Quill to Quill is based on the characters of Joyce DiPastena's medieval novels. All material on Quill to Quill is copyrighted and may not be used without permission from the author.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Heléne to Siri, September 6, 1179

To My Lady Siriol de Brielle,

I have tapped this quill against my lips so many times that my nose has been sorely tickled while I rack my brains for the best way to introduce myself. There seems to be no delicate way, or if there is, I have not discovered it. Dare I call you “Cousin”? The most incredible tales have reached these shores of an uncanny resemblance you bear to my late sister, Clothilde, but my father writes that the stories, in his opinion, are exaggerated. He has investigated for himself the claim of our kinship, however, and says it is true that our grandmothers were twins, so that if some should see in you some memory of Clothide, it might indeed be understood. Perhaps we shall meet one day and I may judge for myself. I pray that day might truly come, for I should dearly love to meet you!

Does that surprise you? In truth, it is why I write. I fear lest you might think my family should shun you as a usurper to my sister and mother to my nephew, Perrin. I wish to assure you that it is not so! Nothing could bring me more joy than to know that Perrin is well cared for, and although we have never met and Triston undoubtedly fears to write to me—there remains, I regret to say, some small tension from the past between my husband and yours—I know he would not take to wife any woman who would not love and cherish his son. It saddens me that I had so little time to become acquainted with Perrin before my lord husband swept me off to England after our wedding. All I remember is a sturdy, mischievous boy, with his father’s black curls and my dear sister’s eyes of blue. How much he must have grown since then! Three years… He must be seven now? Has Triston already fostered him to train as a page? I am sure that Triston has chosen well, and yet I have some hopes…

But how I rattle! These things can be saved for a future time. I hope you will accept this letter with kindness from the hand of a cousin, once unknown, but who this day extends her friendship should you wish to receive it.

God’s blessings be upon you.

Heléne de Bury, Countess of Gunthar

Heléne de Bury, Countess of Gunthar
Written from Lamhurst Castle
Kent, England
On the sixth day of September, in the year of our Lord 1179

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