Sunday 31 January 2016

The Jesuit Letter

Dean Hamilton takes us on a journey back to the year 1575, in The Jesuit Letter.

The Story…. 

Christopher 'Kit' Tyburn is home from a brutal war against the Spanish in Flanders. He is seeking a different life to the hell he lived before.

He becomes a player for the Earl of Worcester's Men and instead of fighting in battle, he now fights on a stage in front of an audience.

Due to the plague that is terrorising London, the Earl of Worcester's Men take to the road and tour the market-towns of the Midlands.

In Stratford-Upon-Avon, Tyburn comes to the aid of an eleven-year-old boy - William Shakespeare – who is being menacingly threatened by some vile thugs. But by helping the child, Tyburn accidentally intercepts a coded letter to a hidden Jesuit priest. Such a letter can only bring death. There are many who want it and if he is found with the letter in his possession then he will die a traitor’s death. There is only one thing he can do - he has to find the Jesuit priest before it is too late.

What did I think of the Story?

My favourite poet and playwright, without a shadow-of-a-doubt, is Shakespeare. I love reading interpretations about his life. Hamilton's description of Shakespeare was just what I would imagine him to have been like as child - intelligent, but always in trouble! Likewise, his portrayal of Stratford-Upon-Avon brought the town to life and, having been to Shakespeare home, his description of the house was spot on. It was real pleasure to read.

I really enjoyed the banter between the players. It reminded me of how the players act in the movie Shakespeare in Love - but instead of it being focused around a theater, the players are on 'tour.' The language of the players is pretty crude, but that is how I would imagine they would have spoken as well - they were all very believable. Hamilton must have had great fun writing about them.

The story itself was riveting. The plot was super engaging and there was always something going on. The story starts with a murder and then the action is non-stop. There was a great deal of mystery and intrigue, but there were many moments of humour as well romance.

I thought Hamilton portrayed life in Elizabethan England exceptionally well. He described the abject poverty and the deprivation of the poor, as well as the riches of the nobility - he touched upon one particular noble who was trying his very best to charm the Queen into marrying him! I thought Hamilton also gave a very real account of what it must have been like to be a Catholic during these troublesome times and he exposed the risks they took to practice their faith.

I really liked Tyburn. He is vividly portrayed and he is likable. Throughout the book I was on tenterhooks fearing he was going to get caught, because I so did not want him to die a traitors death.

There are many twists and turns in this tale - the last thing you will be with this book is bored!

Why don't you check it out today and experience the adventure for yourself!

About the author...

Dean Hamilton was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He spent the first half of his childhood chasing around the prairies and western Canada before relocating to Toronto, Ontario. He has three degrees (BA, MA & MBA), reads an unhealthy amount of history, works as a marketing professional by day and prowls the imaginary alleyways of the Elizabethan era in his off-hours. Much of his winter is spent hanging around hockey arenas and shouting at referees.

He is married, with a son, a dog, four cats and a turtle named Tortuga. THE JESUIT LETTER is his first novel of a planned series THE TYBURN FOLIOS.

Twitter: @Tyburn__Tree


THE JESUIT LETTER is a Short-List nominee for the Historic Novel Society (HNS) 2016 Indie Award.

Friday 29 January 2016

How to Capture a Duke #BookReview

All she had to do was find a fiancé.
In four days. In the middle of nowhere.

How To Capture A Duke is a historical romance by Bianca Blythe.

What is the story? 

It isn't easy being a member of the Ton, especially when you would rather be knee deep in mud, digging up the Roman remains in the orchard at your Grandmothers manor house. Not to mention that you are - in fact - a woman.

Fiona Amberly's Grandmother is seriously ill. Her dying wish is to see her granddaughter happily married and her future secure.

To appease her Grandmother, Fiona states that she is secretly engaged. She makes the excuse that her betrothed has gone to war to bravely fight Napoleon. But the war has now ended and she can no longer "kill off" her fictional betrothal as she had intended. And now questions are being asked. Where is this mysterious Captain Knightly?

Percival Carmichael had never expected to become the Duke of Alfriston, but with the death of his cousin, he has been named heir. It is time he found a wife and his aunt has the perfect person in mind - all he needs to do is get himself off to London and propose.

