About Us

I’m a writer and historian with a focus on 14th century Britain. “We” are actually one person, Candace Robb; “Emma Campion” is a pseudonym to distinguish between my crime novels (Candace) and my historical novels (Emma). My novels are set in the late 13th through early 15th centuries.

Writing as Candace Robb I’ve published the first book in the Kate Clifford mysteries (The Service of the Dead), 10 Owen Archer mysteries (The Apothecary Rose, The Lady Chapel, The Nun’s Tale, The King’s Bishop, The Riddle of St Leonard’s, A Gift of Sanctuary, A Spy for the Redeemer, The Cross-legged Knight, The Guilt of Innocents, and A Vigil of Spies) and the Margaret Kerr trilogy (A Trust Betrayed, The Fire in the Flint, and A Cruel Courtship), an Owen Archer short story, “The Bone Jar” that was published in a CWA anthology and then Ellery Queen Magazine, and is now available as an e-book, and one contemporary crime short story, “Karma,” in Murder Past, Murder Present, Twilight Times Books 2009, a project of the American Crime Writers League.

As Emma Campion I’ve written two historical novels about women in the court of King Edward III whose reputations intrigued me: The King’s Mistress, a novel of Alice Perrers (2009 UK, 2010 US), and A Triple Knot, a novel of Joan of Kent (8 July 2014, Crown/Broadway US).

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41 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Annette Hakimian said:

    HI Candace,

    This isn’t so much about your books as it is about genealogy…
    I have been doing some research into Robbs and was wondering if your husband’s family tree intersects with mine…. I’d love to find out more if you both have the time and interest. Thanks!
    I have only read one of your books so far… A Trust Betrayed… I look forward to reading more of them as I have time.
    Annette

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  2. Candace Robb said:

    Annette, I’ll get back to you in email on that when I’m finished with this flurry of travel coming up.
    Candace

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    • Annette Hakimian said:

      Thanks! I hope you good and safe travels!

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    • Annette Hakimian said:

      Hi Candace,

      I just thought I’d check and see if you have a bit of time for Robb genealogy. I am just amazed at the number of Robbs named Charles and James and David!
      BTW, I’m reading The Lady Chapel at the moment 🙂 It was the earliest Owen Archer book they had at our library.
      Hoping to hear from you.
      Annette

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  3. Dear Candace:

    Years ago, you contacted me whilst I was finishing my dissertation on Alice Perrers at the University of London. I cannot for the life of me remember what was said during our brief email exchanges, but I was reading through my copy of the ‘Historical Novels Review’ and I happened upon a review of ‘The King’s Mistress’.

    I just want to say congratulations and thank you for bringing Alice’s intriguing story to the masses. Once I successfully completed my dissertation on Alice (a few point shy of a Merit, doh!), I moved on to The Crusades and never looked back. With the renewed interest, I’m thinking of digging out the dissertation and perhaps publishing it as a specialist monograph after a bit more work.

    At any rate, I can only hope that in the throes of finishing a difficult Masters degree, I was kind to you. If I was not, I beg you forgive me. Again, congratulations and I can’t wait to read ‘The King’s Mistress’.

    Best wishes,

    Dana Celeste Robinson

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    • Candace Robb said:

      It’s so good to hear from you, Dana. As I recall, I understood exactly where you were at when we exchanged emails, and you were very courteous. I hope you enjoy the book!

      Like

  4. Mark Annison said:

    Dear Candace,
    Are there likely to be further Owen Archer novels as you seemed to hint in the last book that Owen would come under the patronage of the queen? Both my wife and I have been suffering withdrawal symptoms.

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    • Candace Robb said:

      Dear Mark, and everyone who’s wondering about Owen and Lucie, I’ve been listening to the unabridged audios of the later Owen Archer novels to nudge my subconscious into reentering that world, so do not despair! At the moment, as Emma, I’m writing a novel of Joan of Kent, wife of the Black Prince, who is a central character in A Vigil of Spies, and expresses interest (thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer’s influence) in using Owen as her “eye and ears” in the North. The deep research I’ve been doing has uncovered some juicy potential plot lines.

      That’s my answer! 😉

      Your interest means the world to me. Thank you for writing! Thank you for reading!

      Warmly,
      Candace

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  5. Karen Gold said:

    Dear Candace,

    Like Mark, I am missing Owen and Lucie dreadfully. My Dad (who now lives in France) and myself have avidly read all the Owen Archer series and we desperately want to find out what happens next. Please, please let Owen and Lucie come alive again soon!
    Best wishes,
    Karen

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  6. Dear Candace,

    Do you ever do talks when you are over in the UK? Would you be interested in doing one at Pontefract Castle? If so, could you send me an email to discuss further.

