Hugh and Eleanor at Tewkesbury Abbey

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I got an e-mail the other day from Stephanie Decavallas, who did this beautiful drawing (in two color schemes) of Eleanor de Clare, heroine of The Traitor’s Wife, and her husband, Hugh le Despenser the younger, at Tewkesbury Abbey. Naturally, …

Posted in Despenser Family | 2 Comments

Eleanor le Despenser Gets a New Dress

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The other day, I was fooling around on eBay (a place I really have no business being). As is my wont, I did a search for “Despenser” (among other searches) and lo and behold, what appeared but a doll costume …

Posted in Despenser Family | 16 Comments

Elizabeth le Despenser, Daughter of Hugh and Eleanor

Elizabeth le Despenser (who appears a couple of times in Hugh and Bess) was the youngest surviving daughter born to Hugh le Despenser and Eleanor de Clare. Her birth date is unknown, but either she or her brother John might …

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A Despenser at Dunstable, 1334

One of the fun things about using a lesser-known historical figure as a subject of a novel is that when you run into something about him–anything–you’re absolutely delighted. So a while back when I saw in Collectanea topographica & genealogica, …

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In Memory of a Fallen Soldier: Edward le Despenser

Edward le Despenser was the second son of Hugh le Despenser the younger and Eleanor de Clare. He was born before November 23, 1315, when Edward II issued a license for John de Cromwell and his wife, Idonia, to grant …

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Emily Sarah Holt, and the Despensers Meet Jane Austen

As longtime readers of this blog know, I’ve mentioned Emily Sarah Holt a few times here. Holt, who wrote historical fiction in the nineteenth century, wrote one of the first novels about the Despenser family, In Convent Walls. Her novels …

Posted in Books and Book Reviews, Despenser Family | 2 Comments

Thanks, Uncle! Gifts to Eleanor de Clare From Edward II

Whatever else one might say about Edward II, he was a generous uncle–at least to his favorite niece, Eleanor de Clare. Here’s some of his recorded gifts to her: 1308: 20 marks for her expenses while staying at Rockingham Castle …

Posted in Despenser Family, Edward II | 9 Comments

What? A Despenser in Trouble?

One of the little tidbits that I never got to use in either The Traitor’s Wife or in Hugh and Bess (coming out in a new edition later this year) is the fact that in 1344, yet another member of …

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Seals!

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No, not the type with flappers. I was Googling last night and was excited to find this book: Seals by Walter de Gray Birch. Here’s the seal of Eleanor de Clare, heroine of The Traitor’s Wife, and her second husband, …

Posted in Despenser Family, Fourteenth-Century (and Late Thirteenth-Century) England | 11 Comments

In Which This Blog Descends Even Lower Into Silliness

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I should be working, but it’s still Thanksgiving weekend and I’m not inclined to be industrious. Fortunately, I came across this site some time ago (I think it was via someone’s blog, but I can’t remember the culprit) and decided …

Posted in Despenser Family, Edward II, Richard III, Wars of the Roses, Writing Historical Fiction | 10 Comments