Real War of Roses and Thrones

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Five days ago I informed Virginia Hambley I found a Holy Grail that belonged to the Queen of Galitia, and, her ancestor is the subject of a Grail Romance ‘Pontus of Galicia’. Pontus and his three companions are dressed as the four Lions found in cote of arms. There are illustrations of authors presenting these French Romances. I told Virgnia about the Game of Thrones.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2015

If you appreciate human decency, sexual modesty or a general sense of fair play, then Game of Thrones might sound like something out of your worst nightmares.

Millions would disagree. Game of Thrones is HBO’s most popular TV series of all time, being shown in 170 countries and illegally downloaded more times than any other programme on the planet.

Even David Cameron is a fan, claiming to watch it “on the box set”. A series about the machinations of warring nobility in their quest for power, watched by our leading politicians? Reason enough to give it a spin, surely.

The fifth series of the medieval-esque fantasy epic, based on the best-selling books by George R R Martin, begins in America today (April 12) and in the UK on Sky Atlantic one day later.

The de Bourmonts are Anjou Legitimists who are in contention with the Orléanists for throne of France when, and if, the French Monarchy returns. If this happens, then all the de Bourmonts, even in America, will be line for the French Throne. The question is, are Clark and Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren being watched, looked after?

This is the real Game of Thrones, and the real ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. Is Virginia saying;

“Viva la France”?

The Landry family were Major Domos to the Frankish Kings. They served them as Mayors of the Palace. The Comte de Bourmont and his ancestors served the Kings of France and did everything to restore the House of Bourbon to the throne. A Landry married a Merovingian Princess.

Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry : compiled for the instruction of his daughters : translated from the original French into English in the reign of Henry VI
Geoffroy de La Tour-Landry

This Geoffroy de la Tour had two sons, our Geoffroy, who was the eldest, and another named Arquade, who is supposed to have been much younger than his brother. The latter, our Geoffroy de la Tour-Landry, appears from his own account to have been present at the seige of Aguillon in 1346. His name again appears in a military muster in 1363. We know that he married Jeanne de Rougé, younger daughter of Bonabes de Rougé, lord of Erval, vicomte of La Guerche, and chamberlain to the king,

The family appears now to have been at its greatest height of prosperity and glory. Pontus de la Tour-Landry is cited as knight, lord of La Tour-Landry, of Bourmont, and of Loroux-Bottereau, and baron of Bouloir in the Vendômois; he appears in a record of the year 1424 as giving to the prior and convent of St. Jean of Anvers the tithe of grain in his estate of Cornouaille, and he seems to have held other considerable territories in Brittany and elsewhere. He was not unfrequently employed in public affairs, and was present at the battle of Formigrey in 1450. It is only necessary on the present occasion to say that Pontus had a daughter and a son, and that the latter, who was named Louis, had four sons, none of whom left issue; so that with them the male line of La Tour-Landry became extinct.

All the older great feudal families prided themselves on tracing their descent to the chieftains of the fabulous ages of society; and usually each of them had his family romance, which told the story of the primeval heroes of his house, and which was no doubt frequently read by his clerk or chaunted by his minstrel for the edification of his family and his guests. These formed what were called the Chansons or Romans de Geste, which were so numerous in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the period when feudalism had reached its greatest development.

Marie-Hélène de Maillé de La Tour-Landry
Titres: dame de Bourmont et de la Cornuaille, comtesse de Ghaisne

Née en 1670
Décédée le 22 février 1752 – château de Bourmont, Freigné, Anjou, France , à l’âge de 82 ans
Inhumée en 1752 – en l’église de Freigné, Maine-et-Loire
Charles , marquis de Maillé de La Tour-Landry 1636-1701
Marie-Madeleine de Broc , marquise de Jalesnes 1629-1713
Union(s) et enfant(s)
Mariée le 19 novembre 1697 , Vernantes, avec Marie-Henry , comte de Ghaisne 1662-1710 (Parents : Pierre IV de Ghaisne , seigneur du Gesnetay 1629-1674 & Perrine du Rocher †1688 )  (témoins : Charles , marquis de Maillé de La Tour-Landry 1636-1701 , Marie-Madeleine de Broc , marquise de Jalesnes 1629-1713 , Georges de Maillé , marquis de La Tour-Landry 1665- , Marie-Anne Frézeau de La Frézellière , Charles de Maillé de La Tour-Landry , capitaine de Vaisseaux du Roi ) dont
Louis I de Ghaisne de Bourmont 1699-1701
Louis II de Ghaisne de Bourmont , comte de Ghaisne 1705-1782 marié en 1736 avec Marie de Valory , comtesse de Bourmont 1714-1766
Frères et sœurs
Georges de Maillé , marquis de La Tour-Landry 1665-
André de Maillé de La Tour-Landry
Charles de Maillé de La Tour-Landry , capitaine de Vaisseaux du Roi
Suzanne de Maillé de La Tour-Landry
Michel de Maillé de La Tour-Landry , chevalier de Malte 1674-
Michelle de Maillé de La Tour-Landry;p=marie+helene;n=de+maille+de+la+tour+landry

Pontus and his train disguised as wild men at the wedding of Sidonia and Genelet, illustration in a manuscript commissioned for Margarethe of Savoy in ca. 1475

Pontus and Sidonia is a medieval prose roman, originally composed in French in ca. 1400, known as Ponthus et la belle Sidonie, possibly by Geoffroy IV de la Tour Landry (d. 1391) or by another member of the La Tour family. It is about Pontus, the son of the king of Galicia, who falls in love with Sidonia, daughter of the king of Brittany. The text is associated with lords of La Tour because it derives the ancestors of that family, whose ancestral possessions were in Brittany, from members of the train of prince Pontus. The story is based on an earlier work, the Anglo-Norman chanson de geste Horn et Rimenhild (ca. 1180).