    Thanks

    Ian

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  7. jenny perrers said:

    Dear Candace – I will order a copy of the book immediately. I am very interested in the topic as we have a family story that we are descendants of Alice through my fathers line. However I have never been able to prove this. I would be most interested if you knew of any descendants as I would love to fill in the links. I would also appreciate any information about Janyn Perrers and where he came from. Is it in the book and is it based on fact?

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    • Dear Jenny,
      When you get the book, in the back you’ll find a bibliography that includes three articles by W. M. Ormrod, which provide the information he’s uncovered about Alice’s first husband, Janyn. In addition, I’ve found information about a John Perrers, who would most likely have been Janyn’s father, in “Textiles for the Coronation of Edward III,” Lisa Monnas, in Textile History, 32 (I), page 3 (it’s only a small mention). My theory about Janyn’s connection to the dowager queen Isabella is just that, a theory, based on his disappearance from all records shortly after Isabella’s death.

      Happy hunting!
      Emma

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  8. Susanne Burley said:

    Good afternoon Candace,
    I have been an Owen Archer fan for over ten years, ever since I bought a boxed set of the first three books one Christmas. Whilst I understand your need to explore other avenues, Margaret Kerr et al, it’s very frustrating having to wait so long between books. I’m afraid I have been unable to identify with your other heroes/heroines so cannot tide myself over with them.
    It’s also extremely frustrating to see Vigil of Spies and Guild of Innocents still advertised here as your ‘latest’ books when they are three and four years old now!
    Please hurry and bring Owen back to life. He is by far the most interesting of your characters.
    regards,
    Susanne

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  9. Lisa Deam said:

    Dear Candace,
    I named my baby daughter “Celia,” and I noticed it’s a name that appears prominently in the Margaret Kerr series and at least once in the Owen Archer books. I know it’s an old name, but I didn’t realize it was common in the Middle Ages. Is it a name you found in medieval records? Was it a popular name then?
    Thank you,
    Lisa

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    • Candace Robb said:

      St Cecelia (variants Celia, Cecily) was a beloved saint, depicted in stained glass, mentioned by Chaucer. It’s fair game in the 14th century, and I happen to love the name. Your daughter is fortunate!

      Candace

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  10. Dear Ms. Robb,
    I think I was in your Freshman English class at the University of Cincinnati in 1976-77. I can’t tell you how much you influenced me, and inspired me to write. I have a son who is a freshman at the University of Kentucky this year. He took AP English in high school, so he doesn’t need it in college. I related my experiences in your class to him, and told him it was the best class I had that year(Biology and Chemistry lectures and labs were rough). I loved the creative writing aspect of those classes, and write family journals to preserve our family’s memories. Thanks for being an inspiration during an extremely difficult period in my life.

    Sincerely,

    George Emerson

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    • Candace Robb said:

      George,
      It’s an incredibly beautiful feeling to be remembered after so long, and to know I helped you in a difficult time. I loved those classes. I felt I learned as much as I taught, and we all learned together. Creativity brings out our compassion as well as our passion. Thank you for brightening my day!
      Warmly,
      Candace

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  11. Dear Candace,

    My partner read and loved the Emma Campion book, and then I discovered who the ‘real’ writer was – I came across your Owen Archer books when I lived in Seattle (and I see you taught at UC – after moving to the US in ’76 I lived in Cincinnati) and loved them, some of the best historical crime, as they give a true feel of the place. I first picked them up because I love York, a place I’ve gone regularly since childhood, but I was quickly taken by the characters and the atmosphere.

    As life takes its twists and turns, I live back in the UK now, and have my own series of historical crime novels, set in my hometown of Leeds in the 1730s (two published, the third out in January). I’d like to offer you my thanks for what I’ve learned from those books; it’s been invaluable to me. And I will be reading The King’s Mistress

    Best,

    Chris Nickson.

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    • Candace Robb said:

      Dear Chris,
      Thank you! (I love being call the “real” writer, by the way.) I’ve spent a lot of time in Leeds doing publicity and at the International Congress on Mediaeval Studies, so I’m intrigued by your series. Just ordered The Broken Token from Seattle Mystery Bookshop. I look forward to it.
      Warmest wishes,
      Candace

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    • Candace Robb said:

      Just finished The Broken Token and loved it!

