...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Winners of Royal Blood by Rona Sharon...

Congratulations to...




Chosen by

These ladies are in for a good read.
Please email me at you full name and address.
Thanks for participating!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday's Royal Trivia...

Are you an Elizabethan Expert Extraordinaire?

Find out take the Liz Quiz!

Post your results, I was Proficient

I think it will be fun to add to your comments one book you recommend that you have read about Elizabeth I.

I recommend Legacy by Susan Kay~the best historical novel I have read about Elizabeth, and maybe the best historical novel I've read period.

This will be fun to see every one's results, so please, please play along!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday's Royal Who?

Who am I?

I was born in 1503 at Allington Castle, Maidstone, Kent. My father Henry was a member of King Henry VIII Privy Councillors. I was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge University. In 1521 I married Elizabeth Brooke and had two children. It was a loveless marriage and by 1524 I sued for divorce on the grounds of adultery. I was soon after part of King Henry VIII court as an Ambassador at home and abroad.

It was during this time at court that I met and fell madly in love with Anne Boleyn.
I wrote several poems for my beautiful Anne the most famous was:

Whoso list to hunt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, alas, I may no more,
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore.
I am of them that farthest cometh behind;
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the Deer: but as she fleeth afore,
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain:
And, graven with diamonds, in letters plain
There is written her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere for Caesar’s I am.

There was much gossip around court that Anne and I were lovers, but I will remain discreet. However, if you read closely, Whoso list to hunt, you may find some interesting metaphors such as hind, deer, she fleeth, fainting I follow, and she wears the necklace proclaiming Caesar's I am, therefore poor me I can no longer be apart of Anne's life for Henry's she is.

I was charged with treason several times in my life and thrown in the tower, but I always was pardoned. The hardest and most ridiculous charge was that I had been Queen Anne's lover while she was wed to the King. I will go to my death proclaiming my innocence and hers of all counts of treason.

While I was in the tower I witnessed Anne's execution and I wrote this poem:

V. Innocenti Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me inimici mei;.latin for 'my enemies surround my innocent, truthful, faithful soul'.

Who list his wealth and ease retain,
Himself let him unknown contain.
Press not too fast in at that gate
Where the return stands by disdain,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.
The high mountains are blasted oft
When the low valley is mild and soft.
Fortune with Health stands at debate.
The fall is grievous from aloft.
And sure, circa Regna tonat

These bloody days have broken my heart.
My lust, my youth did them depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb seeks to revert.
Of truth, circa Regna tonat

The bell tower showed me such sight
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I learn out of a grate,
For all favour, glory, or might,
That yet circa Regna tonat

By proof, I say, there did I learn:
Wit helpeth not defence too yerne,
Of innocency to plead or prate.
Bear low, therefore, give God the stern,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.

I will die 11 October 1542 in my own bed at the age of 39. While I was alive none of my poems were published. I will be remembered in history as one of the father's of the English Sonnet. I am buried in Sherborne Abbey, in Dorset.

Who am I?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday's Teaser

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Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere in the middle
Make sure to share the title and author of the book

Katherine by Anya Seton~ The Classic Love Story of Medieval England
Product Description

This classic romance novel tells the true story of the love affair that changed history-that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family. Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets-Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II-who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented affair and love persist through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption. This epic novel of conflict, cruelty, and untamable love has become a classic since its first publication in 1954.

I love, love, love this book!!! I am nearly done with it, and sorry to have to finish it. It is especially appealing to me because it is about the Duke of Lancaster, John of Ghent and Katherine de Roet Swynford my 19th great grandparents. What a love story. The perfect combination of romance and history. I never knew much about John and Katherine, and their impact on British history so this has been a sheer delight. I will leave a better review when I am finished, but for now you can't go wrong with this one.

My teasers:

Edmond had spent most of his thirty years docilely obeying and admiring all three of his elder brothers, but particularly this one who was so near him in age, and of whom he was a paler smaller copy, as though fashioned from John's leftover tints which had been insufficient and consequently diluted.

She looked at him sadly, thinking that men saw only what they wished to see, and that it would be no easy thing to conceal their love or the fruit of it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Royal Trivia...

The Dragon Slayer~England's Patron Saint~St. George

Who is George and why is he the Patron Saint of England? George was a Roman soldier who protested against the burning of Christians in the late 3rd century. George grew up in a household where his father was a Roman Citizen,a pagan, his mother was a Christian from Palastine. George was raised a Christian. As a young man he joined the Roman army under the Emperor Diocletian. He excelled as a soldier of great courage. Diocletian issued a series edicts through-out the Roman Empire rescinding Christians' legal rights and demanding their compliance with pagan rituals. George openly declared he was a Christian and tore down the Emperor's edicts. He was then tortured and dragged behind horses through the streets, but would not renounce his Christianity. He was publicly beheaded on April 23, 303, thus becoming a Christian Martyr. Prior to his execution he gave away his vast estate to the poor.