Several German translations were made during the 15th century (viz., in the period corresponding to the final phase of Middle High German or the formative phase of Early New High German). There is a surviving version in Alemannic German, possibly written in the Old Swiss Confederacy, dated to between 1440 and 1460, and another version in Franconian German, probably written in the region of Trier. Another translation of the French text was made by Eleanor, Archduchess of Austria (1433–1480).

A late medieval Dutch translation Die historie van Ponthus ende die schoone Sidonie survived in an edition printed by Niclaes vanden Wouwere, Antwerp 1564.

As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest, yet it is “the emphasis on heterosexual love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates.”[1] Popular literature also drew on themes of romance, but with ironic, satiric or burlesque intent. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history to suit the readers’ and hearers’ tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion, and Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in his novel Don Quixote. Still, the modern image of “medieval” is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, and the word medieval evokes knights, distressed damsels, dragons, and other romantic tropes.[2]

The establishment of the Bourbons (18th century)[edit]

In 1700, Charles II of Habsburg died without heir, what caused a war broke out between those who supported the French Philip V of Bourbon as the successor (mainly the crown of Castile and France) and those who supported the Austrian Archduke Charles VI of Habsburg (the Crown of Aragon, England and Holland among others). In fact the struggle between these two suitors was also basically a struggle between two political conceptions: in one hand the absolutist centralism French -represented by Philip V and the Bourbon monarchy- and in other hand the of federalism of Charles VI of Habsburg. In this long war (1701–1714) between the crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon, the kingdom of Galicia could not avail itself of an own policy due to be controlled strongly since 1486 by Castile, so that troops and positions in Galicia had to serve to the suitor supported by the Castilian Crown; Philip V of Bourbon, who in 1714 that eventually won this war.

An English armorial named Segar’s Roll, produced in 1282, was the first Armorial which assigned the chalice as the Coat of Arms for the King and Kingdom of Galicia (Roy de Galice), probably coming directly from the Anglo-Norman word for Galicia, Galyce, which was very close to the word Calice (chalice). Following that time, different European armorials began to use the chalice as the emblem of the Kingdom of Galicia.[222] In the mid-15th century, this symbol came to Galicia, where it was easily and readily accepted, as the Holy Grail was already a symbol widely spread over Europe and already present in Galician history and deepest beliefs.

Thereafter, the purple lion of the former Galician-Leonese monarchy lost its representative character in favor of the better known canting arms, being then adopted exclusively by the Kingdom of León, whilst in Galicia the chalice would develop into the modern coat-of-arms of Galicia.

The war between the Starks and the Lannisters also bears stark similarities to the Wars of the Roses between the English houses of Lancaster and York between 1455 and 1487.

Like the Starks, the House of York were northerners, like the Lannisters the House of Lancaster were southerners and extremely wealthy.

But the parallels don’t end there, some of the Lords and Ladies of Westeros bear a striking resemblance to historical figures as well.

In his younger days, Robert Baratheon was a fearsome warrior, tough enough to lead a rebellion, overthrow thousands of years of Targeryen rule and establish a new rule with himself as King.

Not unlike a young Edward IV who brought the Yorkist line to the throne in 1461, but later descended into drunkenness and lewd behaviour, much like Robert, his fictional counterpart.

Edward, like Robert, also changed his will on his deathbed, naming a regent as his successor and causing a succession crisis.

Edward died after an accident while fishing, while Robert died after being skewered by a boar.

The lusty Robert, a fan of both wine and hunting, also bear more than a few similarities with Henry VIII, who was also a fierce warrior who later developed a penchant for a feast or two.

Margaret of Anjou (French: Marguerite; 23 March 1430 – 25 August 1482) was the wife of King Henry VI of England. As such, she was Queen of England from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. Born in the Duchy of Lorraine, into the House of Valois-Anjou, Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René I of Naples and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine.

She was one of the principal figures in the series of dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses and at times personally led the Lancastrian faction. Due to her husband’s frequent bouts of insanity, Margaret ruled the kingdom in his place. It was she who called for a Great Council in May 1455 that excluded the Yorkist faction headed by Richard, Duke of York, and thus provided the spark that ignited a civil conflict that lasted for over thirty years, decimated the old nobility of England, and caused the deaths of thousands of men, including her only son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471.

Margaret was taken prisoner by the victorious Yorkists after the Lancastrian defeat at Tewkesbury. In 1475, she was ransomed by her cousin, King Louis XI of France. She went to live in France as a poor relation of the French king, and she died there at the age of 52.

