Author of the Montfort series: "A schadenfreuden bonfire of the vanities..." Kirkus
I was born in Hollywood, where my father, Fredric M. Frank, was a staff writer for Cecil B. de Mille. What fascinated me most about my father's work was the research, the depth of details that never got onto the screen. I grew up to be a painter, then an actor and playwright, but what always drew me was the research.
Indulging myself in writing a novel about a garden in England, I was studying the mid 13th century when I discovered Simon de Montfort -- and was stunned that someone so pivotal in history could be so little known.
There followed 34 years of research into the life of Montfort, and life in the 13th century: the customs, laws, theology, banking and finance, foods and courtly manners, dress and armor, agriculture -- every aspect of life from the Court of Love to military tactics and horsemanship. And every item of information was needed to understand the chaotic, tumultuous life of Simon de Montfort.
Source material I found in the Britih Library, the London Public Record Office, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and I visited the places where Simon had lived. My work was championed by Dr. Madeleine Cosman, founder of the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies of the City University of New York.
The written evidences of Simon's life are riddled with contradictions, the known events of his life, with instantaneous and unlikely reversals. I chose to write Montfort as an historical novel to use the novel form as a laboratory to investigate possible causal threads. Each of the four volumes of Montfort includes an Historical Context section with my sources and the reasons for my interpretations -- sometimes my views are unconventional.
The Montfort series has been receiving high praise, both as an entertaining adventure of the "can't put it down" variety, and as a deeply researched history.
And now I'm returning to that book about a garden that I put aside 35 years ago. It's a work about fairyland: about the nature of good, evil, fear, guilt, and a little girl and an eccentric gentleman who discover a world of fairies under the sundial in the West Deanery Garden of a cathedral close. It is titled The Fairy Garden, and will be in print, available from Amazon, before spring 2013.
Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA USA
Accomplishments: All four volumes of Montfort have received the B.R.A.G. Award for the finest books in independent publishing.
Montfort The Early Years by Katherine Ashe The early life of Simon de Montfort, French knight, Earl of Leicester, founder of England's Parliament. Companion of Saint Louis, exiled by King Henry III of England, he rose to conquer England, establish elections by the common man, and was hailed as the Angel of the Apocalypse.... Kindle (eBook)
Montfort The Revolutionary 1253 to 1260 by Katherine Ashe When King Henry grants his Crown to the Pope to gain the Crown of Sicily for his son Edmund, the lords of England rebel and frame a democratic constitution: The Provisions of Oxford. But it is Simon de Montfort who converts that scribbling on wax tablets into a functioning government of the people's elected representatives -- who hold the king in thrall.... Kindle (eBook)
Amazon.comSimon de MontfortKatherine Ashe
I'll be speaking on The 13th Century Origins of Democracy at The Lyceum, of Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM on Sept.25 (Life in 13th Century England), Oct 2 (The Origins of Parliament and Modern Democracy)and Oct. 9 (The Life of Simon de Montfort.) For tickets go to: binghamton.edu and click on Graduate School of Education; under the heading community partnership click on Lyceum.
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