Message From The Author

Author's Message

A Knight to Remember

Men and women think differently. Not in the late 20th century, of course, but apparently they did in Medieval England. While researching my latest historical romance, A Knight to Remember, I came across a hitherto undiscovered book written in Old English, and you can imagine my surprise when I translated the title to find it was "Ladies are from Venus, Lords are from Mars."

I was fascinated. The difference between the way men and women thought about themselves and each other was quite pronounced in those days.

For instance: when a woman worried that her looks were failing, she would resort to a little discreet padding, buy a new velvet gown and brush the gilding on her hennin. In contrast, a man would ignore his paunch and balding spot and go out and buy a new horse, preferably one of the sleek, black corvetta variety. This, he imagined, would make him instantly desirable again.

And, as happened with every medieval relationship, sometimes there were miscommunications and the woman would decide it would be best to discuss these events with her man, imagining the two of them would be enlightened by such conversation. Yet she would find, on approaching her man and saying, "Dearling, I wisheth to talk," that he would go to any lengths-write all their Christmas parchments, build a luxurious new garderobe, even start a little war-rather than speaking plainly of his feelings.

Most amazing of all, men in the middle ages believed they knew best. Not just about the maintenance of their carts and the opening of wine casks, which everyone knew were manly duties, but about everything. Given the chance, a medieval man would tell a woman how to run a household, how to raise children, how to direct the servants, what to do in her spare time, assuming she ever had any. A medieval man would even tell a woman how to think.

The hero in A Knight to Remember suffers from this distinctly medieval disposition. Hugh de Florisoun (you may remember him as the young champion from my April book, Once a Knight) has always been the best at everything he does. He is the best fighter, the best negotiator, the best leader. He is so efficient, he has won a title and estates from the king as a reward.

Yet he finds, to his amazement, that Lady Edlyn (Lady Alisoun's foster daughter from Once a Knight) is not impressed, not even when he wants to marry her. She has already been married to a warrior, and all that brought her was poverty and heartbreak. To quote Tina Turner: Edlyn doesn't need another hero.

Hugh is amazed and, at first, insulted. Then he realizes-his way is right, and he will have to show silly Edlyn how to think correctly.

Hugh is in for some surprises.

Write to Christina Dodd c/o Harper Monogram, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022.

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