St. George would be called upon for aid in battles, or in times of great need. When victory occured churches were often built in honor of him. He became very popular during the Crusades and the knights would carry his flag the white with red cross into battle for courage. The Knights of Templar wore his flag as a tunic over their armor to be recognized as a holy order of knighthood.

St. George the Dragon Slayer: upon returning from the 1st Crusade the knights came home with a legand about a dragon that made a nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene" in Libya. Consequently, the citizens have to remove the dragon from its nest for a time, in order to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden must go instead of the sheep. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but there appears Saint George on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the cross, slays it and rescues the princess. The grateful citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity.

For England it was King Edward III during the late 14th century that truly venerated St. George. Edward was known for his promotion of the codes of knighthood. He founded the Order of the Garter the highest level a knight could aspire to. Edward had a chapel at Windsor Castle dedicated to the soldier St.George who represented the knightly values of chivalry which he so much admired. To this day the Garter ceremony takes place in St. George's Chapel every year. St. George Feast Day is celebrated yearly on April 23rd the day of his execution.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All Things Royal Book Giveaway...

Royal Blood by Rona Sharon...In the Tudor Court of 1518, your friends and enemies can be one and the same...During the annual celebration of the Order of the Garter, Sir Michael Devereaux arrives in King Henry VIII's court on a mission for his benefactor. The celebration's endless feats and sumptuous women delight the charismatic newcomer, who becomes captivated by the enigmatic Princess Renee of France. But evil, it seems, has followed Michael to the court. Shortly after his arrival, an unknown killer claims several victims, including the Queen's lady-in-waiting, and the powerful Cardinal Wolsey asks Michael to help with the investigation. As he searches for the killer, Michael is haunted by disturbing images of the victims - flashes of violence that lead him to doubt his own sanity. Michael soon realizes that the key to solving the crime is connected to both the Pope's Imperial vault in Rome and a mystery from Michael's own past - revealing a secret that is so damning, it could forever alter the future of mankind.

I have three signed copies for giveaway that Ms.Sharon has so generously provided for me. Don't miss out. Contest rules below.

If you haven't already, be sure to read Ms. Sharon's interview on this blog.

Contest Rules:
1. Leave me a comment on this post with your email address. No email~no entry
2. Another entry if you post about this contest on your blog. Please leave me a link for verification.
3. Another entry if you become a follower or subscribe to this blog. If already a follower you automatically will get a 2nd entry.
4. Sorry, due to shipping costs I can only ship within US or Canada. No international entrys please. I will ship book overnight mail so no P.O. boxes please.

Good until midnight June 5, 2009
Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rona Sharon, Author of Royal Blood, Interview...

I would like to introduce you all to Ms. Rona Sharon the author of critically acclaimed historical novels, My Wicked Pirate and Once A Rake. Her third novel Royal Blood a Tudor romance/thriller was released in bookstores April of 2009. Ms. Sharon lives on the Mediterranean Coast in Tel Aviv. Her first book My Wicked Pirate was published in 2005 followed by Once a Rake in 2007. Royal Blood, although still a romantic story is far more than just that. Intrigue, politics, lust, betrayal, well defined characters, history and much, much more make for a very good read in Ms. Sharon's third novel. I haven't finished it yet, but have enjoyed the journey so far, I'll tell you this, be prepared for surprises. Her historical accuracy is right on, you will appreciate all the research that went into this book.

I am privileged now to introduce you to Ms. Sharon:

Hello Susie & daughter! Thanks for inviting me over. I’m excited to be here.

1. Have you always lived in Tel Aviv?

Yes. I was born in Tel Aviv and make my home here, but I am an enthusiastic explorer and hop on a plane whenever I get the chance. I have spent a few months living in New York City and in Rome. I have traveled across the amazing US and Canada, toured the magnificent European continent, and even journeyed to the exotic Far East.

And incidentally…

Last week I got to be a tourist in Israel. An author friend of mine was visiting from Rome. We drove to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and to Nazareth, joking about her being the vanguard of the Pope’s entourage, and discovered an awesome spice-market in an ancient Templar settlement (the locals live in carefully restored and preserved Templar houses!) called Bethlehem of the Galilee. Jasmine rice and the famous Verbena herb, which according to tradition was applied to Jesus' wounds, are a sample of the treasures displayed in the spotless indoor market.

Check out our photos from the trip here:
2. How has living there helped you as a writer?

