photo courtesy of nerdalicous.co
This week, Pegman’s challenge takes us to Caenarfon Castle in Gwynedd. The year is 1283.
Diary of Queen Eleanor of Castile, Queen Consort of Edward 1
1283 July : Marriage to Edward solemnised today. I remember our childhood betrothal in 1254, in Gascony. He’s good, takes no mistresses. Processed then to Caenarfon Castle in Wales. Construction is in progress. Handsome building, set beside the wild beautiful Welsh coast. They built us comfortable apartments away from the hubbub. We stayed a month.
1284 April : Came to the Castle, to be safely delivered of a boy child. We named him Edward, to be our heir.
I know the politics of this Kingdom better than Edward. These errant English barons dared to challenge us. We defeated them with my Gascony archers. I hear that some sneering English have a rhyme – ‘ The king wants to get our gold, and queen would like our lands to hold.’ I disagree.
The years pass…
1290 Summer : I am old, residing in London’s Westminster Palace. I have had sixteen children, six of whom survive, God Willing. The stench from London’s foetid streets rises up to my casement window. I dream of Caenarfon Castle and the craggy Welsh coast. I long to smell the wildness of the Welsh sea again.
May 19, 2018 at 8:08 pm
Great story and learned some history here too.
May 15, 2018 at 7:13 am
I would certainly prefer Wales to London. I guess duty has other ideas for her.
May 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm
Yes – she doesn’t get to chose, I agree.
May 15, 2018 at 12:39 am
I loved this, Francine. And how sad that at the age of probably… something like maybe 35-40, they were old way back then!
May 15, 2018 at 6:43 pm
Thank you Dale – glad you liked the story. Think many women didn’t live much beyond 40 then.
May 15, 2018 at 7:15 pm
May 14, 2018 at 2:53 pm
Although I see you commented that you amended the date, I’m wondering how she managed to produce 16 children in 6 years? From 1284 to 1290? Am I missing something.
Aside from that…very well written.
May 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm
Thanks Rochelle. The rapidity of births, as you say is not imaginable ! Unintended consequence of me selecting a later phase of her life connected with Caenarfon Castle. Collision of fictionalised account and biographical facts. Will take more care in the next historical piece, to gain authenticity.
May 15, 2018 at 12:33 am
I was thinking – we should not assume coming to the castle was for the first child…
May 14, 2018 at 11:10 am
I really enjoyed this. Historical facts mixed with fiction. Very descriptive and believable.
May 14, 2018 at 5:08 pm
So glad you enjoyed the story Georgie. Interesting woman I think.
May 13, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Almost too real to be fiction! Great writing this week.
May 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm
Thank you Jelli, pleased you liked it.
May 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm
I could well imagine Queen Eleanor longing for the Welsh coast; it’s so beautiful.
May 13, 2018 at 7:32 pm
I agree Penny – about the Welsh coast being beautiful. I imagine that London was quite foul smelling in those days !
May 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm
Excellent historical piece. I like your choice of adjectives.
May 13, 2018 at 7:34 pm
Thank you Josh, glad you like it. I think there’s a satisfaction in choosing adjectives.
May 13, 2018 at 4:02 pm
What a time that would have been. Elegant yet filthy. Eleanor seems both happy and resigned. I enjoyed the diary form you used.
(1284 April The years pass…1284 Summer – did you mean to have a different date at the end? It doesn’t seem like years passed. 😉 )
May 13, 2018 at 7:36 pm
Thanks Alicia – glad that you found the diary form worked. . I’ve amended the ‘years passing date’ ! Glad you pointed it out.
May 13, 2018 at 8:56 pm
No worries. It’s easy to miss details like that.
May 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm
Nice bit of history. I felt like she was speaking to me through the ages!
May 13, 2018 at 7:37 pm
So glad she spoke to you Karen, from a very long time ago. Thanks