Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sepulchre By Kate Mosse: A Review

Author, Kate Mosse introduces herself, tells a bit about writing this novel, and then reads the entire prologue! Leave the lights on...

In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in southwest France. They’ve come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt Isolde—and the Domain—are not what Léonie had imagined. The villagers claim that Isolde’s late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain’s cavernous library describes the strange tarot pack that mysteriously disappeared following the uncle’s death. But while Léonie delves deeper into the ancient mysteries of the Domain, a different evil stalks her family—one which may explain why Léonie and Anatole were invited to the sinister Domain in the first place.

More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in France to study the life of Claude Debussy, the nineteenth century French composer. In Rennes-les-Bains, Meredith checks into a grand old hotel—the Domain de la Cade. Something about the hotel feels eerily familiar, and strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Meredith’s waking hours. A chance encounter leads her to a pack of tarot cards painted by Léonie Vernier, which may hold the key to this twenty-first century American’s fate . . . just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier more than a century earlier.

Product Details
Paperback: 572 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (March 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425225844
ISBN-13: 978-0425225844

Rennes Le Chateau, Southwestern France

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse is the second in a grail trilogy. I read Sepulchre first not on purpose but because I found it in a used bookstore and have always meant to read this trilogy but somehow never found the time! I don't recommend reading books out of sequence but it just happened this way. That being said, I highly recommend Sepulchre for anyone who is 'Interested' in reading fictionalized accounts of historical occurrences, historical figures, mixed with some of my favorite myths and legends thrown in!

This is NOT THE DAVINCI CODE REDONE so keep an open mind and an open heart and enjoy this well written, plot driven, suspenseful novel! Did I mention ancient tarot cards are involved and there's romance between two characters in the 2007 storyline! Also, Claude Debussy's music is featured as well! It's a wonderful novel and will keep you wanting to know more!
IF you watched the video and that didn't get you, well, I don't know what will? Read It!

Thank you for stopping by. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Review of Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal And The White

2011 BBC Production of The Crimson Petal And The White. It hasn't aired in the US yet. The first episode, opening scene, is taken verbatim from the novel's opening chapter. You've just met Sugar, a prostitute in London, 1874. She's right, "Watch your step, keep your wits about you; you will need them".

The Title of Michel Faber's 2002 novel, 'The Crimson Petal And The White' is taken from "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" a poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It was first published in 1847, in The Princess: A Medley:

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me

Paperback: 944 pages
Publisher: Mariner Books (September 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0156028778
ISBN-13: 978-0156028776

A gripping tale of Victorian England - from whores to high society - by a twenty-first century Charles Dickens.

At the heart of this panoramic, multidimensional narrative is the compelling struggle of a young woman to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. Michel Faber leads us back to 1870s London, where Sugar, a nineteen year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for escape into a better life. Her ascent through the strata of Victorian society offers us intimacy with a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters.

They begin with William Rackham, an egotistical perfume magnate whose ambition is fueled by his lust for Sugar, and whose patronage of her brings her into proximity to his extended family and milieu: his unhinged, child-like wife, Agnes; his mysteriously hidden-away daughter, Sophie; and his pious brother Henry, foiled in his devotional calling by a persistently less-than-chaste love for the Widow Fox, whose efforts on behalf of The Rescue Society lead Henry into ever-more disturbing confrontations with flesh. All this is overseen by assorted preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all stripes and persuasions.

I am not going into much detail simply because if you truly want to read and enjoy all aspects of this complicated, dramatic, multi-plot NeoVictorian novel, than I cannot give much away!
Reading The Crimson Petal and the White provided glimpses into working class and upper class nineteenth century London while author Michel Faber's chapters jumped between the wealthy Rackham family and Sugar (his prostitute), Mrs. Castaway(Sugars madam), friends Caroline and many others.

The Crimson Petal and the White is written from a third person Omniscient point of view, where the author directly addresses you 'the reader' in passages of the novel itself!
I enjoy this writing style. It usually doesn't deter me from finishing a novel, as long as it is well written. Others, I know, disagree with me when it comes to this style of writing.

There are many racey, steamy, or naughty bits of writing scenes between Sugar and William Rackham with many a realistic depiction of the washing habits of a female prostitute during the nineteenth century as well!