Versatility is an important quality in a writer. I feel that growing up in Israel, an ancient, multi-faceted country that is a melting pot of cultures, where east meets west with a direct link to antiquity, has given me a broad and fascinating perspective of the world I live in.

Just imagine, not only do I live in the land of the Bible, surrounded by sacred, intriguing places, Alexander the Great was here, Julius Caesar was here, King Richard the Lion Heart was here, even Napoleon was here… and they have all left their marks.

In Israel time has a broad meaning. We have cultural treasures that make ancient Rome seem like a young civilization – and the most awesome thing is that the Hebrew language remains as it was more than 3000 years ago, which allows me to read supremely old inscriptions.

Now add the immense American and European influences, the leading High-Tech industry, the emphasis on education, and our deep-rooted beliefs in democracy and free thinking, and the result is an unequaled fount of inspiration.

Then there are my own life experiences. I served in the army during Desert Storm, have close friends who were combat soldiers, and know what it means to be at war. I’ve lost family members, people whom I loved most in the world, and knew the deepest grief. My personal journey hasn’t always been easy, but it enables me to pen colorful stories.

3. When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always known I would become an author, but it took some time for me to collect the courage needed to leave a “normal” career and take the road less traveled.

4. What was your family’s reaction to this decision? Were they supportive?

I think they were worried at first. Art is a risky business. You sacrifice so much for a dream… Nevertheless, they were and still are very supportive of me, especially my brother and sister.

5. What time period is your favorite to write and study about and why?

There are so many time periods, events, and historical characters that intrigue me. I have whole shelves dedicated to different themes, and I am constantly falling in love with new ideas.

Currently I am writing about Renaissance Rome. I have been fascinated with this period for many years. (More on the subject in the last question!)

I am also contemplating writing about:

1. Queen Margo and the St. Bartholomew massacre in Paris in 1572
2. The Crusades
3. The Viking invasion into Ireland
4. The Knickerbockers’ society in New York of the late 19th century
5. The life and times of the Italian painter Caravaggio (late 16th century)

The list goes on…

6. What was your profession prior to becoming an author?

I worked as an accountant and tax specialist with the Treasury Department for almost six years – and was all too happy to leave this profession behind me. Bye, bye…

7. Are you a full time author?

Full time is the appropriate word. It takes months of hard work and concentration to research a historical period and write a book about it. This leaves little time for anything else.

8. Why did you choose Historical Romance for your beginning?

I have read historical romance novels since I was fourteen years old. My first book began as a leisure pursuit. Then, before I knew it, I had a two-book deal for MY WICKED PIRATE, a dagger-edged love story of an Italian desperado and an English lady, and ONCE A RAKE, the haunting story of a scarred cavalry commander returning from the Napoleonic wars.

9. Where is your new direction in writing taking you?

Historical fiction. That is not to say that I am through with romance. There will always be a major love story in my books but the emphasis on historical accuracy, actual events, and noteworthy personages will grow considerably.

10. You mentioned that Royal Blood was somewhere in the middle of your new direction and historical romance, can you explain this?

ROYAL BLOOD is a transition book, of sorts. To quote Lee from CHASING HEROES, “From the beginning, I thought ROYAL BLOOD was a romance. It read like a romance, it moved and felt like a romance, but what clearly blasted it out of the genre is our hero and the one thing he did…”
ROYAL BLOOD was an enormous challenge due to the tremendous amount of research involved. I love the Tudor era and wanted to recapture it the best I could. In doing so, I passed a lot of STOP signs, broke out of the mold of historical romance, inserted ferocious and very Tudor-ish vampires, and strayed deeply into the historical fiction genre.
My heroine, RenĂ©e de Valois, would get voted off the island of pure romance books. She is edgy, shrewd, determined, and doesn’t apologize for it. The hero, Michael, is the villain who is not a villain. His character amazed me as I wrote him. Then there is the colorful cast of historical characters such as King Henry, Cardinal Wolsey, the dukes of Buckingham and Norfolk, Queen Katherine’s ladies, each with his or her own voice and agenda.

As for scenes, I took a gamble and ventured deep into male territory, with bloody tournaments, backstabbing moments in the Privy Council, midnight escapades in the bawdy stews, the prison chambers in the Tower of London. Every detail – the people, the practices, the places, the speech, and the descriptions – was meticulously researched.

I really think readers will appreciate and enjoy the book.

11. Why the vampires?

Ha. That was my editor’s idea – and was so far removed from my usual playground that it grabbed my attention and sparked my imagination. Do not expect a spin-off of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA. I approached this theme as I do every other subject I write about. I dug into dusty archives and researched the vampire legend all the way back to its ancient origins. I’m talking Ancient Mesopotamian myths, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Kabala. I had so much fun writing about super-powerful, ancient creatures. Readers are in for one surprise after another.

