A candlemaker is all Lydia Wade wants to be, but in 1299 a woman can only be part of the artisan guild if her dead husband was a member. A woman can work beside her husband in the guild if he allows it. Lydia does not want a husband living or dead. Her father has betrothed her to his much abused apprentice, Jacob. Marriage is a fate she has no hope of escaping until a long kept secret propels her into a different life.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Another

Moder is the word for mother and Broder is the word for brother in some Old English texts. Last light filter... Read Chapter

Chapter 2. Dirt

NOTE FROM JOYCEMATULA Fader is the word for father in some Old English texts.  I will be pos... Read Chapter

The Curse

It took Lydia a long time to go to sleep that night. When she finally did she slipped into a nightmare on the bank of the River Test. The... Read Chapter

Chapter 4. The Banns

The cry of a living baby woke Lydia from sleep. The warm bodies of her three younger sisters were pressed against her on the pallet by th... Read Chapter

Chapter 5. To Choose

Out in the yard the evening sun cast strange shadows across the cock cages. Most of the cages were empty. Jacob had loaded the birds into... Read Chapter

On the Way to Romsey

In modern times a trip on foot from Southampton to Romsey takes a little over two and a half hours. In medieval times road and paths were not at all like they are today.
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Of Truth and Dreams

I have included a link to Romsey Abbey: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romsey_Abbey
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Outside the morning bells began to ring. Lydia slipped out of her nightgown and into the linen shift. Over the shift she pulled her novic... Read Chapter


The wax tablet was magic beneath Lydia’s stylus. Letters on clay tablets were slow, inelegant things that smelled of muck, but wax, wax... Read Chapter


*There a a number of different spellings and stories about Cailleache Bheare. Here is a link of images and a bit of her story.

*Old French and translation are from https://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Song_of_Roland

If you would like to hear Old French spoken, here is a link for Song of Roland, prologue in Old French: https://youtu.be/sxsyS8Qhrdg
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Taking Flight

During Compline, the priest lead them in the All Saints' Eve Vigil. It was a time to recall those who had departed to heaven. The image o... Read Chapter

The Dragon

The instant Lydia laid her hand on the inn’s door, the sound of horses clattered behind her. She turned. IT COULD NOT BE! Had Fader bri... Read Chapter

The Castle

The aroma of fresh water mingled with salt water and sweet, wet, sand invaded the hurling contraption. They must be near Paston castle. T... Read Chapter

Saint Anne’s Chapel

They stood in the yard. The sun was at its zenith. The castle wall sheltered them from the rising wind. Lydia clutched the fur lined cloa... Read Chapter

The Daughters of Eve

James pushed the tarp back on the pony cart. It was filled with supplies, boxes, bags, blankets, ropes. There were a lot of food crocks, ... Read Chapter

Wooden Madonna

Night was coming fast. They needed shelter. Rain and sleet pelted them. In the distance was the remains of a cow shed. The door was long ... Read Chapter

A Very Pretty Boy

Sunlight bounced off the surface of the water. Lydia waited in line with Brother Matthew and James. Moses Aaron tethered to the cart, doz... Read Chapter

The Trouble

Empty of stomach but full of emotion, Lydia lay in a crumpled heap on a pallet against the wall. James had slung his cloak over a chair a... Read Chapter

The Whims of Moses Aaron

Though Lydia longed to go nearer to the men, she remained where she was. If she went closer, she knew she would not be able to hide her f... Read Chapter

Madame Coeur

The following morning they set out on the road to Amiens. The morning was cold, but not so cold as to be miserable. The sun peeked betw... Read Chapter

Female Necessities

"Hurry child, dry off before you catch a fatal chill! When you are dressed, Rashi will escort you to the dining room." Madame Coeur close... Read Chapter

Upon the Stars

Silent tears slid from Lydia's eyes. Her hand still cupped the cheek that Madame Coeur had touched. Madame Coeur's independant spirit rem... Read Chapter

Dance with Angels

Over the next two days Moses Aaron moved at an abominably slow pace. He stopped often and complained loudly. The pear tarts were gone and... Read Chapter

