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A Winter Bride

Albin and the Jouster volume 7


Didn't Brian Ladlee give it a great cover!


Edward IV revealed that he had married more than four months earlier. People were shocked! This was no foreign princess. (It has been said that Isabella of Castile never quite forgave Edward for turning her down and marrying some nobody.) The new queen's father was not even a baron when she was born.

On the other hand, this widow of a mere knight, had half a dozen single sisters. What an opportunity for politics by marriage!

A Winter Bride includes one such marriage and announces three others. But what connection does that woman on the cover have to all of it? She is the grandmother of the Duke of Norfolk and older than the new queen's mother. Albin spends this book learning about the old duchess and what she is up to.


The Herald's Student


"What is this?" Master du Stephen pointed to a picture of a coronet that included strawberry leaves.

Albin grinned. That I know. "That is the coronet for a duchess."

"You have seen one?"

I have seen two. "When Queen Elizabeth was revealed to us at Grafton, she was wearing one."

Du Stephen turned down his lips in surprise. "Why would she do that?"

"When Richard, the Duke of York, was killed, Edward inherited the title. Since he became our king, his grace has not given the title to anyone else. He is duke of York as well as king of England. His bride became the duchess at once. In the spring she will be crowned as queen."

"Very good!" du Stephen answered.

Later Albin thought it over. Does that mean there are now two Duchesses of York? That must displease Edward's mother. People give me the impression that she is easily displeased. She must hate seeing Elizabeth in a coronet like hers. He rubbed his ear. She has not seen the queen since she was a simple knight's widow. Will the king's mother come to the coronation?




It was sometimes sunny as I explored Stony Stratford. I invited myself into the Cock and the Bull inns and took pictures. Yes, Stony Stratford is the home of the cock-and-bull stories. The locals enjoy this with an event for telling outrageous stories. I didn't have a venue for mine: "My winter coat is so old it's mastodon fur."


I looked at a couple things, at the library. One woman told me that I was in the wrong county for the good information. I heard her say "Toaster," but my detailed map doesn't show a crumb much less a toaster. "Spell it," I said. So with good bus information, I hopped another bus and went Towcester in some of the warmest sunshine I’d found in England.

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