Relishing New(ish) Research About William Wallace and all that

Poking around in research about the English/Scottish border in the late 14th century (for the Kate Clifford series), I keep discovering bits and pieces of research that give me shivers of, oh, if only this had been published while I was writing the Margaret KJedburgh Abbey (doorway) 001err trilogy…. Such as the post:

But I quickly shake off the regret and store up the nuggets for a future project. Who knows when I’ll need it? I had no idea when I starting fiddling with the first Kate Clifford story that I would be revisiting research I began for A Spy for the Redeemer (the machinations of Dame Phillippa’s late husband), which fired my interest in the early years of the Scottish Wars of Independence, which led to the Margaret Kerr books.

Reconsidering this new information, perhaps my only real regret is that I couldn’t incorporate Richard of Lundie’s [possible] change of heart during the Battle of Stirling Bridge. But that would have added an unnecessary subplot.

Most interesting to me is how ideas and information I haven’t revisited in so many years–a dozen?–rush back, flooding me with half-glimpsed scenes as I browse through the literature and flip through my photos from my treks through Scotland and the borders. I smell peat, I hear pipes and drums. And all of this is just to provide glimpses of Kate’s childhood, and the political/social conditions on the northern borders that formed her.

7 Comments on “Relishing New(ish) Research About William Wallace and all that

  1. Your posts are always fascinating and informative Emma. Found this link when I was looking up the name of Richard de Lundie – and for a less charitable observation of Sir Richard Lundie this link also popped up –

    Both the above links were copied faithfully and pasted into this email and I am not sure why they haven’t displayed as clickable links, underlined and in blue font, but I have been back and checked them both for you.

    On another note… I have looked forward to the next Owen Archer for years now. Because I loved that series so much, I have purchased them twice over – once as printed books and again as Kindle books. I made theKindle purchases because last year (2014) I found myself facing major abdominal surgery and was rather afraid of the outcome – but wanted my favourite books in easily reachable and readable format for the long recovery, if everything went well.

    Well, I’m still here, thankfully and I do enjoy my precious books – but still no new Owen Archer, even after another year has passed. You are a truly gifted writer Emma with a rare ability to draw readers back to those times and those places and involve us in experiencing the tensions and activities of the pivotal moments in each adventure with Owen and his family and friends.

    Please, please bring them back into our lives once again in the next stage of their life stories. You portray them so vividly and I am missing the continuance of their intertwined lives. I love Magda’s stoical, pragmatic wisdom and capable skill – she makes a formidable ally and staunch friend to Owen and his family. And I love Owen’s bravery and fallibilty – and Jehannes and his courage and steadfastness (although I don’t think we saw much mention of him in the last book).

    I wonder if you have just found it particularly difficult to carry on with the multiple character developments following the death of the Archbishop – who was both a Machiavellan manipulator and a fallible but staunch supporter to Owen and Lucie and their family. I hope you are able to stop engaging in all these other projects and gift us with more Owen Archer adventures – they are so very good!

    Thank you,


  2. Good blog as per usual. I’m reading 1 of Susanna Gregory’s books, where she mentions the master at a university once worked (underhand) for the archbishop of york the year is 1358 is it our archbishop Thoresby i wonder ?




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