Tony, I don't know if you are familiar with all the ?friendly? folks on the arcadia forum, but in past there was a gal who posted in a very similar style as Clarmonde.
My curiosity got the best of me so I checked out what a search for Clarmonde would bring and man was I ever spot on...Hi Contessa. This is a sample of what I came across...http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/GASCONY.htm
That Gascony pedigree makes mention of a Clarmonde de Marson.
here is an excerpt from this book...http://overdrive.dclibrary.org/3BEE1718 ... 7E7ED%7D..
....Excerpts Chapter One
They say I am mad.
Listen, I have seen enough to drive anyone mad, and when the townsfolk see me now, straggling down the street in my ragged gown, sometimes leaning on the rough stone walls of a house or stopping at the fountain to look in the water, when they find me leaning on both hands on a fence to catch my breath before picking up my pack again and hobbling on, then I feel them ease away. The children come out of the byways, calling, "Witch, witch!" They throw stones at me. They are like rats or buzzing flies swarming at some undisclosed signal to my plight; they throw mud and stones at the poor madwoman, with her wild gray hair, which is me. They hoot and point and run in circles round me, touching my torn gray dress and making me forget who I am and what I came out for.
I cover my face with both hands and weep, because I am afraid; because I am a clod of dirt and should have been burnt with the others.
I told them so. "Burn me," I cried. I ran to the two Dominicans, the Preaching Friars in their black robes and stark white hoods, who like our perfecti live in poverty. There were two of them begging outside the cathedral doors. I threw myself on my knees, there on the flagstones, and made obeisance as I used to do to the perfectus bishop Bertrand Marty, bowing in adoratio at his feet. "Burn me," I begged the friars, I am not worthy," and held out both my hands to show the rope-burns on my wrists. But they pulled away, repulsed. I could see the younger one curl his lip at my smell. "I am not worthy to live," I cried. "In the name of Christ! I have lied. I have sworn oaths. I have drunk, fucked, killed. I am unclean."
They gathered their garments and scurried away from the cathedral, away from me.
Then I sank in the dust, leaning against the heavy wooden doors. Not a large cathedral, this one beside the monastery. Not a large monastery either -- only ten or fifteen brothers living there. I scratched my fingers in the dust as our Lord did once when passing judgment on the adulteress, and I thought of all that had happened to bring me to this pass, and all my lovers gone, my friends, a way of life wiped out, and I, the wanderer, lost and trying to do right and trying to serve Christ.Esclarmonde used to say that misery and self-pity are the lies of the demon. "Take control," she would command in that firm, impatient way she had. I laugh out loud, remembering. "Esclarmonde," I whisper. I can see her crossing the square in her long black habit with a white cord at the waist, and the way she used to cock her head and purse her lips at scrawny me, one reproving eye trying to push some sense into my head. Her socia, Ealaine, would be at her side. Es-clar-monde, the light of the world.
"Jeanne, you don't let horses run away with you," she used to caution me. "You rein them in. The same with the wild horses of your mind. Take control of your thoughts. Curb the dismal thoughts, and force forward those of blessings and thanks. They are horses at your own command."
After a time I picked myself up from the cathedral stones and took my cane and let my feet lead me slowly over the cobblestones, out of the town, past the vineyards and into the woods. My feet knowing where to go.
They took me right through the forest into the pastures where cattle grazed, tended by two little boys. There were some geese too, I remember, and one little goosegirl about six years old with hair as black as night. It fell into her eyes like a straggly pony's mane.
I stopped to stare at her for a long time, leaning on my stick.But she was not mine, that girl, for mine would have been much older, I think, maybe grown by now, though I cannot say for sure, for time...
One woman's unforgettable quest for freedom, love, and god.
Then there is this one... check out the writing style...
Treasure of Montsegur: A Novel of the Cathars
Pub. Date: January 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
One woman's unforgettable quest for freedom, love, and god.
The extermination of the Cathars, a medieval religious sect settled in southern France that condemned the Catholic Church, provides heavy historic drapery for this somewhat lightweight novel. Having barely escaped burning on a pyre along with hundreds of fellow Cathars and Cathar sympathizers following a brutal year-long siege at the mountain fortress of Monts gur, Jeanne is on the run from the Inquisition. Posing as a homeless madwoman, Jeanne recalls her past as an impulsive, sexually driven young woman raised by the saintly Cathars. When a stranger, Jerome, risks his life vouching for Jeanne to the inquisitors, Jeanne is forced to live with him, or else both will face heresy charges. Predictably, romance ensues. This contrivance allows Jeanne to tell her life story, including her survival at Monts gur, amid snuggles and pillow talk. Jeanne's mood swings from brash, intelligent and determined to innocent and meek make her seem more disjointed than complex. Burnham, author of a number of books on spiritual phenomena, including the New York Times bestseller A Book of Angels, is at her best describing mystic and spiritual matters. Jeanne's spiritual transformations ("The soldiers grab me, strip me to the waist: my breasts exposed. They beat me with their leather whips, but oh, my Lady! Each blow brings only exquisite joy. I am transported, for I am filled with Christ and yet I gaze into the glowing eyes of Christ") feel vital and immediate. Despite its flaws, Burnham's novel is an energetic, psychological imagining of the Cathar legend. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
As ya can see Tony, when ya check out the posts by Contessa Sonia Lorraine ya see a perfect match to out gal Clarmonde here.
What puzzles me is, the vamp-spook genre is quite afield from the run-of-the-mill Cathar genre, yes? There was a lot of speculation 'boot the Cathars in the mad feedin' frenzy prior to release of a not so thrilling to read text called The Rise, which promised to shake the Vatican down to its very foundations,,, but as ya can see The Vatican is a rather sturdy institution, yes?
Contessa I hope ya enjoy swappin' ghastly ghostly not necessarily so sinister tales with us, hehehe