Charlemagne Died Today   #MFRWHooks

Charlemagne Died Today #MFRWHooks

Charlemagne-Albrecht_Dürer_047Charlemagne died on January 28, 814, after four years of declining health. Born to rule the Franks, he’d been sole king since 771 when his younger brother died, and amassed such an impressive empire that in 800 the Pope named him Holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne crowned his son Louis as a co-emporer in 813. After Charlemagne’s death, the Carolingian laws for equal inheritance — along with the squabbling of Louis’s four sons — essentially doomed the vast empire. However, the eventual division of the empire into what we loosely know as France, Italy, and Germany; the wisdom of Charlemagne’s policies to unify divergent people, establish a common monetary policy, and support education; and the spread of the Church, laid the foundation for the Europe we know today. That is quite a legacy.

My story, Unbidden is set in 831, when enough time had passed for Louis and his family to start screwing things up. This is a snippet from the scene where Rochelle, the heroine, meets her emperor.


“Is there something you wish to say?” the emperor asked with a teeth-clenched softness, more than a little warning in his voice.

“I do not wish to marry,” she said, her voice cracking on the word marry. A hiss of indrawn breath came from her right, though she wasn’t sure if it was Theo or David. A slight buzz filled the room as the repetition of her words passed to its furthest corners. She lifted her chin to stare at him. “And I do not want a war fought on my estate.”

“I do not care what you wish,” he said quietly, his narrow face beginning to mottle with red. Then he shouted, “I do not care what you wish!”



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