Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I am somewhat appalled at how long it has been since I added to this blog. But I have been extremely busy and involved with the book itself, which is my main goal. In addition, I've been involved as leader of the New York chapter of the Historical Novel Society. Since my last post, I have taken two writing workshops and revised the manuscript several times. I think it is getting better and better and closer to the book I want it to be.  It is important for me to note here that the title of the book has changed to "None But a King: The Life of Anne of Brittany."

I had a wonderful surprise and affirmation for the wonders of the Internet when I got an email from a woman who is a determined researcher. Val Wood, of Uwchmynydd, Aberdaron, Gwnynedd, Wales, found me through SOFAR NY, the organization of which I am co-Director (which provides mental health support services to military families).  She had found this blog in her research on Anne of Brittany, which she took up after finding a ring that she was able to relate to Anne’s symbols.

There are the ermine, the fleur-de-lys, the crown. I’ve never seen anything like it! Her sources believe it was made in France, plated with silver. She hasn’t been able to have it dated. But in a search quite like mine, Val plans to go to Brittany to pursue more of Anne’s history. She was able to tell me more about Anne's betrothal at a very young age to young Edward, Prince of Wales. That relationship is included in my book, but Val gave me more background.

And I’ve had another interesting meeting and art connection with the images that inspired my book. On my way to my writing workshop, held at the Tribeca branch of the 92Y in Manhattan, I went through an area  used as an art gallery. Again I stopped short when I saw a large figure with right-and-left facing heads. It is a fascinating, timeless and organic figure rendered in shades of gray, in graphite. I was able to contact and to meet the artist, Colette Robbins. My visit to her studio was wonderful and we had a long conversation that I hope will continue.  She too has studied art and anthropology and has rendered quite a few versions of these figures and has a rich library of resources from throughout the world.

There’s also been more research, of course, and I’ve both added to and confirmed some of the data. I found additional graphic material, including maps, when I was in Brazil…I discovered that searching Google in Portuguese yielded international treasures that did not appear in English.
I hope that it will not be long before I can be posting some very good news here.


  1. Hello,
    My name is Steve,and I live in Germany.
    I have been reading your work here,and you have a lovely obsession with Queen Anne.
    I came into possession from my family of what seems like a very rare candle.The candle is either molded,or hand carved,and has a picture of the 1499 medal given to Anne.
    The candle is huge,weighing almost 8 kilograms.I can't find information anywhere about this candle.I contacted several museums,only one responded,but they couldn't tell me much.
    No one seems to know anything about this candle,so I was hoping you might.

  2. Continued
    I suspect that whoever the owner was,they must have been wealthy,as no ordinary citizen of France could afford such a candle.This could be a candle from the coronation,or maybe a gift from a wealthy person to the royal house.Here is my address if you would like to see pictures of the candle.
    Any information you have,or theory,would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  3. The three designs seemingly hanging from the crown on the ring you picture are not fleur-de-lys - they are ermine spots, which are used in British heraldry to represent the ermine. Good luck with your research and thank you for the information.