Early life and marriage[edit]

Margaret was born on 23 March 1430[1] at Pont-à-Mousson in the Duchy of Lorraine, an imperial fief east of France ruled by a cadet branch of the French kings, the House of Valois-Anjou. Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René of Anjou and of Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine. She had five brothers and four sisters, as well as three half-siblings from her father’s relationships with mistresses.[2] Her father, popularly known as “Good King René” was Duke of Anjou and titular King of Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem; he has been described as “a man of many crowns but no kingdoms”. Margaret was baptised at Toul in Lorraine and, in the care of her father’s old nurse Theophanie la Magine, she spent her early years at the castle of Tarascon on the River Rhône in southern France and in the old royal palace at Capua, near Naples in the Kingdom of Sicily. Her mother took care of her education and may have arranged for her to have lessons with the scholar Antoine de la Sale, who taught her brothers. In childhood Margaret was known as la petite creature.

The marriage of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou is depicted in this miniature from Vigiles de Charles VII

On 23 April 1445, Margaret married King Henry VI of England, who was eight years her senior, at Titchfield in Hampshire. Henry at the time also claimed the Kingdom of France and controlled various parts of northern France. Henry’s uncle King Charles VII of France, who also claimed the crown of France, agreed to the marriage of Margaret to his rival on the condition that he would not have to provide the customary dowry and instead would receive the lands of Maine and Anjou from the English. The English government, fearing a highly negative reaction, kept this provision secret from the English public.
Margaret was crowned Queen consort of England on 30 May 1445 at Westminster Abbey by John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury[2] at the age of fifteen. She was described as beautiful, and furthermore “already a woman: passionate and proud and strong-willed”.[3] Those that anticipated the future return of English claims to French territory believed that she already understood her duty to protect the interests of the Crown fervently.[4] She seems to have inherited this indomitability from her mother, who fought to establish her husband’s claim to the Kingdom of Naples, and from her paternal grandmother Yolande of Aragon, who actually governed Anjou “with a man’s hand”, putting the province in order and keeping out the English.[3] Thus by family example and her own forceful personality, she was fully capable of becoming the “champion of the Crown”.[3]

Birth of a son[edit]

Henry, who was more interested in religion and learning than in military matters, was not a successful king. He had reigned since he was only a few months old and his actions had been controlled by regents. When he married Margaret, his mental condition was already unstable and by the birth of their only son, Edward of Westminster (born 13 October 1453) he had suffered a complete breakdown. Rumours were rife that he was incapable of begetting a child and that the new Prince of Wales was the result of an adulterous liaison. Many have speculated that either Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, or James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire, both staunch allies of Margaret, was the young prince’s actual father.

Although Margaret was aggressively partisan and had a volatile temperament,[3] she shared her husband’s love of learning by dint of her cultured upbringing and gave her patronage to the founding of Queens’ College at Cambridge University.

Elizabeth Woodville (born ca 1437), later Queen of England as future wife of her husband’s rival King Edward IV, allegedly served Margaret of Anjou as a Maid of Honour. However, the evidence is too scanty to permit historians to establish this with absolute certainty: several women at Margaret’s court bore the name Elizabeth or Isabella Grey.[5] Elizabeth Woodville married her first husband, Sir John Grey of Groby, in about 1452.

Beginnings of the dynastic civil wars[edit]

Enmity between Margaret and the Duke of York[edit]

Margaret of Anjou’s arms as Queen consort of England.[6]

After retiring from London to live in lavish state at Greenwich, Margaret was occupied with the care of her young son and did not display any signs of overt belligerence until she believed her husband was threatened with deposition by the ambitious Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York,[7] who, to her consternation, had been appointed regent while Henry was mentally incapacitated from 1453 to 1454. The duke was a credible claimant to the English throne and by the end of his regency there were many powerful nobles and relatives prepared to back his claim. The Duke of York was powerful; Henry’s advisers corrupt; Henry himself trusting, pliable, and increasingly unstable; Margaret defiantly unpopular, grimly and gallantly determined to maintain the English crown for her progeny. Yet at least one scholar identifies the source of the eventual Lancastrian downfall not as York’s ambitions nearly so much as Margaret’s ill-judged enmity toward York and her over-indulgence in unpopular allies.[8] Nevertheless, Queen Margaret was a powerful force in the world of politics. King Henry was putty in her hands when she wanted something done.[9]

Margaret’s biographer Helen Maurer, however, disagrees with earlier historians having dated the much-vaunted enmity between the Queen and York to the time he obtained the office of the regency. She suggests the mutual antagonism came about two years later in 1455 in the wake of the First Battle of St. Albans, when Margaret perceived him as a challenge to the king’s authority. Maurer bases this conclusion on a judicious study of Margaret’s pattern of presenting gifts; this revealed that Margaret took a great deal of care to demonstrate that she favoured both York and Somerset equally in the early 1450s. Maurer also claims that Margaret appeared to accept York’s regency and asserts there is no substantial evidence to back up the long-standing belief that she was responsible for the Yorkists’ exclusion from the Great Council following Henry’s recovery (see below).[10]