The varied storyline's take many twists and turns which I find very refreshing. However, try not to get too attached to many of the characters because the last quarter of the novel contains many deaths; some expected due to illness or lifestyle but some came as a surprise indeed!
Also, the ending is open-ended leaving one particular storyline well...open!

Michel Faber took twenty years to write this novel. It has already been critically stoned and critically praised over the years as well as serialized by BBC Productions. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crimson Petal and the White. Michel Faber knows how to set the scene and write dialogue that captures the tone and nature of the story. I think the ending is a brave choice as well!

If you are not daunted by such a long novel, if you enjoy reading about the Victorian Era, or are merely curious, than I'm sure you won't be disappointed! Well, I hope not!

Please feel free to leave any comments,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trial Day For Queen Anne Boleyn

475 years ago today,on the 15th May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn was tried in the King’s Hall in the Tower of London. The trial was to be a major public spectacle, attracting, around 2,000 spectators, according to Chapuys. Sir William Kingston had arranged for a “great scaffold” (platform) to be erected in the middle of the hall with benches and seats arranged for the lords, and benches along the walls of the hall. According to Alison Weir,a special throne for the Lord High Steward, the Duke of Norfolk, was placed on the dais at the end of the hall, underneath the canopy of estate which bore the royal arms. The Duke of Norfolk was to represent the King and would have to put aside the fact that Anne and her brother George were his niece and nephew.

Alison Weir says that on that fateful Monday morning in May 1536, Thomas Howard,the Duke of Norfolk,sat in splendour on his throne, holding his white staff of office with his son, the Earl of Surrey, at his feet holding the golden staff of the Earl Marshal England, his father’s office. Norfolk was flanked by Sir Thomas Audley, the Lord Chancellor, who was there to give Norfolk any legal advice that was required, and Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, and a man who hated Anne Boleyn.

The Jury Panel consisted of:
1. Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk – Henry VIII’s brother-in-law

2. The Marquis of Exeter and his cousin Lord Montague (Henry Pole) Both men were supporter of the Lady Mary.

3. Earl of Oxford was a good friend of the King

4. The Earl of Northumberland – Henry Percy (former love of Anne Boleyn)

5. Ralph Neville, the Earl of Westmoreland – A loyal servant to the King in the North.

6. The Earl of Worcester – His wife, Elizabeth Browne, the Countess of Worcester, was said to have given evidence against the Queen and to have been their key witness.

7. The Earls of Rutland and Huntingdon both were related to the King and were royal favorites.

8. The Earl of Sussex was one of the King’s best friends.

9. Lord Morley was father of Jane Boleyn, George’s wife, but a staunch conservative and a supporter of the Lady Mary.

10.Lord Dacre was a man who had narrowly escaped from being convicted for treason and who obviously wanted to please the King.

11.Lord Cobham was a man close to the King and possibly the husband of Nan Cobham, the woman mentioned as giving evidence against the Queen.

12.Lord Grey of Powys and Lord Monteagle – Both were son-in-laws of the Duke of Suffolk.

13.Lord Clinton was husband of Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount and stepfather of the King’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond.

14.Lord Sandys was one of the King’s good friends and also Lord Chamberlain.

15.Lord Windsor was another friend of the King.

16.Lord Wentworth was a relative of Jane Seymour. His aunt was Jane’s mother, Margaret Wentworth.

17.Lord Mordaunt was a career courtier.

The trial records, transcripts, statements and records of evidence are all missing, and we have to rely on eye witness accounts. We have some records in Letters and Papers and this is what is recorded from Anne’s trial:

“And afterwards, Monday, 15 May, queen Anne comes to the bar before the Lord High Steward in the Tower, in the custody of Sir Will. Kingston, pleads not guilty, and puts herself on her peers; whereupon the said duke of Suffolk, marquis of Exeter, and other peers, are charged by the High Steward to say the truth; and being examined from the lowest peer to the highest, each of them severally saith that she is guilty.
Judgment:—To be taken to prison in the Tower, and then, at the King’s command, to the Green within the Tower, and there to be burned or beheaded as shall please the King.”

