THE STORY BEHIND THIS BOOK
Back in 1977 I was writing another book, a fantasy about fairies actually, with episodes that took place in England in 1258, the year of the consecration of Salisbury Cathedral. I thought I should know what was happening then so I hauled out my Britannica. The encyclopedia's article told of The Barons' War, led by Simon de Montfort. I looked up the article on Montfort -- and was rather stunned by what I took to be curiously bitter negativity. I was surprised by my reaction for I knew nothing of this person -- who was I to criticize the Britannica? A couple of weeks later, attending the reopening of my local public library, my very nearsighted gaze was drawn to a distant set of books in green bindings. Without looking at the title I took one of the books off the shelf and let it fall open where it would. The book was Greene's History of England, and the open page described Simon's death at Evesham -- from the point of view of a writer who thought well of him. I shut the book, determined that exploring the truth of Simon's life would be my next project. I had no idea that project would span 34 years.