The late historian Paul Murray Kendall, on the other hand, maintained that Margaret’s allies Somerset and William de la Pole, then Earl of Suffolk, had no difficulty in persuading her that York, until then one of Henry VI’s most trusted advisers, was responsible for her unpopularity and already too powerful to be trusted. Margaret not only convinced Henry to recall York from his post as governor in France and banish him instead to Ireland, she repeatedly attempted to have him assassinated during his travels to and from Ireland, once in 1449 and again in 1450.[11] Somerset and Suffolk’s joint responsibility for the secret surrender of Maine in 1448, and then the subsequent disastrous loss of the rest of Normandy in 1449 embroiled Margaret and Henry’s court in riots, uprisings by the magnates, and calls for the impeachment and execution of Margaret’s two strongest allies. It also might have made an ultimate battle to the death between Margaret and the House of York inevitable by making manifest Richard’s dangerous popularity with the Commons. Richard of York, safely returned from Ireland in 1450, confronted Henry and was readmitted as a trusted advisor. Soon thereafter, Henry agreed to convene Parliament to address the calls for reform. When Parliament met, the demands could not have been less acceptable to Margaret: not only were both Somerset and Suffolk impeached for criminal mismanagement of French affairs and subverting justice, but it was charged as a crime against Suffolk (now a duke) that he had antagonised the king against the Duke of York. Further, the demands for reform put forward included that the Duke of York be acknowledged as the first councillor to the king, and the Speaker of Commons, perhaps with more fervour than wisdom, even proposed Richard, Duke of York, be recognised as heir to the throne.[12] Within a few months, however, Margaret had regained control of Henry, Parliament was dissolved, the incautious Speaker thrown in prison, and Richard of York retired to Wales for the time being.[13]

In 1457, the kingdom was again outraged when it was discovered that Pierre de Brézé, a powerful French general and an adherent of Margaret, had landed on the English coast and burnt the town of Sandwich. As leader of a French force of 4,000 men from Honfleur, he aimed at taking advantage of the chaos in England. The mayor, John Drury, was killed in this raid. It thereafter became an established tradition, which survives to this day, that the Mayor of Sandwich wears a black robe mourning this ignoble deed. Margaret, in association with de Brézé, became the object of scurrilous rumours and vulgar ballads. Public indignation was so high that Margaret, with great reluctance, was forced to give the Duke of York’s kinsman Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, a commission to keep the sea for three years. He already held the post of Captain of Calais.[14]

Leader of Lancastrian faction[edit]

Hostilities between the rival Yorkist and Lancastrian factions soon flared into armed conflict. In May 1455, just over five months after Henry VI recovered from a bout of mental illness and Richard of York’s regency had ended, Margaret called for a Great Council from which the Yorkists were excluded. The Council called for an assemblage of the peers at Leicester to protect the king “against his enemies”. York apparently was prepared for conflict and soon was marching south to meet the Lancastrian army marching north. The Lancastrians suffered a crushing defeat at the First Battle of St Albans on 22 May 1455. Somerset was killed, Wiltshire fled the battlefield and King Henry was taken prisoner by the victorious Duke of York.

In 1459, hostilities resumed at the Battle of Blore Heath, where James Touchet, Lord Audley, was defeated by a Yorkist army under Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury.

The Wars of the Roses[edit]

Military campaigns[edit]

Portrait medallion of Margaret of Anjou, by Piero da Milano, 1463

While she was attempting to raise further support for the Lancastrian cause in Scotland,[15] her principal commander, Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset,[16] gained a major victory for her at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460 by defeating the combined armies of the Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury. Both men were beheaded and their heads displayed on the gates of the city of York. As Margaret was in Scotland at the time the battle had taken place, it was impossible that she issued the orders for their executions despite popular belief to the contrary.[17] She followed up with a victory at the Second Battle of St Albans (at which she was present) on 17 February 1461.[18] In this battle, she defeated the Yorkist forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, and recaptured her husband. It was after this battle that she, in a blatant act of vengeance, ordered the execution of two Yorkist prisoners-of-war, William Bonville, 1st Baron Bonville, and Sir Thomas Kyriel, who had kept watch over King Henry to keep him out of harm’s way during the battle. The king had promised the two knights immunity, but Margaret gainsaid him and ordered their executions by decapitation. It is alleged that she put the men on trial at which presided her son. “Fair son”, she allegedly asked, “what death shall these knights die?” Prince Edward replied that their heads should be cut off, despite the king’s pleas for mercy.[18]

The Lancastrian army was beaten at the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461 by the son of the late Duke of York, Edward IV of England, who deposed King Henry and proclaimed himself king. Margaret was determined to win back her son’s inheritance and fled with him into Wales and later Scotland. Finding her way to France, she made an ally of her cousin, King Louis XI of France, and at his instigation she allowed an approach from Edward’s former supporter, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who had fallen out with his former friend as a result of Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and was now seeking revenge for the loss of his political influence. Warwick’s daughter, Anne Neville, was married to Margaret’s son Edward, Prince of Wales, in order to cement the alliance, and Margaret insisted that Warwick return to England to prove himself before she followed. He did so, restoring Henry VI briefly to the throne on 3 October 1470.

