A man about to make his mark on history

Before Katharine was fully awake, she instinctively moved to snuggle into the warmth that was John’s body. His arm came around to enclose her as he sought her lips with a kiss that demanded her submerged senses awaken and respond.

The result he achieved was more than he had bargained for, so he laughed. “We must needs get up Katharine. Today is the Feast of the Garter and I must leave for Windsor.”

With that he would have kissed her again and left her, but her warm responsive body made him linger.

“Can you guess what is on my mind, little one?”

The twinkle in her eye belied her serious answer. “Whether or not your favorite dish will be served at the feast?”

“It is certain that it will not be, but no matter, for I have a mind to partake of it now.”

As he slipped inside her, Katharine felt her body melting with a warm welcoming sigh.

“The problem is, my girl, that you are just too good at this.”

Later Katharine lay in bed savouring the feeling of languid warmth and well being that was becoming a familiar part of her life. John continued to talk with her as his squires helped dress him in the magnificent robes of the Order of the Garter.

“I met a most interesting man while I was in Bruges. A priest by the name of John Wycliffe. He holds some interesting views, let me tell you. It seems to him that the bishops should give up the luxury in which they live, and use their wealth to help the poor. Holy poverty, I believe he called it. Not that I do not agree with him, but it is merely an idealist’s dream. Nevertheless a most interesting man. I would dearly love to get him and Geoffrey Chaucer together – that would be a conversation worth listening to. Oh well, after this coming parliament is over there will be time for such things.”

John was finished dressing now, and he popped his head through the curtains for one last kiss. “Mayhap even time for you my sweet.” Before Katharine’s arms had time to tighten around him, he was gone.

Editorial Comment: The story of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford is truly one of the world’s great love stories, but their love story was only one small part of their lives.  They lived in what could euphemistically be called ‘interesting’ times.  Their lives were fraught with the danger and intrigue caused by the birth of parliamentary democracy in the struggles of the Good Parliament; and the conflict with the church during the premature birth of the Reformation which their good friend John Wycliffe implemented.  John Wycliffe’s ideas could never have taken root without the support of the mighty and powerful John of Gaunt.  But when John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford provided support to their friend John Wycliffe, it was not without danger to the lives of both John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford.


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