12. You mentioned being able to see all 10 of the Crusader forts, can you give us some idea of what that felt like and how it motivated you with future ideas?

Years ago, I asked my Roman friend, “How does it feel to walk by the Colosseum on your way to work every morning?” and was shocked by her casual shrug.

Clearly one does not get excited on a daily basis by something that is so much a part of your childhood, of your cultural foundation, of who you are – even if it is a grand monument.

The Crusades era is in our school curriculum, which involves yearly class trips. One of the forts, known as Arsuf or Apollonia, a French fortress built upon the remains of a natural harbor on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is but a few minutes’ walk from the house where I grew up. Who was there? The Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Hasmoneans, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Muslims, the Crusaders (King Richard the Lion Heart met the great Muslim leader Saladin there in battle – a very tempting subject for a future book!), the Mamelukes, and even the British had built a police station there to watch over the coastline and catch illegal Zionist immigrants (1920-1948).

To read more about this beautiful place and see some pictures (the view from the cliff is spectacular!), visit here:
I became excited about the Crusaders’ forts as I rediscovered them as an author. I traveled around the country, collecting data and reading every book and document I could lay my hand on. The remains are powerful sites that tell the story of people who fought for their faith, for their homes, for an ideal. As an author, it is impossible not to be moved by monuments that bore witness to the shedding of so much blood in the name of God and of freedom.

13. Tell us what it was like to actually have a book published, then two now three?

The sense of achievement is beyond uplifting. When I got THE email from my agent, telling me that Kensington Books would publish my first book and another, I could barely read it. I was thrilled, beside myself with excitement.

I relive this excitement every time another book of mine hits bookstores.

14. What can we expect from you in the future? Would you ever consider doing a series?

My current project is about the notorious icons of the Italian Renaissance: Cesare Borgia, the legendary Duke Valentino, bastard son of Pope Alexander VI, who put off the cardinal hat to pursue his dangerous ambition; and Fiammetta Michaelis, the lowborn enchantress who used her courage and wits to become Rome’s grandest courtesan, as well as Valentino’s lover and confidante.
They were brilliant and terrifying meteorites, the greatest dissemblers Rome had ever seen – coldblooded chess-players, creatures of intense passions, baffling in their inner contradictions, and driven by all-consuming desires to which all else was subordinate.
Their formidable exploits, conquests, ribald banquets, and light-fast acts of brutality inspired Machiavelli’s treatise THE PRINCE, considered to this day the cornerstone of political science.
After this book, the sky is the limit. Series is definitely an option when the right subject matter comes along.

15. Who are your favorite authors?

To name a few: Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers), L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Louisa May Alcott (Little Women), Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose), Honore de Balzac (Pere Goriot), Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island), Robert Graves (I, Claudius), the Bronte sisters, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mark Twain… The list is long.
If you are curious about my private library, please visit my profile page on – I welcome new friends!

16. If you died and were able to come back, which author from the past would you choose to be and why?

I would like to be Josephus Flavius (AD 37 – 100), historian and author of THE JEWISH WARS. Maybe I could influence the leaders of the Great Rebellion of 66–73 AD to put down their arms. It would be fascinating to see how the world would look if Jerusalem hadn’t gone up in flames, if the Hebrews of Judea had not scattered all over the world but remained on their land to tend to their vines, herd sheep, make olive oil, and of course study the Book.

Then again, would Christianity have spread so widely if these tragic events had not taken place? Interesting, don’t you think?

17. Do you visit the places you are going to write about and how long is your usual visit for?

I have visited most of the places I wrote about.

For MY WICKED PIRATE, I visited: Rome, Versailles, the Caribbean, Tuscany, and Milan. I could not visit Algiers and Morocco, so in order to recapture the ambiance, I relied on my impressions from coastal citadels like Jaffa and traditional Moroccan houses and restaurants in Jerusalem.

For ONCE A RAKE, I visited London and traveled to Belgium to explore the site of Waterloo.

For ROYAL BLOOD, I visited London again. Greenwich Palace had been burned centuries ago, so I had to go by documentations (maps, blueprints, accounts).

Now I am planning a road trip to the Emilia Romagna regions in Italy to visit the fortresses Cesare Borgia conquered.

The trips are shorts, days or weeks. The lion’s share of the research is done in libraries, but I like to see the sites with my own eyes, smell the air, and get a feel of the places I write about.

18. When working on a particular book or subject do you ever have anything like a paranormal experience, maybe when you visit a particular place your working on, etc.?

