited to be a regular contributor on EHFA, the English Historical Fiction Authors blog. Recently, I joined the blog editors team. EHFA has been a wonderful experience. I have found a very supportive group of authors through the EHFA Facebook page, which anyone – book lovers or authors –  can join. The FB page features the blog posts, but also has readers and authors contributing all types of great information on English history and all genres of English historical fiction – from mysteries, to biographical fiction, thrillers, adventures, romance and more. Many contributors to the blog and followers on the FB page are great about promoting each others’ posts, not only those on EHFA, but those appearing elsewhere. The FB page is a great place to discover new book releases and giveaways, too.

I tweet items posted to the blog and FB page all the time, but I know a lot of people don’t do Twitter, so I wondered what else I could do to promote the well-researched articles appearing on the blog. I tried posting many on my personal FB page, but those don’t draw many likes. (Facebook algorithms at work? Or my FB friends aren’t fans of English historical fiction?)

So my plan is to post a weekly line up of EHFA articles right here! Maybe a few of my blog followers will see something they want to read and share – please share! sharing is good –  and I have a bunch of pals on Twitter who will retweet this post. Every little bit helps.

Go on – take a look at this week’s line up! Aren’t you curious about how pineapples relate to the English? Perspectives on the years before WWII? Beowulf’s monsters? and much more:

When the Earl of Surrey Met Frankenstein By Nancy Bilyeau

A Taste for Pineapple….  by Lauren Gilbert

The Drift to War in Europe  by James MacManus

Grendel: Pagan or Christian?  by Kim Rendfeld

Henry VIII and the Break with Rome  by Judith Arnopp

The Establishment of William the Conqueror as King by Emily Murdoch

Fictional 18th Century Inns and their Real-Life Inspirations by Chris Thorndycroft


There is still time to sign up for my Giveaway.of a signed paperback copy of For King and Country. Comment on the Giveaway Announcement post  or on my Facebook page.


Third Crusade history – my guest post on English Historical Fiction Authors

Schlacht_von_Arsuf-2In the year 1191, on the 7th day of September, a decisive battle was fought between Christian and Muslim armies. On this 824th anniversary, join me on English Historical Fiction Authors (EHFA) for “The Bloodiest Day of the Third Crusade: Richard I and Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf.

Photo By Eloi Firmin Feron (1802-1876) (de:wiki) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Third Crusade history – 4 October 1190 – the capture of Messina

Richard_I_and_Joan_greeting_Philip_Augustus-2On their way to the Holy Land after the fall of Jerusalem to Salah al-Dīn, Christian armies gathered in Messina, Sicily. Today, I am guest posting  on English Historical Fiction Authors about the political background, intrigue, and events that led to Messina’s capture by Richard the Lionheart. Many thanks to Debra Brown for inviting me to contribute.

Image attribution: Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_I_and_Joan_greeting_Philip_Augustus.jpg