A TRIPLE KNOT – Emma Campion
England and France – 1338-1361
The story of the Fair Maid of Kent, Joan, niece of King Edward III and celebrated for her beauty, is mostly known when she was wed to the Black Prince. But little has been told or studied of the years before she married Edward III's son. After her father, Edmund, son of Edward I, was executed by his son's wife and lover, Joan, her mother and brother were taken under the wing of the new king and his wife Philippa of Hainault, so Joan grew up with the royal children, including Ned, the Prince of Wales, the future Black Prince. He had thought of her as his from the beginning and was angry when she was sent to France as a potential bride for an ally. He made her promise she would marry him.
While traveling to France she is befriended by one of the king's knights, Thomas Holland. Joan never forgets his kindness and concern for her welfare. Then, as rumors are spreading of Joan being promised to the son of an ally, she secretly weds Thomas. But because she cannot control her future, her family, unaware of Thomas, marries her off to the son of her mother's lover. In the meantime, Ned makes it clear to both Joan and her new husband that he isn't happy with that arrangement. Joan's husband is in awe of the prince, and for years makes no attempt to consummate the marriage. All along, however, Joan loves Thomas and prays for a way for them to finally be together.
Joan's story is both tragic and triumphant as she grows into a lovely, compassionate, and passionate woman. Her heart belongs to Thomas, but Ned is always in the background, reminding her that it is only she who can be his future queen.
A TRIPLE KNOT is a well-researched, beautifully written novel of the fourteenth century that will have readers of history entranced. At the tender age of twelve, Joan knows her heart as she weds Thomas, and her heart will have to deal with plenty of sorrow before she can be happy.