This may get me institutionalized but I confess I did have several bizarre experiences.

My strongest happened in Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome in 2002. I visited the castle as a first time tourist, starting in the dungeons and working my way to the magnificent frescoed chambers upstairs. I stopped to glimpse at the Tiber River through a loophole and was suddenly overcome with a mixed feeling of pride and despair, as though I were a prisoner overlooking a city where I had been king. At that moment I became obsessed with the castle’s history and upon my return home I researched it meticulously until I found my proud, desperate prisoner – Cesare Borgia.

I’m expecting orderlies to come get me and put me in a straitjacket any moment now, so I’d better say goodbye fast.

Thank you, Susie and Susie’s daughter for inviting me over today. Your blog is one of the most charming on the net. Your questions were fresh, exciting, and challenging. I had a great time!

Tudor Daughter’s friends, I invite you to visit my website at where you may find interesting features such as excerpts, videos, articles, and a contest offering a boxful of fantastic goodies to the winner! Feel free to drop me a line. I love to hear from readers.

Thank-you so much Rona for sharing with us this morning. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and I know my readers have as well. I look forward to 2011 when your latest project on the Renaissance is finished, and the many more books you still have left to write.

All the best wishes,

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the Shadown of Lady Jane, Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is JWX4

Congratulations! Check your email please.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Forum Friday...

Rona Sharon, Author of Royal Blood, Interview here on All Things Royal, Tuesday 5/19

I know there has been a lot of interest in Rona Sharon's new release Royal Blood. Rona and I have become sort of email buddies and she has agreed to do an exclusive author interview for my readers. My daughter and I have come up with what I think are very interesting questions. If all goes as planned I should have the interview posted Tuesday 5/19 for Tuesday's Teaser. I hope you will all be looking for it, and visit my blog on Tuesday. By the way I have been reading this book and enjoying it very much. Very different. I will also be giving aways 3 signed copies, so if you have missed out on the other Royal Blood giveaways you will still have a chance. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Royal Trivia...

Royal Mottos

The Tudor Royals~ all had their own mottos. They would have these mottos engraved into saddles, silver plate, their Coat's of Arms, etc. It was a declaration of what they live by. I thought it would be interesting to learn what each of Henry's wives had for their individual motto. It has been very enlightening discovering what they were. Each motto gives an insight into the personality of the individual queens. Henry's fits like a glove. I think you will enjoy this and hopely it will create a lively discussion.

Henry VIII ~ "God and My Right"

Catherine of Aragon ~ "Humble and Loyal"

Anne Boleyn ~ "Most Happy"

Jane Seymour ~ "Bound to Obey and Serve"

Anne of Cleves ~ "God Send Me Well to Keep"

Catherine Howard ~ "No Other Will but His"

Katherine Parr ~ "To be Useful in All I Do"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wedensday Royal Words...

Although it hath pleased God to hasten my death by you, by whom my life should rather have been lengthened, yet can I patiently take it, that I yield God more hearty thanks for shortening my woeful days.

Queen Jane ~ born Lady Jane Grey ~ Queen for nine days following the death of Edward VI in July 1553. She was executed by Queen Mary in February 1554. Jane the daughter of Henry Grey and Frances Brandon was the great niece of Henry VIII.

Suggested reading:
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

In the Shadow of Lady Jane by Edward Charles

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Teaser...

Hosted by:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere in the middle
Make sure to share the title and author of the book


JANE BOLEYN The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford

From Publishers Weekly Wife of Anne Boleyn's brother George, Jane, Viscountess Rochford, has been painted by historians, beginning with the Protestant Elizabethan John Foxe, as a barren, jealous shrew who lied about George and Anne's incestuous relationship, helping send them to their deaths for treason against Henry VIII. Jane herself was executed for treason several years later for abetting the adultery of Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard. According to Fox's revisionist account, Jane was faithful to the opportunistic Boleyn clan; she didn't rush to slander her husband, but succumbed under Thomas Cromwell's relentless interrogation, repeating an indiscretion by Anne about Henry's sexual dysfunction. Moreover, Fox says, George's execution was a financial blow to Jane—his royal perquisites of lands and offices were seized. Jane clawed her way back to a senior court position when she was ordered by Catherine Howard to pass messages to her lover, and Jane's complicity, according to Fox, opened the door for historians to excoriate Jane for her sister-in-law's death. In her debut, Fox never quite convinces readers that her lackluster, almost faceless Jane is a courageous, mostly blameless victim of court intrigues, and this amateurish, toothless history is more a rehash of Anne's rise and fall with a tag-on about Catherine's foolhardiness. (Jan.)

