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Locales in THE SPELLBINDERS 1

In THE SPELLBINDERS, Edward and Piers’s troubles begin when Sir Walter Langton – Treasurer, and Bishop of Lichfield – catches the two young men making love, and reports the details of their tryst to Edward’s father, the King.

The setting of this scene is a beech wood on Langley’s estate, Edward’s favourite residence. It is May day 1305 and the wood is gloriously carpeted with bluebells.

If you have never witnessed the bluebells coming into bloom in an English spring, here are a few pictures I took in late April 2017.

 

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Who can blame Edward and Piers for giving in to the urge to celebrate their love and lust at the sight of so much beauty?

Locales in the Spellbinders 2

When Piers, much to Edward’s distress, is exiled for the second time, the two undertake the journey to Bristol port, where Piers is due to board a ship to Ireland. On their way from Windsor to Bristol, in late June 1308, they stop on a small island in the river Kennet, to rest and refresh themselves. Here, they chance upon a ‘cunning man’, who rebukes them for their closeness and warns Edward that he will never be rid of Piers…

The setting of this scene is pictured here.

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Locales in THE SPELLBINDERS 3: Edward II’s resting place

 

 

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Much mystery surrounds the fate of Edward II after he was captured by Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabella. THE SPELLBINDERS follows the Fieschi hypothesis, according to which Edward did not die, as official historiography would have it, at Berkeley Castle, but escaped to Italy and retired to St Alberto di Butrio, an abbey deep in the hills of South-western Lombardy. I visited St Alberto in July 2017. Though not far from Milan, it is isolated and feels delightfully backwaterish. Here are some pictures I took. For a comprehensive treatment of Edward II’s fate after his capture, I recommend Kathryn Warner’s fascinating book Long Live the King.