Defeat at Tewkesbury[edit]

By the time Margaret, her son and daughter-in-law were ready to follow Warwick back to England, the tables had again turned in favour of the Yorkists, and the Earl was defeated and killed by the returning King Edward IV in the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471. Margaret was forced to lead her own army at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471, at which the Lancastrian forces were defeated and her seventeen-year old son was killed. The circumstances of Edward’s death have never been made clear; it is not known whether he was killed in the actual fighting or executed after the battle by the Duke of Clarence. If he died in battle, he would have been the only Prince of Wales ever to do so. Over the previous ten years, Margaret had gained a reputation for aggression and ruthlessness, but following her defeat at Tewkesbury and the death of her only son, she was completely broken in spirit. After she was taken captive by William Stanley at the end of the battle, Margaret was imprisoned by the order of King Edward. She was sent first to Wallingford Castle and then was transferred to the more secure Tower of London. Henry VI was also imprisoned in the Tower in the wake of Tewkesbury and he died there on the night of 21 May; the cause of his death was unknown. In 1472 she was placed in the custody of her former lady-in-waiting Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk, where she remained until ransomed by Louis XI in 1475.[19]


Margaret lived in France for the next seven years as a poor relation of the king. She died in Anjou on 25 August 1482 at the age of 52. She was entombed next to her parents in Angers Cathedral, but her remains were removed and scattered by revolutionaries who ransacked the cathedral during the French Revolution.

Margaret’s letters[edit]

There are many letters extant written by Margaret during her tenure as queen consort. One was written to the Corporation of London regarding injuries done to her tenants at the manor of Enfield, which comprised part of her dower lands.[20] There is another letter which she wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury.[21][22] The letters are compiled in a book edited by Cecil Monro, which was published for the Camden Society in 1863.[23] Margaret typically headed her letters with the words “By the Quene”.[24]

Margaret is a major character in William Shakespeare‘s 1st Tetrology of History plays. Henry VI, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Richard III. Shakespeare portrays Margaret as an intelligent, ruthless woman who easily dominates her husband and fiercely vies for power with her enemies. In Henry VI, Part 2 Margaret has an affair with the Duke of Suffolk and mourns his death by carrying around his severed head. In Henry VI, Part 3 she personally stabs the Duke of York on the battlefield (after humiliatingly taunting him) and becomes suicidal when her son Edward is killed in front of her. Despite the fact that Margaret spent the rest of her life outside of England after the death of her husband and son, Shakespeare has her return to the court in Richard III. Margaret serves as a Cassandra-like prophetess; in her first appearance she dramatically curses the majority of the nobles for their roles in the downfall of the House of Lancaster. All of her curses come to pass as the noblemen are betrayed and executed by Richard of Gloucester, and each character reflects on her curse before his execution.

Margaret is the title character of Giacomo Meyerbeer‘s 1820 opera Margherita d’Anjou and has an important role in Bulwer-Lytton’s The Last of the Barons (1843). She is also the subject of Betty King’s 1974 biographical novel Margaret of Anjou, Alan Savage‘s 1994 novel Queen of Lions, Anne Powers‘ historical romance The Royal Consorts, and Susan Higginbotham‘s 2011 novel The Queen of Last Hopes. Sharon Kay Penman‘s novel The Sunne in Splendour features her as an important character in the early parts of the book, up until the Battle of Tewkesbury. Jean Plaidy‘s The Red Rose of Anjou also features her.

She also is the subject of a fictional biography, The Royal Tigress by a fictional character, David Powlett-Jones who is the main subject of To Serve Them All My Days, R.F. Delderfield‘s novel of a Welsh schoolmaster at a Devon public school from World War I to the “Battle of Britain” in the 40s. Delderfield, in the person of Powlett-Jones, appears to have a very good grasp of Margaret’s life and the Wars of the Roses, and the content and development of the book give us an entertaining sub-plot to the book’s main narrative.

Margaret is also a major character in Sharon Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour, and The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, narrated by Jacquetta of Luxembourg. In the television series The White Queen (2013), based on Gregory’s The Cousins’ War novels, Margaret of Anjou is portrayed by Veerle Baetens.

It has been suggested that Cersei Lannister, a major character in George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series, is modeled on Margaret.[citation needed]

Margaret of Anjou is one of the main characters in the two books released in Conn Igguldens trilogy on the wars of the roses.

The Talbot Shrewsbury Book (London, British Library Royal 15 E vi) is a very large richly-illuminated manuscript made in Rouen (Normandy) in 1444/5. It was presented by John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (d. 1453) to the French princess, Margaret of Anjou (b. 1430, d. 1482), in honour of her betrothal to King Henry VI (r. 1422-1461). It contains a unique collection of fifteen texts in French, including chansons de geste, chivalric romances, treatises on warfare and chivalry and finally the Statues of the Order of the Garter. The work is an excellent example of book production in Rouen in the mid-fifteenth century and provides a rare insight into the political views of the English military leader and close confident of the crown, John Talbot.


Following the two-page frontispiece and dedication, tales of heroes and heroines of the past, both real and imaginary, in the form of chansons de geste (troubadour’s songs) and chivalric romances fill two-thirds of the volume. The final third contains more didactic material: chronicles, instructional manuals and statutes. Each text, preceded by a large image, begins on a new folio in a separate gathering. All were bound together in a single volume, with a list of contents on the verso of the first folio.

