Okay, so how difficult can it be to find out when the ten children of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, were born? Darn hard, it seems. I spent at least two hours today trying to sort it out. And here's a clue for one website I found: If somebody's the fourth earl of Pembroke, he wasn't born after the guy who was the fifth. Just one of the problems trying to do research on the net.
Then I decided to bite the bullet and order a book about the Plantagenets on Amazon. It was going to cost a pretty penny, but okay. It's a tax deduction. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to actually, you know, order the book. Can't put it in my shopping cart, and when I hit "used," I get a price that's way over "our price." Color me stymied. I've sent a missive off to customer service, so we'll see.
But -- and here's the saving grace of research -- I found out some really cool historical tidbits I'm hoping to weave into the story. One, about the origin of Vauxhall, I can't use, though, because the nasty Falkes de Breaute didn't marry the heiress of the earldom of Devon until later than I plan to set my story. Apparently Vauxhall derives from "Falkes' Hall," which was built on land that had belonged to his wife's family. It's these little things that break up what can be a tedious exercise, and no doubt the fact I get a thrill from such information is one reason I write historicals.