In the small village of Castel Villa in Southern Burgundy, not far from the medieval town of Cluny, where the towers of the great Abbey reached to the sky, lived the heroes and heroines of this story. Claudette was born into a peasant family who struggled to survive and were often starving when their small harvest failed. Her life and that of her family changed dramatically when she went to work at the Chateau, to a tumultuous life she could not have imagined. In the Middle Ages, girls and women had to struggle to make their place. Labelled by the Church as the ‘first sinners’ and compared by misogynous clergy to the devil, they were at an enormous disadvantage.
About the Author
Jean Lombard was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland, where she met John Lombard, a journalist, when they were both working in Guinness's Brewery. She migrated to Australia in 1968 and married John in Melbourne, the same year. They have travelled widely, spending some years in Singapore and Russia, where John was a Foreign Correspondent for the ABC. Jean researched her first book 'An Irish Woman in Czarist Russia' while living in the former Soviet Union. Jean and John bought a ruined farmhouse in a small village in Southern Burgundy, in 1989, and later renovated it. This has been their home for the past 26 European summers. As a lover of history, Jean was inspired by life in the village to write this story. Claudette has been translated into French by Rachel Guyet, M.Lang, PhD.