Two of the greatest heroes of the past, Alexander the Great and Charlemagne are the subject of the first six texts in the collection:

The Roman d’Alexandre en prose (ff. 5-24v) is a thirteenth-century French version[1] of the Historia de Preliis (a Latin translation of the original Greek legend of Alexander, falsely attributed to Callisthenes).[2] Alexander the Great is portrayed as the ultimate hero who conquers the known world, battles flying dragons, meets Amazonian women and horned men, and is lowered into the sea in a cask. Included here are tales of his childhood and legendary education by Aristotle, the murder of his mother, Olympias, and details of his successors. Eighty-one colourful miniatures illustrate Alexander’s adventures.


Charlemagne and four kings – British Library Royal MS 15 E vi f25r (detail)

The following five tales are set in the time of Charlemagne, the great military hero and Holy Roman emperor, whose reign provides the background to a huge epic cycle involving a plethora of subsidiary characters. The first four texts are in the form of chansons de geste and the fifth is a prose romance.

Simon de Pouille[3] relates the events in the war between Charlemagne and Christian Jerusalem on the one side and Jonas of Babylon, on the other. Simon, one of the emperor’s companions, is sent as an envoy to the Saracen leader, a task fraught with difficulties. Two other manuscripts of this work are in the Bibliothèque nationale de France: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, nouvelles acquisitions françaises, 4780 and Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, français, 368, ff. 140r-160v.

Aspremont[4] tells of Charlemagne’s campaigns in Italy. Aspremont is one of the peaks in the southern Apennines though which the army advances on the way to Rome..

Fierebras[5] is the tale of Charlemagne’s battles with the Saracens and of the encounter between his army and Fierebras of Alexander, in which the Crown of Thorns and other relics are recaptured for the Christians.

Ogier le Danois[6] links the tales of Charlemagne with Arthurian legends, as common characters and places are introduced. Ogier, the Danish hero and enemy of Charlemagne, marries an English princess and becomes King of England, bearing a son by Morgan le Fee while he is shipwrecked on Avalon.

Quatre fils Aimon or Le livre de Renault de Montauban[7][8] tells the story of four brothers who flee from persecution by Charlemagne, going on a crusade on Bayard, the magic horse. Renault eventually becomes a stonemason at the cathedral in Cologne and after his death his body develops miraculous properties.

Other romances[edit]

Two prose romances of Anglo-Norman origin and a chanson follow:

Pontus et Sidoine,[9] adapted from the French version of the Anglo-Norman romance, King Horn, tells the story of the son of the King of Galicia and the daughter of the King of Brittany and their love for one another. A tale of chivalry as well as a moral treatise, it glorifies peace as a worthy aim for all, even knights and soldiers.

Boat and bed – British Library Royal MS 15 E vi f273r (detail)

Le Romant de Guy de Warwik (Guy of Warwick) et d’Heraud d’Ardenne,[10] was one of the most popular romances in medieval England, judging from the number of copies that survive in both French and Middle English, mostly in verse. There are, however, only two known copies in French prose, of which this is one.Guy is an English knight who falls in love with a lady of high standing and must prove himself worthy to win her hand. He is taught chivalry by his foster-father, Heraud, and embarks on a series of successful adventures, but later comes to regret his violent past and goes on a crusade, then retires to a hermitage.

The last romance in the collection is a chanson called Lystoire du chevalier au Cygne,[11] an abridged version of part of the vast Crusade cycle. The tale of the seven children turned to swans and of Hélias, the swan knight, was linked to the legendary origins of Godefroi de Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096), who became the first ruler of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Didactic texts[edit]

The remainder of the manuscript (from folio 293 onwards) contains texts which are more didactic in nature, perhaps intended for the instruction of Margaret of Anjou or of her future sons and heirs. There are three works on chivalry and warfare, an instructional manual for kings and princes, a chronicle and statutes.

Larbre des batailles is a treatise on war and the laws of battle, written for a wide audience in the style of a scholastic dialogue; a question is posed, both sides are debated and a conclusion follows.

Le gouvernement des roys et des princes is translated from Gilles de Rome’s De regimine principium, the ‘Mirror of Princes’,[12] an influential text which interpreted (sometimes loosely) and promoted Aristotle’s political and moral philosophy to a medieval audience. It combined practical advice with philosophical guidance for rulers. A further copy of this text is found in Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Arsenal, 2690.

Henry VI enthroned – British Library Royal MS 15 E vi f405r (detail)

Chroniques de Normandie is a history of the region from the 8th century to 1217. It begins in the time of the legendary Aubert and his son Robert le Diable, during the reign of Pepin, father of Charlemagne, the early part up to 1189 being a prose version of Wace’s Roman de Rou. The sources of the continuation from 1189 onwards have not been established beyond doubt, though there are parallels with other chronicles of the period such as Ralph of Coggeshall and Matthew Paris. Other copies of the text are in British Library, Additional MS 20811, British Library, Cotton. Vitellius F. xvi (partly burnt, extends to 1199 only), British Library, Royal MS 19 B. xiv, Bibliothèque Saint-Génève, MS 805, and Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Français 5388.[13]

Breviaire des Nobles is a poem on the values of chivalry by Alain Chartier, beginning ‘Je Noblesce, dame de bon vouloir…’.