      Like

  12. Thank you so much for replying, Candace! Curious that our paths have sort of crossed in some ways. I actually write about York for a travel site and go up there every couple of months; one of my very favourite cities.

    I’d seriously love to have your comments on The Broken Token after you’ve read it (and thank you, too, for ordering it). It’s not the best in the series – you get a feel for the characters and theeir developing lives as a series continues – but I’m proud of it. I’m actually waiting for a decision from the publishers on book #4.

    Best,

    Chris

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  13. Hello from Germany!
    I used your portrait “portrait_B&W_smiling_Emma_Campion_20100121” with the notation “(c) Charles Robb” in my blog wihin a author introduction. May I use this picture for my blog?

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  14. Dear candace,

    First of all thank you so much for bringing York & Yorkshire to life. I first found your book “the nuns tale” in a book shop in London’s gatwick airport in 1998 while waiting for a train home,although i should have been going to kenya but wasn’t needed.I was a brand new member of cabin crew from Staffordshire, who was brought up in Yorkshire & reading about Scarborough & york where my parents now live, your book was a life line to a home sick boy from the north. (I still have my 16 year old treasured copy at home which has followed me around the world,as have all of your books). Many times I have sat in far away countries reading your books & still being at home in York & England.

    Since then your Owen archer & Lucie works have lightened my life, I have loved every single book you have written in the series. My saddest part was the death of archbishop Thoresby, sad to say I even cast a few tears in “the vigil of spies”,& thank you for bringing him to life.

    6 months ago I was able to return to York & spent my 3 days walking around & trying to imagine Owens & Lucie as well as magda’s medieval York.especially around St. Helens square. Even walking through monks bar & visiting the bishops palace chapel, brought back the archbishop to life.

    Since your fantastic writings I have now spent much of my free time reading & researching medieval York & in particular medieval religion in the area & have loved every second of it,thank you for being such an inspiration.

    If I can be of any help in religion & the Yorkshire medieval area then I would feel honoured to help.

    Thank you again for being such a lifeline to home & igniting my now love of medieval religion, Yorkshire & this time in history.

    Hoping the new year of 2013 is finding you & you family well.

    A loyal fan.

    Chris.

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    • Dear Chris,
      Thank you for your wonderful note! I am so glad that my books softened your homesickness and led you to a new, engrossing interest. I would love to hear more about what it is regarding medieval religion in Yorkshire that’s inspired you.
      Warmly,
      Candace

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      • chris chatfield said:

        Dear Candace,
        thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Why has medieval religion in Yorkshire so inspired me?, to be honest it is hard to put into words, but I hope to try.

        Within the county of Yorkshire you had the wide an extensive range of different types of the medieval Catholic world. On the coast the large Benedictine abbey of Whitby dominated the small fishing village, which in the times such a small village wouldn’t have been able to support such a large abbey but yet it prospered, and dominated the coast. I can just imagine the monks reciting the office of the dead at midnight while their abbey was surrounded by the sound of the wind, waves or one of the many storms that hit the coast, the candles in the abbey illuminating the windows out to sea, as a guide for fishermen & smugglers alike. Like every religious house they would have still recited the daily offices regardless of the outside world. At the same time in York you have the large complex of St Mary’s an urban monastery, while located close to the Minster & medieval daily life, it still had it’s own wall defences, was an integral part of the city but still offered peace and contemplation in its walls, becoming one of the most wealthy and important northern communities.

        Then you have the isolation of the Cistercian orders at Fountains & Rievaulx, & elsewhere. Miles from cities they become in their own rights northern cities that could exist away from the supplies of a town on their doorstep like St Mary’s. True beacons of faith in the isolation of Yorkshire. Other orders of monks & friars spread through out the county like the Franciscans & Dominicans, even getting to the powerful castle of Scarborough through the arduous moors & making communities. The monks walking miles to start these communities with little to support them & little to welcome them. Many taking up their roles in the northern cities & towns but also providing rest & shelter for people on more remote routes to enable people to take shelter on long journeys, even far away from towns & villages. Small houses could be found.

        Away from the religious orders the bishops & archbishops of the north are also fascinating & varied. The warrior Archbishops like William de la Zouche who “lead his clergy to battle against the Scots with his army”. Days when all were called to defend the north against the Scottish invasion even clergy. The way that even in the far north of Yorkshire with limited transport, they were able to appeal to the Pope in Avignon & often their battle with the king & Canterbury were won through the Pope. The feuding between Neville & the bishop of Durham as well as the canons of Beverley, & how Neville was trying to show his authority as archbishop, or was he trying to just bring his religious communities in line?