Fiona is riding back to her archaeological site when she sees a tree blocking a road. She stops a passing coach in a bid to warn the driver. Unfortunately the driver sees not a lady but a scruffy looking scoundrel with a knife in her hands. He mistakes her for a highwaywoman and flees, fearing for his life.

Fiona suddenly comes up with an auspicious plan. If she were to 'borrow' the handsome passenger, then maybe he would come around to the idea of playing Captain Knightly, just for a couple of days...

What did I think?

I had so much fun with this book. It was incredibly amusing. The kidnapping of the Duke of Alfriston, had me in tears, it really was hysterical.

Blythe has created two really real and believable characters in Fiona and Percival.

Percival has come home from the war wounded, he has lost part of his leg, and I felt that Blythe was really sympathetic to his character. His on-going pain and trauma made him a very real and believable character. I really felt for him when he was subjected to abuse from not only the Ton, but also members of his own family, because he was now, in their eyes, damaged. Likewise, he never planed to be a Duke and has been thrown in to the deep end, so to speak. He is under an awful amount of pressure by his family, to do the right thing. Duty binds him and it feels like his life is no longer his own.

Fiona was wonderful. She came across as a really strong character, but there was an air of vulnerability about her that made her really likable. She very quickly becomes swept along with circumstance, with some funny, but ultimately, disastrous consequences.

How To Capture A Duke was a really enjoyable read. It is a beautiful historical romance story that will make you laugh out loud. I highly recommend. 

About the author

Born in Texas, Wellesley graduate Bianca Blythe spent four years in England. She worked in a fifteenth century castle, though sadly that didn't actually involve spotting dukes and earls strutting about in Hessians.

She credits British weather for forcing her into a library, where she discovered her first Julia Quinn novel. Thank goodness for blustery downpours.

Bianca now lives in Massachusetts with her boyfriend, though she will admit to craving warm scones and clotted cream. She's not certain she can admit to reading about handsome, roguish dukes, at least in a location where her boyfriend might stumble upon the fact.

But if any readers are stumbling upon this, rest assured that she does write about rather swoon worthy heroes :-)

Thursday 28 January 2016

"There is no evil in sorcery, only in the hearts of men. My request is that you remember this" Merlin

Gaius: :  Where did you study? Answer me.
Merlin:  I've... I've never studied magic or been taught. 
Gaius:   Are you lying to me, boy?
Merlin: What do you want me to say?
Gaius:  The truth!
Merlin: I was born like this. 
Gaius:  That's impossible!
                                                   (Merlin - The Dragons Call)

If you had not already guessed, I am going to be blogging about Merlin again today.

Last time I was talking about Monmouth and all the wonderful things he did for Merlin. Today, I am going to have a look and see where this fascinating wizard went next.

Robert de Boron was one of those amazing French poets of the 12th Century. He wrote a poem called Merlin. Boron is credited with the great works Prose Merlin as well.                                       

Let us see how he portrayed Merlin in Prose Merlin.

It is said that in between Christ’s horrific crucifixion and joyful resurrection he spent some time in Hell, bringing salvation to all who had died (excluding the damned).                                                                                                         

“Full wrothe and angry was the Devell, whan that oure Lorde hadde ben in helle and had take oute Adam and Eve and other at his plesier” Prose Merlin

Christ's Descent into Limbo Andrea Mantegna c.1470 
Boron starts the story of Merlin just after Christ’s resurrection. The Council of devils was called in to order. They were angry, enraged by Christ’s Harrowing of Hell and they wanted revenge. Christ and his God would not be allowed to get away with this. They would rue the day they thought to enter into a domain that was never theirs.

They came up with a plan.

They would create a being that would undo everything that Christ had done. They would create an antichrist, who would follow their orders, who would do their bidding and there would be nothing that God or his son could do about it.

Their plan was deceptively simple. If God could beget a child with a virgin maid, then so could they. They found such a woman and begot her with child.
 But they did not understand love, or virtue, faith...hope. The woman they had chosen had a close advisor, a holy man called Blaise and she confided in him what had happened. She begged for his help
 Blaise tries to reassure the woman. He tells her that they will baptize the child as soon as it is born and they pray with all their might that the demon will be chased away from the babies body.

The baby, a boy, is born and Blaise immediately baptizes him and they pray that the demon will not plague the child. It seems that they were successful. They have snatched the child away from Satan’s clutches.
The woman names the child Merlin after her father.