Le livre des fais darmes et de chevalerie is a work on military strategy and the conduct of war, compiled by its author, Christine de Pizan in 1410, from a variety of sources, both ancient and contemporary, for the instruction of young knights. Although as a woman she had no direct experience of fighting, she succeeds here in producing an authoritative work on the subject, worthy to be translated and printed by Caxton in 1489. It also survives in over 15 manuscripts.

The Statutes of the Order of the Garter (here written in French) are the rules for the government and organisation of the chivalric order founded by Edward III in the late 1340s. The original statutes do not survive and this version is slightly different from the four early texts which were printed by Ashmole in his comprehensive work on the subject in the 17th century.[14] Included are rules pertaining to foreign travel by members of the Order, to uniforms and to the guardianship of the order in the king’s absence.

Genealogical table – British Library Royal MS 15 E vi f3r (detail)



The Shrewsbury Book is perhaps best known for the two images that serve as a frontispiece to the volume. On back of the second page (f. 2v) is a scene of the manuscript being presented to Margaret of Anjou by John Talbot, who kneels before her, wearing a sumptuous garter robe trimmed with gold, accompanied by the white Talbot dog.[15] The picture gives an idea of the size of the book and how it must have looked in its original binding (it is now in a modern leather binding). Margaret is shown enthroned with Henry, and crowned as the Queen of England. The dedication poem beneath begins ‘Princesse tres excellente / ce livre cy vous presente / De schrosbery le conte’; the royal arms of England and Anjou are included in the borders of this and many of the full-page images which precede the texts as are daisies (marguerites) referring to her name. The colourful diagram on the facing page (f. 3r, below) lays out Henry VI’s genealogical claim to the throne of France through his descent from Louis IX (Saint Louis, r. 1226-1270) through both the maternal and paternal lines. It is in the form of a fleur-de-lys, with portraits of kings in medallions, supported by Humfrey, duke of Gloucester with his arms and the arms of Anjou, encircled by the Garter and Richard, duke of York with his arms and an initial ‘M’, encircled by the Garter. On the right are the English kings including Edward II (1307-1327), with his wife Isabella of France, daughter of Charles IV of France (1322-1328) down to Henry V (1413-1422), father of Henry VI. On the left are the French Valois kings with Charles de Valois, son of Philip IV (Philip le Bel) at the top, down to Charles VI (1380-1422), and below him, his daughter, Catherine of Valois, wife of Henry V and mother of Henry VI. Charles VII (1422-1461), son of Charles V, is omitted from the line, (he was in fact crowned in Reims in 1429, aided by Joan of Arc in the struggle for his throne). The two lines are united in the person of Henry VI in the lower center, with two angels holding crowns above his head. The arms of France and of George, also encircled by the Garter on either side of Louis and his son, Philip the Bold (1270-1285), and on the right is a banner bearing the royal arms of England impaled with the arms of Anjou, wrapped with a scroll inscribed with a motto ‘Dieu est mon droit’, and supported by the royal device of an antelope with a crown and chain. These and most of the other images in the manuscript are attributed the workshop of the Talbot Master,[16][17] an artist active in Rouen, named after this manuscript and the John Talbot Book of Hours, (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 40.1950).

Resting her head on the pregnant belly of her beloved mother, Ophelia quiets the child with a story. She tells of a beautiful rose placed at the peak of a hill. Whoever plucks the rose would receive eternal life and happiness. However, the thorns that guarded the hill carried a deadly poison. All the people of the kingdom didn’t dare try for the rose, afraid of the thorns, and eventually forgot about the promise of immortality and spoke only of their fears of death and pain.

This sets the tone for major theme of Pan’s Labyrinth, contrasting Ophelia’s hope and efforts for immortality against the death-fear of the world, particularly Captain Vidal

The family of La Tour-Landry and, later, the Maillé de La Tour-Landry, held the lands of Bourmont from the 14th century. Through an alliance in 1691 between Marie-Hélène de Maillé de La Tour-Landry (1670-1752) and Marie-Henry, Count of Ghaisne (1662-1710), it passed to the family of Ghaisne de Bourmont, who still own it.

In 1771, the Château de Bourmont was the birthplace of Louis-Auguste-Victor, Count de Ghaisnes de Bourmont, architect of the French conquest of Algeria in 1830. The conquest led to him being appointed Maréchal de France (Marshal of France).

In 1795, during the Chouannerie, vicomte de Scépaux established his headquarters there.,_Count_de_Ghaisnes_de_Bourmont

After the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon’s fall, Bourmont gave evidence that led to Ney’s execution. After the Second Restoration, he was given command of the 16th infantry division in Besançon and took part in the Spanish campaign of 1823. King Charles X of France made him minister of war in 1829 and Marshal of France in 1830. He was commanding the Invasion of Algiers in 1830 when the July Revolution broke out in 1830. Bourmont refused give his allegiance to the new King Louis Philippe and was dismissed from service.