During the trial, Queen Anne Boleyn could be seen, "dressed in a black velvet gown with a petticoat fo scarlet damask and a cap decorated with a black and white feather. Anne made an entry as though she were going to a great triumph… She presented herself with the true dignity of a queen, and curtseyed to her judges, looking round upon them all, without any sign of fear… She returned the salutations of the lords with her accustomed politeness… [after seeing her father] she stood undismayed, nor did ever exhibit any token of impatience, or grief, or cowardice.”

Anne had taken her seat on the platform right in the middle of the hall, her indictment was read out and she listened, “her face said more than words, for she said little; but no one looking at her would have thought her guilty.” She then pleaded “Not Guilty” to all of the charges but had to listen as Sir Christopher Hales, the Attorney General, argued the case for the Crown, accusing Anne of incest, adultery, promising to marry Norris after the King’s death, conspiring the King’s death and laughing at the King and his dress. Anne “made so wise and discreet answers to all things laid against her, excusing herself with her words so clearly, as though she had never been guilty of the same”, denying all the charges but admitting that she had given money to Weston, which was nothing sinister as she gave money to many young gentlemen.

A guilty verdict had been decided before she had even walked into the court. The jury were unanimous in finding Anne guilty and after they gave their verdict Anne was stripped of her crown and her titles, although Alison Weir points out that her title of Queen was not mentioned she was now Queen without a crown.

Anne’s uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, pronounced the sentence and George Constantine, Sir Henry Norris’s manservant, wrote of how tears coursed down his cheeks as he sentenced his niece saying:

“Because thou hast offended against our sovereign the King’s Grace in committing treason against his person, and here attainted of the same, the law of the realm is this, that thou hast deserved death, and thy judgment is tis: that thou shalt be burned here within the Tower of London on the Green, else to have thy head smitten off, as the King’s pleasure shall be further known of the same.”

As her death sentence was read out, the Earl of Northumberland collapsed and had to be taken out of the hall and one of Anne’s ladies, Mrs Orchard, the woman who had been Anne’s nurse in childhood, was said to have “shrieked out dreadfully”. Anne, herself, was calm, as Chapuys describes:

“The Concubine was condemned first, and having heard the sentence, which was to be burnt or beheaded at the King’s pleasure, she preserved her composure, saying that she held herself “pour toute saluee de la mort,” and that what she regretted most was that the above persons, who were innocent and loyal to the King, were to die for her. She only asked a short space for shrift (pour disposer sa conscience).”

and then, according to Lancelot de Carles, Anne addressed the court:

“I do not say that I have always borne towards the King the humility which I owed him, considering his kindness and the great honour he showed me and the great respect he always paid me; I admit too, that often I have taken it into my head to be jealous of him… But may God be my witness if I have done him any other wrong.”

Finally, Alison Weir again quotes Crispin de Milherve’s version of Anne’s speech:

“My lords, I will not say your sentence is unjust, nor presume that my reasons can prevail against your convictions. I am willing to believe that you have sufficient reasons for what you have done; but then they must be other than those which have been produced in court, for I am clear of all the offences which you then laid to my charge. I have ever been a faithful wife to the King, though I do not say I have always shown him that humility which his goodness to me, and the honours to which he raised me, merited. I confess I have had jealous fancies and suspicions of him, which I had not discretion enough, and wisdom, to conceal at all times. But God knows, and is my witness, that I have not sinned against him in any other way. Think not I say this in the hope to prolong my life, for He who saveth from death hath taught me how to die, and He will strengthen my faith. Think not, however, that I am so bewildered in my mind as not to lay the honour of my chastity to heart now in mine extremity, when I have maintained it all my life long, much as ever queen did. I know these, my last words, will avail me nothing but for the justification of my chastity and honour. As for my brother and those others who are unjustly condemned, I would willingly suffer many deaths to deliver them, but since I see it so pleases the King, I shall willingly accompany them in death, with this assurance, that I shall lead an endless life with them in peace and joy, where I will pray to God for the King and for you, my lords.”

Anne Boleyn was then escorted out of the court by her gaoler, Sir William Kingston, with the axe turned against her to show that she had been sentenced to death.

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn, Alison Weir P.205 & P.212-229
Letters and Papers L&P 876
Letter and Papers LP x.908

Please feel free to leave any comments,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fallen In Love: the secret heart of Anne Boleyn

Theatrical trailer for a new UK based play entitled, 'Fallen In Love' the secret heart of Anne Boleyn.

