About the Author

Author photo red 300My journey back to this time and place started many years ago on a previous writing project that explored the scientific, spiritual, and aesthetic histories of light. In doing the research for that project, I became fascinated by a number of ideas about light that were expressed during the 11th–13th centuries. These ranged from investigations into optics and vision by such pioneering natural philosophers as Roger Bacon and Ibn al-Haytham to the fundamental role that light played in the new, soaring style of church architecture that first appeared in the 12th century (the style we now call Gothic, thanks to a misguided insult that dates from the Renaissance).

These stories of light took place in a larger context of a people struggling to understand reality and define truth while (re)building a civilization from the scant materials left by their ancestors. As my fascination with the spirit of medieval France expanded, so did my respect for these people and their accomplishments. Interest turned to intrigue, intrigue to passion, and that passion turned into a sense of mission: to craft a tale that honors the memory of this culture and in some small way brings it alive for today’s readers.