Dagger in the Wood

The River Somme echoed the colors of the morning sky. The reflections of bare trees and shredded clouds wavered on its surface. It w... Read Chapter

The Blessed Mother

Angrily Lydia stalked to the stable where James was tending to Moses Aaron. In a broken down stall she found him brushing the mule. He lo... Read Chapter

Without Sin

The shadows in Notre Dame began to shift. Much time had passed. James said it was time to go. Lydia did not want to go. She did not ever ... Read Chapter


After their supper, Brother Matthew asked James, "May we go to Evening Mass?" "Nay. It has been a long day and I do not want to go an... Read Chapter

The Nuns of Troyes

They were in wine country. Vineyards and pastures lined the road. A hawk flew overhead. Lydia missed the sight of pelicams and gulls. In ... Read Chapter

The Thief

The sun would soon set. James wanted to find shelter, but Moses Aaron refused to pick up the pace. Irritated, James jumped down, grabbed ... Read Chapter

In This World

To the man holding the oil lamp, Lydia said, "My friend was attacked by a bandit and has a nasty wound on his head. Is there a doctor, mi... Read Chapter

Beatrice’s Gift

The words of her mother echoed in Lydia's mind, “Unicorns appear to damsels who are pure of heart and body.” This was surely a sign s... Read Chapter

An Excellent Woman

In the kitchen, Bab removed the bandage from James head while Lydia, Brother Matthew and Antone watched. She said. "It is healing. No inf... Read Chapter

The Crypt of Saint-Benigne

The smell of candle making, how she missed that aroma. Lydia want so badly to leap from the cart and go into the shop. Under his breath, ... Read Chapter

The Story of Cyril

It was peculiar how clearly the events of that long ago evening filled Lydia’s mind. Details that she had forgotten rose to the surface... Read Chapter

The Cleansing

James rose and said, said, "I think Brother Matthew and I should return home immediately. I am worried about my parents and Dame Paston. ... Read Chapter

Good Things

Due to Brother Matthew's lengthy confession, it was almost time for Evening Mass. So, they agreed to remain. As they sat waiting for Mass... Read Chapter

The Offer

*An apology to my Readers. Last week I accidentally posted chapter 37 instead of 36. I have now corrected the mix up.   The ... Read Chapter

Of Candles and Men

It was not Madame Beauxchampe habit to attend Mass at Sainte-Benigne, but she gave Lydia permission to go. After yesterday's rain, the ci... Read Chapter

The Calico

On the 15th of April, Lydia found Ashes curled up in Isabelle's mending bag. She was breathing heavy and her eyes had a glassy look to th... Read Chapter

Date of Birth

Morning Mass had begun. On the Altar of Sainte-Benigne, candles that Lydia had dipped flickered. This day was not just any day. It was th... Read Chapter


For reasons unknown and unexplained to Lydia, Isabelle had an aversion to Sainte-Benigne and Mass in general, but one evening she said, ... Read Chapter

Of Windows

When they reached the shop, Isabelle said, “Madame Gerard, the kittens are weaned, you can take your baby home if you like.” Eage... Read Chapter

The Resemblance

Rebecca Wade had been Lydia’s grandmoder’s name. She had a vague recollection of her. Warm arms held her and a soft voice crooned a l... Read Chapter

A Man of Skill

Jon Paul came out fo the house with a worried expression. Quickly he walked to where the ladies were seated. He said, “Marguerite tells... Read Chapter

Sacred Act

Lydia was outside sweeping the entrance when Jon Paul arrived on the mule, Jeremiah. In his right hand was a large basket. With a swift m... Read Chapter

Be Witches

It was late July and their best wax was running low. Just that morning during Lydia's reading lesson, Father Thomas had placed a large or... Read Chapter

In the Shadows

The July sun beat down hard. It was too bright. Lydia had a head ache. It was her time. Her flow. Her nemesis. Today was not a day she wa... Read Chapter

Four in the Wood

Light, so much light. Every blade of grass, every leaf on the trees seemed to emanate with its own separate light. Lydia did not recogniz... Read Chapter

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