In 1832 Marshal Bourmont took part in the rising of Caroline Ferdinande Louise, duchesse de Berry and on its failure fled to Portugal. He commanded the army of the absolutist monarch King Miguel during the Liberal Wars and after the victory of the constitutional party he retired to Rome. At the amnesty of 1840 he returned to France, where he died on 27 October 1846 at Freigné in Maine-et-Loire.

The first –so far- love history at facsimilium. It’s all about Prince Pontus, son of the king of Galicia, who falls in love with Sidonia, daughter of the king of Britanny. This is the german edition of a classic 12th Century original French text named “Ponthus et la belle Sidonie” based on Anglo-Norman chanson de geste “Horn et Rimenhild”.

The most impressing thing about this codex are its illustrations, to be a love story some of them are really cruel, with detailed illustrations about battles against Iberia moorish sultan because Pontus -the Prince-, to gain Sidonia’s heart, has to re-conquer his homeland Galicia occupied by moors. The historical context of this love story, is then located after 8th Century when most of Spanish peninsula came under Islamic rule and 10th Century, when all territories of Galicia where liberated by Alfonso and became part of the Kingdom of Asturias.

Illustrations depict jousts between two or more knights, again with high detail and cruelty, where winner knight proudly ports his enemy head, royal audiences, battles and jousts scenes, medieval parties or feasts, etc.

Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry

The arts

The King of Sicily’s fame as an amateur painter[1] formerly led to the optimistic attribution to him of many paintings in Anjou and Provence, in many cases simply because they bore his arms. These works are generally in the Early Netherlandish style, and were probably executed under his patronage and direction, so that he may be said to have formed a school of the fine arts in sculpture, painting, goldsmith’s work and tapestry. He employed Barthélemy d’Eyck as both painter and varlet de chambre for most of his career.

Two of the most famous works formerly attributed to René are the triptych of the Burning Bush of Nicolas Froment of Avignon, in the cathedral of Aix, showing portraits of René and his second wife, Jeanne de Laval, and an illuminated Book of Hours in the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris. Among the men of letters attached to his court was Antoine de la Sale, whom he made tutor to his son, the Duke of Calabria. He encouraged the performance of mystery plays; on the performance of a mystery of the Passion at Saumur in 1462 he remitted four years of taxes to the town, and the representations of the Passion at Angers were carried out under his auspices.

He exchanged verses with his kinsman, the poet Charles of Orléans. René was also the author of two allegorical works: a devotional dialogue, Le Mortifiement de vaine plaisance (The Mortification of Vain Pleasure, 1455), and a love quest, Le Livre du Cuer d’amours espris (The Book of the Love-Smitten Heart, 1457). The latter fuses the conventions of Arthurian romance with an allegory of love based on the Romance of the Rose. Both works were exquisitely illustrated by his court painter, Barthélémy d’Eyck. Le Mortifiement survives in eight illuminated manuscripts. Although Barthélémy’s original is lost, the extant manuscripts include copies of his miniatures by Jean le Tavernier, Jean Colombe, and others. René is sometimes credited with the pastoral poem Regnault and Jeanneton, but this was more likely a gift to the king honoring his marriage to Jeanne de Laval.
Le Livre des tournois (“tournament book”; Traicte de la Forme de Devis d’un Tournoi) ca. 1460 describes rules of a tournament. The most famous, and earliest, of the many manuscript copies is kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (MS Fr 2695). This is, unusually for a de luxe manuscript, on paper, and painted in watercolour. It may represent drawings by Barthélemy d’Eyck, intended as preparatory only, which were later illuminated by him or another artist. There are twenty-six full and double page miniatures.

The description given in the book is different from that of the pas d’armes held at Razilly and Saumur; conspicuously absent are the allegorical and chivalresque ornamentations that were in vogue at the time. René instead emphasizes he is reporting on ancient tournament customs of France, Germany and the Low Countries, combining them in a new suggestion on how to hold a tournament. The tournament described is a melee fought by two sides. Individual jousts are only briefly mentioned.

You commented on Gretchen Nelly‘s post.


Islam has failed to challenge or dispose of Abu Bakr, or condemn him. John brought the Atonement – to the wholle world. In the name of John God/Allah speaks, and gives His message…….Repent!

You commented on Gretchen Nelly‘s post.


John was not a Christian, nor was he born to point to Jesus as ‘The One’. His disciles of ‘The Way’ were found outside Judea long after Jesus was dead.

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'Who do those RINJ people think they are:'

You commented on Gretchen Nelly‘s post.


I will found the true Caliphate around John the Baptist whose reamins are in the Great Mosque. John’s teaching gave birth to Islam. John spoke when he was eight days old. Islam as we know it, will be no more. Every dog has their day.

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Death Is A Rose
The sound of the hoofs of the pale horse can be heard coming out of the wilderness.

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Death has a date with Abu Bakr. Unkess he answers my question in a week, he will behold the rider on a pale horse.

You commented on Gretchen Nelly‘s post.


I challnge Abu Bakr to answer the question as to what Jesus wrote in the dust. If he fails to answer, then he is a false prophet, and Allah is not on his side.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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