But Merlin is no ordinary child. He may not be under the influence of Satan anymore, but the demon has left him a legacy. He can see things – the past – the present. He can predict future events. He is, in short, a prophet. But he is no ordinary prophet; he has other skills as well. He can shapeshift.

Last time I spoke about Nennius and his story of Vortigern and his struggle building a tower that kept on collapsing? If you missed that post you can check it out here.
In Nennius’s story, the fatherless boy who is brought before Vortigern is Ambrosius.

In Boron’s story the boy is Merlin.

Like Ambrosius in Nennius story, Merlin blames the destruction of the tower on two fighting dragons, but here the story take a sharp turn and veers off on its own course. Instead of the dragons represent the Saxon’s and the Briton’s, Merlin states that the dragons represent Vortigern and two brothers, Pendragon and Uther. Merlin also prophesies Vortigern’s death.

On Vortigern’s death, Pendragon take the throne. Merlin becomes an adviser to this new royal dynasty. He helps them with their struggles with the Saxons.

Merlin foresees a great battle at Salisbury where Pendragon will meet his fate. All that he predicts comes true and the younger of the brothers, Uther, takes the throne as well as his brothers name. He becomes known as Uther Pendragon.

The battle was fierce and many Britons died. Merlin decides that a permanent memorial is needed so this battle would be remembered forever. The memorial still stands – Stonehenge.

Uther needs to be a strong king and Merlin advices that he needs a symbol of the Christian religion. He recommends a replica of the table that was used at the Last Supper and was pinnacle in the story of the Holy Grail - It is said that Joseph of Arimethea used the Grail (A cup) - from the Last Supper - to catch the blood from Jesus's body as he hung from the cross - They did not have the Grail, but they could recreate at least part of the story. What they needed was....

A Round Table.

A glorious Round Table was commissioned and it came to represent not only the Grail and the last supper, but also chivalry and the knightly code of honour.

But not everything Merlin does is for the good. When Uther is overcome with lust for the Duke of Cornwall’s wife. Merlin casts a spell, so Uther’s appearance is changed to that of the Duke. Igrain, the Dukes wife, is deceived into thinking that she is sharing her body with her husband. That night, Arthur is conceived.

The Duke dies that night in battle and Uther and Igrain marry soon after.

When Arthur is born he is fostered and is raised by Antor (Ector). Arthur grows up and as we all know he draws a sword from a stone.


University of Rochester - Middle English Text Series 

If you would like to read Prose Merlin, then check out this link

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Forget about Arthur -- Let's take a look at Merlin!

 Higitus Figitus zumbabazing! 

Today, I am going to blog about....
( Imagine John Hurt saying that - It makes it sound so much more majestic).

Oh my here's a topic. I fear it will take more than one post to talk about this rather interesting chap.

Okay. Lets start with the basics...

When I think of Merlin, I think of several things.

1. He was a wizard.

(Maybe not this Wizzard, but you get the idea...I hope!)

2. He was Welsh

( A Welsh mountain.)

3. Colin Morgan


4. Myrddin Emrys 

( Colin Morgan again!) 

5.Higitus Figitus


Today, for simplicity's sake, I am going to look at the legend.

The name Emrys means immortal and that was exactly what Geoffrey of Monmouth did to Merlin when he wrote his wonderful  Historia Regum Britanniae. Which - we all know - is the most fascinating factual book ever to be written. Fascinating, yes. Factual...not so much. But then again, maybe one day someone will find Monmouth's mysteriously lost manuscript - where he claimed he got all of his sources from. Wouldn't it be marvellous if they did? Can you image the uproar that would cause?! Oh, I so want someone to find it. Hey, you know, that could be an interesting idea for a book - I could have fun with that! Monmouth's Lost Manuscript. Has a certain ring to it, don't you think? Watch this space...

Monmouth's, Merlin was incredibly popular. Particularly with the Welsh. The English may have some flimsy claim to Arthur, but the Welsh had Merlin and lets be honest - he was a far more interesting character than some knight who pulled a sword out of a stone.

Let me introduce you to Myrddin Wyllt (a.k.a. Myriddin the Wild / of the Woods / of Carmarthen). Now rumour has it, that Myriddin was driven mad by witnessing the horrors of war and he fled to the woods and became a bit of a wild-man. Monmouth had a very reliable source - here we go - he claimed to have the actual words of this mysterious hermit. Which he then tuned into a great work, which he aptly named Prophetiae Merlini (The Prophesy of Merlin).

