Writing historicals is always a challenge. Not just giving the facts, but doing justice to the times without getting caught up in anachronisms is my biggest endeavor. The reason I love the period of King John's England is for the very reason that women's rights--let that read widows' rights-- were of utmost interest to John's subjects.
Widows, made so at young ages by disease and accident to their spouses, often held large tracts of land and hence, too, earned the monies destined for the households' coffers. So were these youthful women made wealthy. So, too, were they prizes to be handed over by legal ties of matrimony by the king to men whom he wished to please or reward.
John all too often used the women in his realm to his own ends. Demanding they marry as he chose, he could and did imprison one and perhaps more for failure to do his will. In one case, he did indeed (as I recount in FOR HER HONOUR) imprison his own cousin for her failure to wed whom he chose--and then too castrated her lover for his disobedience.
The Magna Carta, long known as a prime document and marker in the progress toward English freedoms, reflects the outrage of John's nobles over his misuse of his power over widows.
My Swords of Passion series, of which FOR HER HONOUR is the second, shows John's willfulness...and waywardness.
The Carta is justifiably his comeuppance!
Do come for a preview to my new website, www.cerisedeland.com