Unusual Historicals today. It's a wonderful site that makes readers aware of the less-well-covered topics in historical fiction. They're all the more fascinating for their obscurity. Please check out what I have to share with you about "The Traitor Countess" in history and legend.
Full disclosure: "The Traitor Countess" is on my list of choices for the basis of my next novel. But it's sort of negative, and I'm also attracted to the "Romance of Prince García" and a couple of other topics. Time to decide!
The picture at the top of this post is the "author" illustration from the beginning of Alfonso X's Estoria de Espanna, where I get all the sources mentioned in the Unusual Historicals post. It's well-worn, but anything having to do with Alfonso X is beautiful to me (I'm funny that way). Most deluxe manuscripts have a presentation page, where the illustration often shows the author presenting the book to his (or her!) patron. Alfonso X is both the patron and the "author," so his deluxe books have author pages with him in the center, giving the knowledge for the book to the scholars in attendance who would actually write it down -- the workshop I mention in the Unusual Historicals post.
Why have two traitors when you can have four? I discuss the vile actions of the traitors in The Seven Noble Knights of Lara at the SNKL site today.
Not enough medieval Spain for you? Come back next Monday for a hyper-Spanish guest post from novelist Lisa Yarde.