It was enough of a hint! The dynamic between these three makes this novel not just a historical novel about the times but a psychological study of three people trapped together. Edward has no male heir, and does not favour his two half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. So on her death, her sister the Protestant Princess Elizabeth succeeded her to the throne. If you have a hardback edition you can see the royal picture which is thought to show her in a doorway in the endpapers.
Sensing an opportunity to overthrow the weakened House of Lancaster, the House of York led by Richard Duke of York claim a stronger link to the throne. Henry VI takes the throne in and begins his long reign of England through some of its most turbulent times including Joan of Arc's mission and beginning of The Wars of the Roses - though at the time it was known as The Cousins' War as the feuding families of York and Lancaster fought for power and position. Are these people truly possessed, or is there some kind of rational explanation to explain why people are literally dancing themselves to their deaths? My Anne of Cleves, unlike the cliche of the fat Flanders mare, is a pretty courageous energetic survivor, and my Katherine Howard is not a 'slut' as a modern historian has called her but a young girl foolish and vain as young girls sometimes are, but dangerously ill advised and married more or less against her best interests to the most dangerous man in England. With her brother on the throne of England and herself on the throne of Scotland Margaret is to ensure a Perpetual Peace between the two endlessly warring countries — a strategy far more easily planned than enacted. In England, the Industrial Revolution is taking hold and radically changing both the environment and society. I frightened myself in the writing of it so much that I could only write during daylight hours. As soon as the king showed his interest in the beautiful widow she had to serve the interests of her family and agree to marry him, become Queen of England and stepmother to his children, and rule England in his absence. However, the slavers would prove unwilling to give up such a profitable business without a fight. England has a new king on the throne: The old king Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou have escaped to Scotland and the Lancastrian armies have been decimated by the York forces at the Battle of Towton - the bloodiest ever fought on English soil. But I think it is more than a scary book — I think it is also a consideration of how a woman is to be, and who should be her mentors. Edward IV of the House of York - young, handsome and daring. I rewrote it through more drafts than anything since. The oppression of women, the rebellion of the poor all came from the history of the time, the love of landscape from my own childhood and the fevered sexuality all my own imagination. Queen Mary began to reverse the Protestant reformation of her father, restoring Roman Catholic bishops and persecuting Protestants. Keen to reinforce his position as the new head of the Church and to take advantage of the wealth of the Catholic Church, Henry began the Dissolution — the raiding and wrecking of all of the Catholic convents and monasteries in England. If you have a hardback edition you can see the royal picture which is thought to show her in a doorway in the endpapers. Too young to rule, the realm is governed by a Regency Council, led by his uncle, Edward Seymour. I knew of Jane before I started research but I knew next to nothing about her sisters and it was a lucky guess that there was more behind the sentimental portrait of Jane that took me to the stories of the three of them. I tackle the enigma of Jane Rochford in this novel too. News of defeat drives King Henry into an unresponsive stupor. Henry VII has two sons with Elizabeth of York, which should have secured his line, yet his court is still filled with fear and suspicion. Plantagenet is a dangerous name to carry and the heiress Margaret Pole is swiftly married off to a staunch Tudor supporter, but her brother Edward's claim cannot be ignored. When I was writing the novel it was widely accepted that she had broken her neck as a result of a fall. In order to manage the debts generated during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I and fund his overseas wars with Spain and France, Charles repeatedly invented new and re-established obsolete forms of taxation. It happened that I visited a garden centre, and tripped and literally fell into a tray of Tradescantia.
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