Ever since reading Phillipa Gregory's Boleyn Inheritance I have been facsinated with Jane Boleyn the Lady Rochford. This book was given to me by a good friend and it's hard to put down. It is a biography not historical fiction. Much of it I imagine is conjecture on the authors part, but so little is really known about this woman who betrayed the queen and her husband. Her signed confession led innocents to their early graves. This is Julia Fox's first book and she does a marvelous job. I think all you Tudor fans out there will want to put this on your TBR list. Jane was a major player in the game. Beautiful photographs included.

My teasers:

In the interim, enforced absence did at least allow a chance for contemplation, since hers was not the only7 problem to beset the Boleyns over those

Whether she was or was not present on Anne's wedding day, Jane was certainly present within the bedchamber in the weeks that followed, and it was to be there that thte next stage in the king's marital saga was played out.

Enchanting Blog Award!!!

Thank-you so much Arleigh and Lucy from Royal Intrigue for the wonderful award. My 2nd so far. Much appreciated!!!!

I would like to pass this award onto:

Wendi at Wendi's Book Corner

Heather at Maiden's Court

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Monarchy...

Matilda of Flanders (1031-1083)
was Queen consort of England and the wife of William I the Conqueror. She was the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, and Adele, daughter of Robert II of France. She is my 23rd great grandmother. Matilda was England's tiniest queen being only 4'2" and very slender. They must have made an odd couple, Matilda being very small and William reportedly being quite tall, muscular and robust(heavy)in later years. How a woman of her stature carried and delivered 10 children is amazing, especially in those days. She bore for William 6 daughters and 4 sons. Henry I being the royal heir.
She was a little spit fire, a woman who knew her mind and was not afraid to voice her opinions. Legend has it that William asked her father, Baldwin V. Count of Flanders for Matilda in marriage, and when Matilda heard of this, told William's representative that she wouldn't marry a bastard, she was far too high born for that, after all she was a direct descendant of Alfred the Great and William's father being Robert the Magnificent was one thing, but his mother Arlette was a mere daughter of a local Tanner and his parents were never married. This news infuriated William to the point that he traveled from Normandy to Flanders and found Matilda on her way to church. He dragged her off her horse by her braids and threw her in the street in front of her royal convoy and then rode off. William's fury apparently appealed to Matilda, because it was shortly afterwards that she agreed to marry him. Even the papal ban for consanguinity(having common ancestors) didn't dissuade her. The Pope didn't like it, and said God was against it. To get God on their side again, William and Matilda each had an abbey built in Caen, one abbey for women and one for men. Matilda was wealthy in her own right and help finance many of William's campaigns. William left her as Royal Regent in conquered England while he was on French campaigns. She died in November of 1083 at the age of 51. After her death William became tyrannical and people blamed it on his having lost her. She is buried next to William at l'Abbaye aux Dames (the abbey for women) in Caen. Of particular interest in 1961, their graves were opened and their bones measured to determine their actual statures.

Suggested reading:
The Conqueror ~ Georgette Heyer

The Bastard King~Jean Plaidy

Friday, May 8, 2009

Free Forum Friday...

O.K. it's Friday and I decided to have Friday's as my Free Forum. This way I can write and share about anything that strikes my fancy. I am hoping that my readers will share their comments as well.
This Friday is DON'T TREAD ON ME. I am first and foremost an American, an American who descends from the founders of this country, who escaped the religious and political tyranny of their mother country England in the 17th century. I have several great grandfathers who fought in the Revolutionary War. In fact I have an ancestor or several ancestors who fought in every war this country has been engaged in from WWII and before. I am a proud member of the Daughter's of the American Revolution.
I love this country, my country. I originally planned on something completely different for today, then my co-worker shared this youtube video with me, which in turn I had to share with you all. Please share with us how seeing this video has affected you personally. I would love hear! Grab a Kleenex. Keep in mind that this video was created by a 15 year old boy in Trussvill, Alabama for his mother.
An American Anthem

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday's Royal Trivia...

Hans Holbein The King's Painter was born in Augsburg, Germany in 1497. He is considered a Northern Renaissance artist. He spent his early career painting, religious murals and Nobel's portraits in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He was keen into the reformation and humanist studies. His religious paintings reflected his belief in the reformation with Christ being more realistic with dimension which was the coming art of the Renaissance. Holbein has been described as "the supreme representative of German Reformation art".[ His mentor and friend was humanist scholar, Erasmus of Rotterdam.

In 1526 Holbein came to England seeking work with a letter of recommendation from Erasmus. He was welcomed into the humanist circle by Sir Thomas More who later wrote to Erasmus telling him, his young painter was a fine artist. Holbein built up his reputation among the Clerics and Nobles until 1535 when he became the King's Painter for King Henry VIII. He not only painted several portraits for the Royal family, but designed plate and jewelery for them.