Before we continue, we need to take a look quickly at Nennius works. Now Nennius famously listed Arthur's 12 battles, although he never mentioned that Arthur was a king. Who he did talk about was Aurelius Ambrosius...

....The British Warlord, Vortigern, was trying to erect a tower ( like you do), but the tower, for some unknown reason, always collapsed before completion. The solution was simple - all that was needed was the blood of a child born without a father - so simple, why did no one else think of that?! This meant they had to travel to a galaxy far far away, meet up with the Jedi -- hang on -- sorry -- wrong story....

...Luckily, for Vortigern and the tower, there was such a child. A boy called Ambrosius. He was brought before the king. He bravely told the king that the reason why the tower kept falling down was because the foundations were built on a lake where two dragons continuously fought each other. Obviously this was a not so subtle metaphor for the Saxon's and the Britons who were continuously fighting for dominance. The tower would not stand while Vortigern had the throne. It would only stand when Ambosius became king. Ambrosius then has the cheek to tell Vortigern to go away. Ambrosius says "I will stay here." I bet Vortigern didn't see that one coming.

But what has this got to do with Merlin?

Monmouth changed the story Nennius told -- such things happen now and then. The fatherless child is actually a prophetic bard, who goes by the name of Merlin.

Monmouth magically weaves Merlin into the stories of Arthur and his knights. And he states that it was Merlin that brought the stones for Stonehenge from the Preseil Hills. Stonehenge - according to Monmouth- is the burial place of Aurelius Ambrosius.

It was a good job Merlin knew a giant to help him build Stonehenge - I do not understand why archaeologists have never found any evidence for the giant race helping with Stonehenge - I mean, it makes sense and how hard can it be to find a giant's footprint?! I do not think they are looking hard enough.

 This depiction of Merlin and the giant can be found in the manuscript of Roman de Brut by Wace.

Monmouth is also responsible for the tale of how Arthur was conceived. If you are not familiar with it, you can read about it here. But to quickly recap... Merlin casts a magic spell on Uther Pendragon, changing his appearance so that he looks like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. Uther creeps into the bedchamber of Gorlois's wife, Igrain, and begets her with child.

Monmouth caught, what I like to call, the King Arthur bug - I must warn you it is very contagious - He could not leave Merlin's story alone, just like he could not leave Arthur's. Merlin pops up again in Vita Merlini.

Once Monmouth finished his great works, that wasn't the end for Merlin and his story. In fact that old Wizard was just getting started. Keep an eye out for the next blog on Merlin and I will continue his tale...

Sunday 24 January 2016

The Treasure of Gwenlais (The Rienfield Chronicles Book 1) #bookreview

I love historical fiction. I love fantasy fiction too.

 The Treasure of Gwenlais : The Rienfield Chronicles Book 1
 by M.T. Magee, combines both genres.

Lets have a quick look at the story.

It is said that it is easier to hate, than to try and understand a race that is so different from our own. The Rabkin are such a race. They are a frightening species, feared by the humans, for they are renowned to be exceptionally swift killers and a deadly force to be reckoned with.

Prince Caleb of Heathwin, longs for peace and security for his kingdom and he has secured a fragile alliance between his people and these mysterious creatures.

But dark forces move against this delicate alliance. Unexpectedly a tribe of Rabkin attack a small defenceless village in the neighbouring  kingdom of Gwenlais. These Rabkin are different from the others - they have no respect for life or for death - and they bear different markings to the resident Rabkin tribes. They are strangers, outsiders, mercenaries.

Princess Laurel of Gwenlais is just seconds away from death. The Rapkin have murdered her much loved mother - the Queen of Gwenlais - and they are now hunting her. Prince Caleb saves the princess just in time. This blatant disregard for life shocks him, and knowing the Rapkin as he does, he cannot understand it.

Laurel and Caleb have always been close, despite living in separate kingdoms, and the events that are about to unfold draws them closer together. But their newfound love is as fragile as the peace between the kingdoms and there is an unknown enemy that threatens to destroy everything...

 What did I think?

