A Lily, A Rose

A lily A Rose

ExtractLady Elinor of Hardford has fallen in love for the first time with Dan, her cousin and knight-in-training. But her father has other plans. 

She must marry his friend, Sir William of Courtney – and he’s nearly fifty! 

Elinor must draw on all her skills to work out a solution to her dilemma. Can she change her father’s mind? And will she ever get to marry Dan?

“When I was fourteen, my cousin Dan was my favourite person in the whole world.”

About A Lily, A Rose

A Lily, A Rose’s title comes from a sixteenth century poem, The Maiden’s Song, about a young girl preparing for her wedding day. The girl in the poem probably doesn’t know her husband very well – or at all – and she is probably very young. In the fourteenth century, when A Lily, A Rose is set, girls could marry at twelve and boys at fourteen. They could be betrothed even younger; Queen Isabella was married at seven, with the understanding that the marriage could legally be dissolved when she reached puberty.

Elinor in A Lily, A Rose is fourteen. I wrote the book because I wondered what it would feel like to be fourteen and told that you have to marry an old man. There is a plenty of evidence from contemporary writings that young girls didn’t like this any more than you or I would!

The Maiden`s Song

When I was in my mother`s bower,
I had all that I would.

The bailey beareth the bell away,
The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.

The silver is white, red is the gold,
The robes they lay in fold.

The bailey beareth the bell away,
The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.

And through the glass window shines the sun.
How should I love and I so young?

The bailey beareth the bell away.
The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.
The bailey beareth the bell away.



Barrington Stoke

A Lily, A Rose is published by the wonderful folk at Barrington Stoke, who produce very short, very straightforward books by amazing authors. I had a lot of fun writing something which fit their word count, but which felt like a novel. It taught me a lot about telling a very direct story – making every scene do about four different things and ruthlessly chucking out anything which didn’t advance the plot!


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