One of his most famous paintings is Anne of Cleves. When King Henry was scouting available women to marry after the death of Queen Jane he sent Holbein to Cleves to paint the Duke of Cleves two sisters, Anne and Amelia. Holbein did both of their portraits and brought them back to King Henry, from these portraits the King chose Anne to be his 5th wife. The interesting part is that Holbein concentrated more on Anne's dress, jewels and mantel than her face. King Henry ended up calling Anne his Flanders Mare. He wasn't impressed at all her with her beauty.

I love the quote used in the Tudor's season 3 episode when King Henry states that he
could take eight men and get eight Lords, but out of those eight Lords he couldn't get one Holbein.

Holbein had a very successful and memorable career as an artist. He died in 1543 at age 46.

Below are picture of some of his work.

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Sir Thomas More

King Henry VIII

Edward VI

Anne of Cleves

Thomas Wyatt

The Madonna

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wedensday Royal Words...

"O Death, rock me asleep, bring me to quiet rest, let pass my weary guiltless ghost out of my careful breast."

Anne Boleyn, May 1536

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday Teaser...

~Hosted by:
~Grab your current read
~Open to a random page
~Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere in the middle
~Make sure to share the title and author of the book


Elizabeth & Mary Cousins, Rivals, Queens; Jane DunnJane Dunn’s Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens offers a blend of history and biography that traces the "dynamic interaction" between two of the most powerful women in Western history. Dunn remains ever aware of the uniqueness of her two central figures: both women ruled as divinely ordained monarchs in a male dominated power structure; and both women were from the same family (Elizabeth I was the granddaughter of Henry VII, and Mary Queen of Scots the great-granddaughter of King Henry).
By focusing not on pure biography but instead on relationships, Dunn is able to narrow her book (still mammoth in scope) to the most salient and interesting events in the two queens’ lives. The book begins in 1558, the year in which Mary first wed and Elizabeth assumed the throne of England. Almost immediately the cousins were embroiled in a conflict that would endure for the remainder of Mary’s life. A restless, sexually-active Catholic, and leader of the Scottish people in alliance with France, Mary was ever a conduit for rumors of rebellion. The "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth used Mary as a dark reflection to underline her own celibate constancy as a ruler of law and order... --Patrick O’Kelley --

I just started this book,recommended by a good friend. So far it's excellent. As Patrick O'Kelley says in his review, this book is far more than just a biography about these two women, it's about relationships and the intricate game of monarchy, with all the players.

My teasers...

When it came to Elizabeth's dealings with Mary, nothing was quite as it seamed. pg.214

Amy Dudley's death brought an abrupt end to any pretensions Elizabeth may have had that she could marry the man she loved. pg. 163

Thank you Jenny for the lovely award!!!

My very first award! I'm so excited. I just love blogging. I am very new to it. In fact I think it's been a whole month now since I've started. So many of you bloggers like Jenny have been my inspiration. I love to read, I love to share with friends, I love "all things royal". Thank you again Jenny from Jenny Loves to Read I'm so thrilled you like my new design.

I would like to pass this award to following blogs:

Amy~Passages to the Past

Arleigh~ Enchanted Josephine

Dar~Peeking Between the Pages

Lucy and Arleigh~ Royal Intrigue

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Book Review...

The King's Fool; by Margaret Campbell BarnesWill Somers the protaginist in the story is "no fool" he is a very moral, pragmatic man with a keen sense of work ethic. As an insider to the Court of Henry VIII, he idolizes Catherine of Aragon, detests Anne Boelyn, has little to say at all about Jane Seymour, adores Anne of Cleves~more information is given on her merit's than any of the other queens. He has sympathy for Katherine Howard, and does address how young and foolish she was, being sympathetic to her plight of wanting love from a younger man rather than from a heavy old man with a stinking leg. Katherine Parr and Lady Elizabeth are hardly mentioned, while Lady Mary is clearly his favorite member of the Tudor family. He is in awe of Henry an often refers to him as the "Tudor". As an insider and confidante, Will sees a more compassionate, sometimes insecure side to the King. The other major Tudor players, Cromwell, Thomas More, Caridnal Pole, etc. are mentioned, but not given too much space in the story.

Margaret Campbell Barnes, the author has a very eloquent style in writing. She develops the characters well and makes them appear beliveable. This book is written in 1st person which I always prefer. You will find yourself wanting to highlight many of her eloquent passages to refer to later.
For once the main character is not Henry, or one of his wives, but a quite observer who has a life of his own with various complexities.
Good character wins in the end. Will Somers through his moral convictions overcomes his limitations and succeeds.
I will point out that if you are not up on your Tudor history, you may get a little lost, but the story is still excellent and worth reading. You can always look up the people you do not recognize on Google.

