On November 25th 1120, a Maritime catastrophe occurred that would have far reaching consequences on the history of England and the medieval world in general.
One of the drawbacks to writing about successive generations of families is that, eventually, you have to kill characters off! I still get weepy when I read about two beloved characters who drowned in the White Ship disaster. It's the opening chapter of LOVE'S SWEET STING.
Among the hundreds who lost their lives that fateful night was William Adelin, the only legitimate son of King Henry I. The political ramifications of the death of the heir to the English throne eventually resulted in a Civil War between the supporters of Mathilda (aka Maud), the legitimate daughter of King Henry I, and Stephen of Blois, Henry's nephew. This was at a time when a woman couldn't be considered as queen in her own right. This conflict forms the basis of the plot of FORBIDDEN. Maud never did become queen, and Stephen turned out to be a poor monarch. However, Maud's son, Henry Plantagenet, was eventually crowned king. Ruling as Henry II, he became a powerful medieval king.