As readers of The Traitor's Wife know, Caerphilly Castle in Wales was the birthplace of its heroine, Eleanor de Clare, and is the setting for several scenes in the novel. I've been to the Welsh castle, and I hope to go back in the near future (Hubby, consider this a hint).
Caerphilly Castle in Wales, dating from the late 1200's
But did you know that there's a Caerphilly Castle in Apex, North Carolina, just a short minivan drive away from my own house? Well, here's the proof:
Cairphilly Castle Court in Apex, NC, dating from the early 2000's
And no, I don't have the slightest idea why a subdivision developer in Apex chose to name a street after Caerphilly Castle. The subdivision doesn't have a Welsh theme, or a British theme, or a medieval theme (although there is a Parsifal Street there too, come to think of it), or any coherent theme at all--one of the streets close to Cairphilly Castle Court is named Gopher Lane. The only thing I can figure out is that the developer went to Wales, saw the castle, and said to himself, "Self, next time I develop a subdivision, I'll name a street after this castle, come hell or high water!" And so he did.
Well before I developed an interest in Edward II and medieval history, I began collecting Barbie dolls. So
needless to say, I was thrilled to find in the August 2002 issue of Barbie Bazaar magazine an article in which a Barbie collector had created a backdrop of a medieval castle in which she placed Barbie and Ken dolls dressed
up as characters from Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II. It's a clever creation. Can't reprint it here for copyright reasons, of course, but the issue is worth searching around for if you ever wondered what Edward II, Queen Isabella, and others might look like as Barbie and Ken dolls. (And surely this is something that has kept you up all night.)
Naturally, this got me thinking about whether my own Barbie collection had a suitable Isabella. No one quite filled the bill until a few weeks ago, when Mattel accommodated me by putting out Holiday Angel Barbie, complete with a crown. Standing on the right without her wings, and wearing Juliet's dress from the Barbie Romeo and Juliet set, don't you think Barbie makes a fine Isabella? And who's the redheaded Midge on the left wearing Holiday Angel's spiffy, medieval-looking dress? Why, Eleanor de Clare, of course! In The Traitor's Wife, she's a redhead with freckles (too bad you can't see Midge's freckles--they're there!), and Isabella is a blonde, so here they are, in the Barbie flesh!