I loved the book, even with the obvious preducies. Margaret Campbell Barne's literary talent and keen historic knowledge is very aparent in this book. The story flows from one chapter to the next.
I now look forward to reading her book "My Lady of Cleves".

4 **** out of 5

You may enjoy The King's Fool teaser...

Monday Moments...

New All Things Royal Book giveaway...
In the Shadow of Lady Jane~ Edward Charles
It is April 1551. While the family of Lord Henry Grey are visiting their Devon estate, the Grey sisters are saved from drowning by a local medical apprentice, Richard Stocker. Little does Richard know that this single act will plunge him into a tide of religious and social upheaval that will change not only his own life but the course of British history. In gratitude for saving his daughters, Lord Henry agrees to employ Richard in his household. Lady Katherine has already fallen for her father’s handsome new employee, while Richard is in thrall to the intellect of her troubled but brilliant sister, Lady Jane, with whom he forms a close friendship. Following King Edward’s death, the teenaged Lady Jane is proclaimed Queen. Soon, however, she is deposed and put to the axe. The woman Richard has grown to love as a friend, confidante, and adviser is dead. Bereft, he abandons the intrigues and deceptions of court life, resolving to resume his medical apprenticeship. In the Shadow of Lady Jane is at once a gripping political thriller and a compelling love story.

Contest Rules:
1. Leave me a comment on this post with your email address. No email~no entry
2. Another entry if you post about this contest on your blog. Please leave me a link for verification.
3. Another entry if you become a follower or subscribe to this blog. If already a follower you automatically will get a 2nd entry.
4. Sorry, due to shipping costs I can only ship within US or Canada. No international entrys please. I will ship book overnight mail so no P.O. boxes please.

Contest entry deadline: midnight May 15, 2009
Good Luck!


Winner of Phillipa Gregory's Wise Woman Giveaway...
Congratulations Martina from the Phillipa Gregory book forum for winning my first book giveaway!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday's Royal Ancestor; Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury

Margaret Plantagenet Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541. She is a distant cousin of mine through the Neville's and Plantagenet's. A woman of real principal. She was the last member of the Plantagenet dynasty, the daughter of the 1st Duke of Clarence, brother of King Edward IV and Richard III.

Her father was executed by his brother Edward IV when she was four. Upon her father's execution her brother Edward succeeded as 17th Earl of Warwick and 7th Earl of Salisbury. Edward spent most of his short life in the Tower of London as Henry VII's prisoner. He was the last male reprensenitive of the Yorkist line and was seen as a major threat to the Tudor King and upon the King's order was executed in 1499.

In 1513 Henry VIII allowed Margaret the title of 8th Countess of Salisbury following which was the Act of Restitution giving her back all her ancestral domains, making her a very wealthy woman. She married Sir Richard Pole in 1491. Richard died in 1505 leaving Margaret with five children, best known was Reginald Pole, who became Cardinal Pole who was in open opposition to Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

After the birth of Lady Mary Tudor King Henry VIII's daughter from Queen Catherine of Aragon, Margaret became Mary's godmother and Governess. They formed a loving and lasting relationship.

Mary was still in Countess Salisbury's charge when Henry married Anne Boleyn. Henry was receiving opposition in his efforts to have his daughter treated as illegitimate, for this reason he had the Countess removed from Lady Mary's household. She was a staunch Catholic which the King considered a threat. She begged to be allowed to serve Lady Mary at her own cost. She was brought back to court after the execution of Anne Boleyn.

In 1530 her son Cardinal Reginald Pole, then in exile sent King Henry a copy of his published threatise Pro escclesiasticae unitatis desensione
, a pamphlet commissioned by the Pope denouncing King Henry's policies. The King being so enraged, and determined that Cardinal Pole's family should pay for the insult, he had the Countess and her eldest son Henry Pole, 1st Baron on Montagu arrested in 1538 and sent to the Tower charged with treason.

In the Tower she suffered great indignities, and ill health. On the morning of 27 May 1541 she was dragged from her cell to the block for execution, she was 67 years old, frail and ill. She refused to lay her head on the block and was forced down. The executioners first blow struck her shoulder. It took several blows to complete the execution. She was buried at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London along with two of her sons.

Her son Reginald Pole became the Arch Bishop of Canterbury. She has been regarded by Catholics as a true Martyr, and was beatified in 1886 by Pope Leo XIII.

If you found this blog interesting or have something to add, please leave a comment.

You may enjoy this royal story...
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