Before daybreak, I walked swiftly to the kitchen and stood watching for Marie the cook to turn and see me as I placed a bowl of salve for her calloused feet on the table. As long as she received the remedy, her tongue would not wag about Isolde, and in turn the other servants would not gossip for the moment. Cecily the scullery maid glowered at me as Marie accepted the bowl, placing it in a safe spot. She would have to come up with a slight against Isolde of her own. Most rumors did not bother Isolde, but I kept an eye on the rumblings. When I returned to Isolde’s chamber I reported how Cecily had looked at me when she saw that she would not get any juicy morsels from the cook to spread. Isolde smiled. I helped her dress and coiffed her hair while we reminisced about past adventures, like when her younger cousin Flann used to chase us in the fields so he could propose to Isolde, until her mother found out and admonished him.
Published by Meara Dietrich
Hello, welcome to my blog! I hold an MA in French Literature, and my master's thesis reflected on the realistic aspect of female servants in French literature, one of whom was Brangien, lady-in-waiting to Isolde. The Tristan and Isolde "story" first intrigued me in my undergraduate medieval French literature class and stayed with me. As I developed my graduate thesis, studying the modern French translations of the Tristan and Isolde texts, the latter mostly from the 12th century, I extrapolated what I could from the scant information about Brangien. This felt meaningful yet also dissatisfying. I hunger to know more about Brangien, and since I enjoy creative pursuits, I am currently writing a novella in order to try to answer my own questions. This blog is one way to explore who she could be. I will try to remain true to what I learn(ed) from the Tristan and Isolde texts and to my vision of Brangien (i.e. embellishments will not be found in the original texts), as well as medieval history, as an art, not a science. I am also a knitter so you may see the crafting bug manifest. Please feel free to leave a comment if you like. Thanks! View all posts by Meara Dietrich