18 February, 2018

Coming on 30 October 2018: My Bio of Hugh Despenser the Younger

My next published book will be my biography of Edward II's mighty chamberlain and favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger, lord of Glamorgan. Its current title is Downfall of a King's Favourite: Edward II and Hugh Despenser the Younger, and will be published by Pen and Sword on 30 October 2018. It's the first ever biography of Hugh, and there isn't even an academic thesis about him, so I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to write this one. Plenty of new info about Hugh, insights into his extortions, translations of his letters, plus much, much more!

My sixth book, out maybe also at the end of this year or early next year, will be Blood Roses: A History of the Houses of Lancaster and York, 1245-1400. Plenty of new stuff in this one too, including a section I've just written this weekend about the abduction of Alice de Lacy, countess of Lincoln and dowager countess of Lancaster, in early 1336. Plenty about the seven children of Henry, earl of Lancaster (d. 1345), and the first section is all about Henry's father Edmund, first earl of Lancaster (1245-96), a man rather neglected by historians. It's my first book about a family rather than an individual, and I've had a lot of fun writing it. One project I now have a contract for is The Rise and Fall of a Medieval Family: The Despensers 1261-1439, and I'm also thoroughly enjoying writing a joint bio of Edward II's three de Clare nieces, Eleanor, Margaret and Elizabeth, which will be out next year sometime,


Terence Stokes said...

Ooo looking forward to these will have my orders in nice and early :-)

Particularly looking forward to the one on the de Clares

Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

I'll have to see how my piggy bank is faring (I was out of commission for a while because I broke my right arm falling on the ice in December so couldn't earn much) but I was saying recently that I used to read 'serious' history books but because I've been convalescing/taking it easy I've concentrated more on 'history light' - historical whodunnits, that type of thing of late. Sorry, Catherine but I have quite liked some of Paul Doherty's whodunnits though I've not read any recently but that's not been through choice but because I have either read all the ones in my local library or any I haven't read have been out on loan when I have looked. But these books might provide an opportunity to read something factual without needing to have a trolley with me (some non-fiction history books are VERY heavy). Good call on writing a book about a person who has not had a book specifically written about him yet.

Patricia O

sami parkkonen said...

I can not wait Hugh bio. He is very very interesting guy in so many ways.

Carolyn Grace said...

Woo-hoo! Excited to learn more about the Despensers and de Clares. :-)

Michaela said...

Soooo.....late to the party.

I just discovered your blog....family rumor has it that we descend from Hugh Despencer the Younger, and whether or not it is true (I have only just begun looking into this) your blog so well researched, and I love that you cite sources! I do historical costuming, and I love a good chamber journal, lol.

History Buff said...

On the Auramala Project: Crowd-Researching The Mysterious Fate of King Edward II in Italy website, we have the following:

["The Search for Edward II’s Descendants 9) – An Exciting New Contribution from a Reader

Just a few days ago, via our good friend Kathryn Warner, a superb genealogist dealing with the medieval period got in touch with us to share his research on the matrilineal line descending from Eleanor of Castile, carrying the same mitochondrial DNA as King Edward II. His name is Kevin McKenzie, and as well as being a sollicitor, he says “I have been a pretty obsessive genealogist since my early teens!”

Kevin wrote to us with his own original research into the matrilineal line, which, like the research previously provided by Kathryn Warner, brings us to the late 17th century, possibly even the early 18th century, following another line. This is a huge leap forward, and we are extremely grateful to Kevin for sharing this information with us. Family tree researchers out there – please, if any of the women Kevin lists below are in your family trees, get in touch with us! You may carry the mitochondrial DNA of King Edward II!

Kevin writes:

“I was surprised to see from the Auramala Project website (see The Search for Edward II’s Descendants #5) that two of the individuals given with a matrilinear descent from Eleanor (in fact through Joan of Acre), where they are looking for possible living matrilinear descendants, are Philippa Bonville and her sister Margaret Bonville who married Sir William Courtenay of Powderham Castle."]

So, my question to Kathryn Warner is, was Philippa Bonville a sister of Margaret Bonville and thus a descendant of Joan of Acre, the sister of King Edward II?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question about the family of King Edward II.

Anonymous said...

Look forward to reading these!


History Buff said...

Looking forward as well. I can't wait until Kathryn gives an answer to my question.

Gabriele Campbell said...

*looks around in her flat where to install another bookshelf* :-)