The year is 1536. The woman who changed the world forever by capturing the heart of a King, faces trial with her brother George on charges of adultery, incest and treason.

Witness a nation irreversibly transformed as the most passionate and decisive events of England’s history unfold in the tense and treacherous crucible of the royal court.

This passionate story of betrayal and jealousy shows us the true heart of Queen Anne Boleyn, revealing at last the secret of her greatest love.

Historian and Author, Alison Weir attended the opening night and said, "If you go to see only one play this year, make it this one! Tudor history buffs and anyone fascinated by Anne Boleyn and her relationship with her brother George should make every effort to see this exceptional and brilliantly staged portrayal by Red Rose Chain, featuring two highly talented and charismatic actors, Fleur Keith and Joseph Pitcher. I cannot commend Fallen in Love highly enough. This is theatre at its best, and history transformed into drama with the highest integrity. Never have I seen such a convincing - or compelling - portrayal of Anne and George Boleyn. The interaction between these two superb young actors is dynamic. The script is masterful, incorporating sound research with evocative insights into the culture of the Tudor age, and delivering its complex subject matter entertainingly and vividly. History is rarely brought to life so hauntingly. The acting is a joy, the setting delightful and the costumes excellent. All in all, an outstanding production".

"FALLEN IN LOVE", a new play by Joanna Carrick, at Gippeswyk Hall, Ipswich,(UK) from 10th May to 5th June. For further details and to book tickets, red rose chain

Please feel free to leave any comments,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Getting To Know Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1532-1588)

Exhibition: Lord Leicester’s Warwickshire: The Life and Legacy of Robert Dudley
Exhibit runs from: Saturday,25 June 2011 - Sunday,18 September 2011

The central figure in the exhibition will be Robert Dudley (1532 – 1588), Earl of Leicester, the ambitious and flamboyant favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. Feared and envied by contemporaries, it was rumoured that he ordered the murder of his first wife, Amy Robsart.

Major events featured include the visits of the queen to Robert and his brother Ambrose (the Earl of Warwick) at Warwick Castle in 1572 and to Robert at Kenilworth Castle in 1575. Both visits were celebrated with lavish entertainments, particularly the 19 days of ‘Princelye Pleasures’ at Kenilworth, which involved water pageants, fireworks, plays, dancing and sports.

Robert Dudley left a lasting imprint on Warwickshire. Kenilworth Castle was extensively refurbished by him, with the introduction of Renaissance style buildings and landscaped gardens (including the recently recreated Elizabethan Garden). The home for military veterans he founded in Warwick still survives as Lord Leycester’s Hospital. The splendid tomb that he shares with his wife Lettice can still be seen in St Mary‘s Church, Warwick. He has also flourished as a character in fiction, beginning with Sir Walter Scott’s novel 'Kenilworth' and continuing today in historical novels and dramas.

The exhibition will showcase the Dudley heritage of Warwickshire, with displays of paintings, prints and objects drawn from local collections. It is hoped that visitors will be inspired to explore for themselves Lord Leicester’s legacy in Warwickshire and beyond.

For further details about the exhibition at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum,

Queen Elizabeth I had granted Kenilworth Castle to her favourite, Robert Dudley, in 1563 and he spent a fortune transforming it into a luxurious palace fit to receive his queen and her court.
The queen visited him there several times on her famous summer progresses away from London. Her fourth and final visit lasted for 19 days, from 9 to 27 July 1575, the longest she had ever stayed at a courtier’s house. In her honour, Leicester built sumptuous apartments especially for her use, with large airy windows with superb views, huge fires and a whole chamber dedicated to one of the queen’s great passions – dancing. Decorated with dazzling plasterwork, hung with rich tapestries and furnished sumptuously, this would have been the summit of Elizabethan luxury. Leicester also devised the most lavish series of entertainments for the queen, and took as much care with the surrounding landscape as he had with the buildings, embellishing his park with bowers, arbours, seats and walks. He wanted Elizabeth’s privy, or private, garden to be as magnificent an outdoor space as the interiors he had created for her. Two detailed accounts of the festivities survive, one written by the poet and actor George Gascoigne, the other by Robert Langham, keeper of the council chamber door. It is from Langham, a minor official, that we have the description of the garden. Although it was designed as a privy garden, closed to all but the queen’s closest companions, one day, while the queen was out hunting, Adrian the gardener allowed Langham to sneak inside. Langham’s account is written in the form of a long letter, in a curious style which has provoked a great deal of debate. Although he cannot have visited the garden for more than a few hours, Langham left an extremely detailed description of its features. The accuracy of his account is borne out by archaeological evidence, which confirms that an eight-sided fountain once stood at the centre of the garden, just as he claims.

