By Michael Jecks
It really is 1321, and girl Elizabeth of Topsham, prioress of St. Mary's, is battling to maintain her place within the face of devastating competition. She has been accused through Sister Margherita, St. Mary's treasurer, of giving much-needed cash to the recent vicar, a guy she frequently sees by myself at evening. the various nuns are confident that Margherita might make a greater prioress—especially now that it's convinced that Moll, a tender nun, was once murdered in her unwell mattress. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, with his outdated pal Simon Puttock, are summoned to enquire. there's no doubt that the threefold vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty are being damaged with alarming frequency. Then, whilst a moment nun is murdered, they locate themselves dealing with their such a lot tough case but.
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Extra info for Belladonna at Belstone
There were compensations. The fire made it almost as cosy as the calefactory, the hall between the dorter and the frater where nuns could warm themselves. Here, though, there were no nuns except the infirmarer; and although the room glowed with a cheery red light, and for the first time since the onset of winter Moll was neither cold nor hungry, still she could not relax. Her arm itched where Brother Godfrey had bled it. In the pitch dark she stretched out under the sheets, wondering what could have woken her.
The reason was simple: when a rich man died he wanted to ensure that his soul had as smooth a passage into heaven as possible, and to this end, he would set up a chantry. This was a chapel which was dedicated to honouring the dead man, holding services and praying for him every day. Depending on how wealthy the man was, the more prayers he could buy; the more prayers said for him, so the logic went, the faster he’d be let in through the Pearly Gates. But there were problems for nuns: first, nunneries tended to depend upon the goodwill of their strong neighbours, and so they would sometimes agree to take in their neighbours’ daughters in exchange for benefits, such as money, which inevitably led to many of the convents having too many inmates for their means.
By the time she had finished, her arms and chest muscles ached. Sitting back, she closed her eyes and yawned luxuriously. Slowly she clambered to her feet and picked up the damp washing. From here she had to walk down a wooden staircase to get to the yard, which was lower than the cloister itself. She picked up the basket and rested it upon her hip, walking quickly to the door. At the top step she glanced down to make sure where to put her feet. Then, with the speed of assurance, she carried on down.
Belladonna at Belstone by Michael Jecks