        Although I also love the dispute (battles) of the crosses between York & Canterbury in this time. Although it was pacified during Thoresby, the whole argument is intriguing. How raising the Yorkshire cross in the southern Metropolitan could result in arguments & even violence, & vice versa. How both archbishops battle for control of the church within England. I was intrigued by the reported confrontation in Westminster when both crosses were walking down a corridor with both delegations following them, as the passage narrowed each party argued for precedence & eventually turned violent. I can just see each party fighting while the cross bearers used their cross as a battle flag for it’s supporters.

        Also at the moment I am starting to read into the death & burial rites in medieval England 1066-1550, a new book I have found. It is fascinating seeing how the rites changed during this period, & luckily most of it is based around finds in York, always a benefit to hear about York, & its religious influence. How suspected & condemned witches & evil doers must be buried at crossroads to avoid the spirit from finding a way back to the community. How the Jewish community were given a burial ground in York but away from the city walls unlike Catholics who hade church yards within the city walls, yet near the Minster. The rise of merchants being buried within in the church rather than priests & patrons. How different orders & priests acted during the black death, some helping while some closed their doors. I could go on but won’t, I think I already have, sorry.

        Hence my interest in the wide variety of medieval Yorkshire religion I hope I haven’t gone on too much, but have tried to keep it short, I could go on for ages, but shouldn’t for other readers.

        Hope this finds you well

        Kindest of regards Chris.

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  15. Chris, forgive the long lag in responding to this wonderful “comment,” more like a post. You must be reading Death and Burial in Medieval England by Christopher Daniell. I love this book, especially because, as you pointed out, his research is so focused on my favorite place. Thank you for your thoughtful post–you reminded me of the book and I’ve spent some happy hours revisiting it.

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  16. Gail Loeffel said:

    Do you have any plans to put your books on kindle? Just can’t read a regular book anymore.

    Like

    • The King’s Mistress is available as an ebook on all platforms, as will be A Triple Knot. We are working to bring the Owen Archer novels out in ebooks, but it will take time. Most of them were originally available in large print format and audio books. Thank you for your interest!

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  17. Ebooks in German Language, too. Please!!!

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  18. is their a way to get a reveiw copy i often reveiw books like this throughout the summer and i happy to give you an honest reveiw in exchange for a book of course

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  19. Dear Candance,

    One of the best momments of the day is when I go to the bed and start to read the one of your Archer’s books. I forget all the workstress and I move to York. Thanks a lot for make me easier the heavy working journeys!!!

    I would also like to know if the last trhree Archer’s books have been translated to Spanish. I’d be very happy if I could find it.

    Thanks again!

    Like

    • Dear Olga,
      Thank you for your beautiful note! I know that wonderful feeling of falling into the world of a book and forgetting my own problems. I am thrilled to hear that my books do that for you. It is every writer’s dream, that we create characters so real they transport us into their world.

      I’m sorry to say that the last 3 Owen Archer books have not been translated into Spanish. Yet! Maybe someday….

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  20. Marianne Ahrne said:

    I am rereading The Apothecary Rose and find it as good as the first time, perhaps even better as I have more time to read slowly now and savour all thedetails now that I’m retired. But the covers of all editions of the book I’ve seen show the wrong apothecary rose. As a grower of old roses including this rose first recorded in 1310 it bothers me that all cover designs show a modern hybrid tea. I wish you would tell future designers to research the correct rose. Yes, I know I am a fussy rose buff! Sincerely, Marianne in Sweden

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    • Thank you for your note, Marianne. It is so good to hear that The Apothecary Rose holds up to a second reading!

      The roses… I am battle-weary with arguments about the correct rose. I know. I know.

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  21. John Leland said:

    After I talked to you at the Medieval Congress in May about my sister-in-law’s interest in your books, I asked her if she would like a copy of Service of the Dead, and she said yes, but I was unable to attend your book signing due to a schedule conflict, and when I got back to the booth that carried your books, all copies of Service of the Dead were already gone — good for you, but frustrating for me. I see I can order a copy from several sources, but I was wondering if there are any signed copies available for purchase since I feel bad that I did not get one for her in Kalamazoo.

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    • Hi John,
      I’ve emailed you with some suggestions and an offer if they don’t work out. Yes, it’s always wonderful to sell out, but only AFTER everyone who wants a book has had a chance to purchase it! It’s always fun to catch up with you at Kalamazoo.
      Candace

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