SIDENOTE: One of the tapestries now hanging at Kenilworth Castle is my favorite Burne Jones tapestry, The Holy Grail Tapestry is absolutely beautiful! I now have another castle to add to my list to visit!

Here's more information about Kenilworth Castle,

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meeting Cecily of York: Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith

Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (May 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141655047X
ISBN-13: 978-1416550471

Anne Easter Smith's latest release entitled, 'Queen By Right' tells the story of Cecily of York,
mother of two kings and one of English history’s most intelligent and courageous women.
Cecily Neville, duchess of York and ancestor of every English monarch to the present day, Anne has found her most engrossing character yet. Cecily earned two monikers from her contemporaries: Rose of Raby for her fair-haired beauty and Proud Cis for her fierce loyalty and courage in the face of the many history-making events she experienced in her eighty years. This was a woman who could have been queen had her husband lived to win the day over Henry VI and his queen, Margaret of Anjou, in the winter of 1461.

History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of Ludlow Castle, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, Duke of York who she meets when she is nine and he is thirteen. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match, and together they face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue.

All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her own hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and the kingdom. As civil war escalates between the cousins of Lancaster and York, Cecily will lose her love, her favorite brother and her dearest child. But in the end, she will watch proudly as her oldest son takes his father’s place at the head of a victorious army and is crowned at Westminster Abbey as King Edward IV.

To read and or download an excerpt of Queen By Right, click here, http://www.scribd.com/doc/52355133/QUEEN-BY-RIGHT-by-Anne-Easter-Smith-%E2%80%93-read-an-excerpt

To learn more about Anne Easter Smith, visit her website, http://www.anneeastersmith.com/Home_Page.html

Please feel free to leave any comments,

Monday, May 2, 2011

2 May 1536 ~ Anne Boleyn Arrested and taken to the Tower of London

The second of May, in the year 1536, started off like any other day for Queen Anne watching a game of tennis at Greenwich Palace when a messenger approached her saying, "by order of the King immediately go and present herself before the Privy Council". At this time, Anne is unaware that her brother, George Boleyn, had been arrested for treason and taken to the tower.

Anne Boleyn left the tennis match and presented herself in the council chamber in front of a royal commission consisting of: the Duke of Norfolk (her uncle), Sir William Fitzwilliam and Sir William Paulet. There, she was informed that she was being accused of committing adultery with three different men: Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris and a third, and that Smeaton and Norris had already confessed. Anne objected and pleaded with her accusers to no avail and the royal commission ordered her arrest. Anne was then taken to her apartment until at two o’clock in the afternoon, she was escorted by barge to the Tower of London.

Her escort consisted of: the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Oxford (Great Chamberlain) and Lord Sandys (the Lord Chamberlain of the Household). At the Tower of London, the Queen was met by Sir William Kingston, the Lieutenant of the Tower. A worried Queen Anne Boleyn asked if she was going to be put into a dungeon, but Kingston reassured her that she was being taken to lodgings in the Royal Palace, the same lodgings she used before her coronation. Sir William Kingston said that at that moment the Queen fell to her knees and broke down in tears, saying “It is too good for me” and then “in the same sorrow she fell into a great laughing.”

On May 2, 1536, Archbishop Cranmer was summoned to Lambeth Palace by Thomas Cromwell, to await the King's pleasure. On the following day, he learned of Queen Anne Boleyn's arrest and was shocked. Doubtless, there were others in positions of power who also questioned the Queen's purported guilt, but only Cranmer risked King Henry VIII's displeasure and spoke out on her behalf:

