Meeting New Friends at Middleham

Middleham signingHaving driven up to North Yorkshire on Good Friday, Kathy was able to get to Middleham Castle in plenty of time for the book signing which started at midday on Easter Saturday (19th April ). The weather didn’t quite deliver the balmy sunshine of the day before but it remained dry and mostly bright throughout the afternoon.

Middleham Castle’s new site manager Gill Savage set Kathy up in a cosy niche in the gift shop and kept her well supplied with tea, biscuits and friendly convsersation. From her position, Kathy had a good view of the Castle’s mini exhibition centred around the Middleham Jewel, a late 15th century gold, lozenge-shaped pendant – presumed to be a reliquary – which is set with a large sapphire and  engraved with a depcition of the Trinity on one side and the Nativity on the other. Could Kathy’s prolonged proximity to the jewel, or rather a replica of it as the original is now at the Yorkshire Museum in York, result in it appearing in a future Francis Cranley mystery?

Throughout the afternoon a steady stream of visitors took the opportunity to chat with Kathy about all things Ricardian and at the same time obtain signed copies of The Woodville Connection. A special mention must go to Michelle Hurn and her parents, Josie and Dave, who were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. According to Josie, the whole family has read The Woodville Connection and they are eagerly awaiting the follow up.

“Middleham Castle is a very special place and I felt incredibly lucky to be invited by English Heritage to hold a signing there,” Kathy comments. “It was a joy to talk to people who have such a strong interest in 15th century history in general, and specifically in the life and character of Richard III. There was a lot of lively debate about where his remains should be reburied, and one couple even voiced their doubts that the bones discovered at Leicester are really those of the last Plantaganet king. Fascinating stuff!

“I must say a huge thank you to Gill Savage and English Heritage for making me feel so welcome, and all the visitors who made the signing so enjoyable. I hope to come back again very soon.”