I am working on my first novel The Phoenix and the Kingfisher about medieval writer
The Phoenix and the Kingfisher tells a story about Marguerite Porete, a courageous woman with a
passion to communicate her vision of freedom, even though women are prohibited from teaching publicly and writing books. Arrested in 1308 on suspicion of heresy by the Inquisition for crossing these
strict boundaries, her fate is linked to that of the Templars.
Little is known of Marguerite's life, only that she came from Valenciennes in Hainault and died in the Place de Grève, Paris on 1st June 1310.
My novel recreates the story of her life through her own eyes as she writes her memoir in prison. Against the backdrop of Louis IX's crusades, civil war, Philippe le Bel's attack on the Templar Order and the Jewish people, and the controversial religious
movement of the beguines, Marguerite lays bare the turmoil and tragedies of her life and loves. She writes to understand, as well as explain to her brother, why she is risking her
While it is a fictional account, my story suggests how she might have come upon the spiritual truths of which she wrote in her book The Mirror of Simple
Souls. The book survived anonymously throughout the centuries, and it was only discovered in 1946 that the actual author of this subtle work was none other than Marguerite Porete.
I hope to complete the fourth draft of the novel by New Year 2017.
This started as a contemporary short story about a woman who is struggling to grieve because she was not there with her mother when she died.
On a break in a neglected old vineyard in France, she becomes involved in the relationship between the owner and her estranged daughter. The more she delves, however, the more she realises that
nothing is quite as it seems.
The story is lengthening as I write, and is likely to become a short novel or novella.