The joy of Kindles is that it tells you roughly how long a book is going to take you to read. According to my Kindle it was going to take me just over 31 hours to read The Treasure of Gwenlais. So either my reading speed is exceptionally slow or this book was incredibly long. Turns out it was the latter! I have to be honest, I would not normally even attempt to read a book that is this long - I just have not go the time to devote such a large portion of it to one book, but the description of the story intrigued me. After doing some quick calculations in my head, I realised that each chapter was going to take me over an hour to get through. So I quickly decided that if Chapter 1 did not hook me in, then I would give the rest of the book a miss. Two hours later I looked up from the book to check the time, and realised that I was late for an appointment!

I absolutely adore the world that Magee has created. I am trying to think of something to compare it to - think of the dramatic backdrop of Game of Thrones, a pinch of Narnia, a dash of Lord of the Rings and a very large splash of the greatest romance you have ever read and you may be getting somewhere. Actually, I don't think even that description gives it justice. Dare I say...this book is an original?? If there is such a thing.

The attention to detail is exquisite. It is almost an hour-by-hour chronicle of what is happening in these peoples lives - but instead of becoming bogged down in the detail, which is always a risk when writing like this, it just gave me a thirst to read more. It became almost like an addiction. This book monopolized all my spare time and I became ever so slightly anti-social for a week or so!

Magee is obviously passionate about her Irish and Scottish ancestry and the world she has created has a whisper of the kingdoms of the ancient Celts. Although in her world, it is perfectly acceptably to drink tea and eat dainty sandwiches! Rightly so. And occasionally a man eating plant will try to kill you...such is life.

Every single one of the characters that you meet in this book is not only unique, but also believable. She breathes life into every single person she talks about, be it a hero or villain. King or servant. Human or Rabkin.

I adored this book. I loved the world, the characters, the plot, the intrigue and the romance. What a beautiful, beautiful story.

I am so glad I took a chance and read Chapter 1. What an adventure I would have missed out on if I had passed it by. Now hurry up, Magee, and write book 2. I want to find out what happens next!




 About the Author

My name is M.T. Magee and I live in New England on our small farm with my husband and son. We raise an assortment of silly goats, quiet rabbits, far too many ducks and chickens, and a high strung Border collie cross named Gronk. I have always loved fantasy and fell in love with Tolkien at age eleven. I read all of his works at age twelve. I have been writing stories since I was ten years old and have always wanted to be an author. After fulfilling my dream of becoming a nurse, marrying the love of my life and having two wonderful sons, I have finally been able to fulfill my dream of publishing my first book. My youngest son is severely disabled and I am his full-time caregiver. The long winter months here in New England make it virtually impossible to go out very often, so I used this time to begin my story, The Treasure of Gwenlais. Fifteen months and 1144 pages later, I am very happy to present my story to all of you. I love strong female characters, who are still able to convey a sense of vulnerability and be very relatable. I also love strong male leads who are not afraid to show their soft side. Love of family is important to me as I am sure it is to everyone and I convey this in my story.

Friday 22 January 2016

The gallant Sir Tristan - Knight of the Round Table

"...If our two loves be one, or thou and I 
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die..."
The Good-Morrow John Donne

Tristan and Iseult Edmund Blair Leighton (1853–1922)

Lancelot, Gawain and Tristan are my all time three favorite knights. I have already talked about Lancelot and Gawain and now it is Sir Tristan's turn.

Tristan is much like Lancelot in that he stands for everything that is noble. He is chivalrous and kind. He is loyal and brave. You would want him on your side if you were going into battle. He would protect his fellow knights and countryman until the last drop of blood fell from his body.

His tale is also one of the oldest romantic stories ever told. But it traveled a great distance before becoming the story we now know...

I need to whisk you back to the Highlands of Scotland and to the home of the Picts, where a tale emerged of a young noble prince called Drust, who saved a beautiful princess from some terrible pirates.

The story then traveled to Wales where it became fictionalized (?)- Drust became Drystan and this Drystan became the nephew of a powerful King March. King March married the said princess, but the princess was in love with Drystan and he with her. The ultimate love triangle.

The story then weaved its way to the south of Britain and settled in Cornwall. Drystan became Tristan and Marsh became Mark. The tale traveled on to Brittany, before settling in France, where the finishing touches were put on to it The tale has being mesmerizing English and French audiences ever since.