Thomas Cranmer to King Henry VIII,
3 May 1536

" Pleaseth it your most noble Grace to be advertised, that at your Grace's commandment by Mr. Secretary's letters, written in your Grace's name, I came to Lambeth yesterday, and do there remain to know your Grace's farther pleasure. And forsomuch as, without your Grace's commandment, I dare not, contrary to the contents of the said letters, presume to come unto your Grace's presence; nevertheless, of my most bounden duty, I can do no less than most humbly to desire your Grace, by your great wisdom, and by the assistance of God's help, somewhat to suppress the deep sorrow of your Grace's heart, and to take all adversities of God's hand both patiently and thankfully. I cannot deny but your Grace hath great causes many ways of lamentable heaviness: and also that, in the wrongful estimation of the world, your Grace's honour of every part is highly touched (whether the things that commonly be spoken of be true or not), that I remember not that ever Almighty God sent unto your Grace any like occasion to try your Grace's constancy throughout, whether your Highness can be content to take of God's hand, as well things displeasant as pleasant. And if he find in your most noble heart such an obedience unto his will, that your Grace without murmuration and overmuch heaviness, do accept all adversities, not less thanking him than when all things succeed after your Grace's will and pleasure, nor less procuring his glory and honour; then I suppose your Grace did never thing more acceptable unto him, since your first governance of this your realm. And moreover, your Grace shall give unto him occasion to multiply and increase his graces and benefits unto your highness, as he did unto his most faithful servant Job; unto whom, after his great calamities and heaviness, for his obedient heart, and willing acceptation of God's scourge and rod, addidit ei Dominus cuncta duplicia. And if it be true, that is openly reported of the Queen's Grace, if men had a right estimation of things, they should not esteem any part of your Grace's honour to be touched thereby, but her honour only to be clearly disparaged. And I am in such a perplexity, that my mind is clean amazed: for I never had better opinion in woman than I had in her; which maketh me to think that she should not be culpable. And again, I think your highness would not have gone so far, except she had surely been culpable. Now I think that your Grace best knoweth, that, next unto your Grace, I was most bound unto her of all creatures living. Wherefore, I most humbly beseech your Grace, to suffer me in that, which both God's law, nature, and also her kindness bindeth me unto; that is, that I may with your Grace's favour, wish and pray for her, that she may declare herself inculpable and innocent. And if she be found culpable, considering your Grace's goodness towards her, and from what condition your Grace of your only mere goodness took her, and set the crown upon her head; I repute him not your Grace's faithful servant and subject, nor true unto the realm, that would not desire the offence without mercy to be punished, to the example of all other. And as I loved her not a little, for the love which I judged her to bear towards God and his gospel; so, if she be proved culpable, there is not one that loveth God and his gospel that ever will favour her, but must hate her above all other; and the more they favour the gospel, the more they will hate her: for then there was never creature in our time that so much slandered the gospel. And God hath sent her this punishment, for that she feignedly hath professed his gospel in her mouth, and not in heart and deed. And though she have offended so, that she hath deserved never to be reconciled unto your Grace's favour; yet Almighty God hath manifoldly declared his goodness towards your Grace, and never offended you. But your Grace, I am sure, acknowledgeth that you have offended him. Wherefore, I trust that your Grace will bear no less entire favour unto the truth of the gospel than you did before: forsomuch as your Grace's favour to the gospel was not led by affection unto her, but by zeal unto the truth. And thus I beseech Almighty God, whose gospel he hath ordained your Grace to be defender of, ever to preserve your Grace from all evil, and give you at the end the promise of his gospel. From Lambeth, the 3d day of May.
" After I had written this letter unto your Grace, my Lord Chancellor,my Lord Oxford, my Lord of Sussex, and my Lord Chamberlain of your Grace's house, sent for me to come unto the Star-Chamber; and there declared unto me such things as your Grace's pleasure was they should make me privy unto. For the which I am most bounden unto your Grace. And what communication we had together, I doubt not but they will make the true report thereof unto your Grace. I am exceedingly sorry that such faults can be proved by the Queen, as I heard of their relation. But I am, and ever shall be, your faithful subject.

" Your Grace's
" Humble subject and chaplain,

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn, Alison Weir, p132.
Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII, David Starkey, Chapter 69: The Tower, P.569.
LP x.793.

Nicholas, Mrs. A. H. Republic of Letters. Vol III.
New York: George Dearborn, 1835. 69-70.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments,

A review of Fifteen Wild Decembers by Karen Powell

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NERO BOOK AWARDS 2023 A creative re-imagining of the short life of Emily Brontë, one of England’s greatest writers Isola...