Bards once traveled from place to place weaving their magic with words, but there was no point in write such things down -- not many people could read after all, and listening to stories was the Dark Age equivalent to watching the television. The original Celtic tale of Drust and the pirates has long since been lost.

The story of Tristan and Iseult, that we now know, is the creation of one of those glorious French poets of the 12th Century.  Béroul was the first to write down the tale of Tristan, but his version was hardly courtly and not at all fitting with the Arthurian theme to which the story is now associated with.

Thomas of Britain took up the story and he wrote the courtly version that became the forefather of the story we know today. Unfortunately, there are only fragments of the original manuscripts now left in existence.

The German poets then took up the challenge. Prose Tristan introduced the Arthurian legend to the tale and by 1469, Le Morte d'Arthur written by Sir Thomas Malory, an English author, cemented the tale firmly in the minds of the people.

The Tale of Tristan and Iseult.

Tristan is a Cornish knight and the nephew to the great King Mark.  The tale is set during a trouble period of Cornish history. Mark was having to defend his kingdom against those troublesome barbarians from Eire, who kept on invading. He had offered them tributes to stay away. The Irish took the money, but they still kept coming and the war continued.

During one such nasty raid, Tristan fights Morholt, a vicious Irish warrior, and kills him, but not before Morholt leaves Tristan with a deep wound that will not heal, no matter what his kinsmen try.

There was a whispered rumor that there was a very skilled healer in Ireland that could possibly heal Tristan's wounds. Leaving his homeland in disguise, Tristan braves the rough Irish Sea and seeks out this woman who has the power to heal him. He knows only that her name is Iseult.

He finds Iseult. He is expecting to see an old hag, but Iseult is young and beautiful, and she is, without a doubt, the most compassionate person he has ever met. She heals him and sends him back to Cornwall. He praised her skills and her beauty to Mark, who is so taken with what he hears that he orders Tristan to return to Ireland and bring Iseult back to Cornwall so that he can marry her himself.

Tristan, ever loyal to his uncle the king, does as he is bid. But something strange happens on the way home. He and Iseult are drugged by a powerful love potion and they fall instantly in love with each other.

Although Iseult loves Tristan, she has no choice but to marry Mark. However, the love potion is so strong that she can not keep away from Tristan and the the two of them become lovers.

King Mark finds out about his wife and his nephew. They have committed treason and there can be only one outcome. Death. Tristan escapes on the way to the gallows and he rescues Iseult from being burnt at the stake.

Does this tale sound familiar to you??!
It sounds remarkable similar to the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot.
 Don't you think?

On with the story...

Tristan and Iseult hide out in the forest of Morrois -- in later texts it is said that Lancelot helped to conceal the lovers for a time -- but Tristan is noble and he can not live with what he has done.

Despite everything that has happened, Mark loves his wife and he loves Tristan - as if he were his own son.

Tristan returns Iseult to her husband and he banishes himself to Brittany where he meets Iseult of the White Hand, daughter of Hoel. He marries her, despite still being in love with Iseult, the Queen of Cornwall.

The years go by and out heroes age...

 Tristan is injured while trying to rescues a young woman from six villainous knights. The wound is fatal unless he is treated by the Queen of Cornwall. He sends for Iseult. He asks that if she comes, then the ship must sail back with six white flags. If she refuses to come, then the ship must sail with black flags instead of white. The ship comes and Tristan, who is too weak to rise from his bed, asks his wife what colour the sails are. In a fit of jealous rage, she tells him they are black. Tristan dies thinking his first love has forgotten all about him. Iseult arrives to save her former lover, but she is too late - he is already dead. She dies of grief that same day.

The dead lovers are taken back to Cornwall and buried. From their graves spouted a hazel tree and a honeysuckle, and as they grew they intertwined around each other. Mark had the branches cut back three times, but each time they would regrow and wrapped themselves around each other. And Mark released that their love was indeed a very great thing. After that he left the trees alone.

And so ends the tale.

It is the greatest and saddest of love stories.

The Tristan stone.

The Tristan stone is a long, 2.7 m, tall granite pillar near Fowey in Cornwall. It dates around AD 600 and is inspired with these words:

Drustan lies here, the son of Cunomorus, with the lady Ousilla

Drustan translate to Tristan and Ousilla, Iseult.

I could talk more of Tristan and Iseult, but I think I will leave it there today. But if you fancy watching a movie tonight, then why not check out this one. It is rather good.