Par MissGuillotine le 12 Janvier 2015 à 20:34
The Mysterious Mistress
The Life and Legend of Jane Shore by Margaret Crosland
Jane Shore has been mentioned by Shakespeare in Richard III and fictionalised by Jean Plaidy. But little is known of her beyond her name and the fact that she was mistress to Edward IV. In the first complete biography of Jane Shore, acclaimed author Margaret Crosland looks at the woman behind the myth, examining how she has been transformed in legend and history. Who was she? Where did she come from? And, having been mistress to the most powerful man in the land, why did she end up in prison and poverty?
Jane was middle class, which was very unusual for a medieval royal mistress. The daughter of a successful merchant in Cheapside, her arranged marriage to younger merchant William Shore was annulled on the grounds of his importance. With her 'pleasant behaviour' and 'proper wit' she managed to hold the interest of notorious womaniser Edward IV for twelve years. Sir Thomas More claimed that she stood out among the king's mistresses for one simple reason. 'For many he had, but her he loved ...'
When the king died unexpectedly, Jane's social status meant that she was an easy target for Edward's successor Richard III. Richard had Jane arrested for treason, accused of sorcery twice imprisoned, and forced her to do penance for her 'sinful' life by walking barefoot and half naked through London. She was rescued by a second marriage to the King's Solicitor Thomas Lynam, which did not please Richard.
After her death, Jane Shore became the subject and target of literature: Thomas More vindicated her; Nicholas Rowe wrote a popular drama about her and even the adolescent Jane Austen mentioned her a early writings.
Margaret Crosland sheds new light on the woman who had an incredible rise and fall through the strict hierarchy of medieval society and whose life became the subject of art and literature through the centuries.
Par MissGuillotine le 6 Janvier 2015 à 22:44
Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox
In a life of extraordinary drama, Jane Boleyn was catapulted from relative obscurity to the inner circle of King Henry VIII. As powerful men and women around her became victims of Henry’s ruthless and absolute power, including her own husband and sister-in-law, Queen Anne Boleyn, Jane’s allegiance to the volatile monarchy was sustained and rewarded. But the price for her loyalty would eventually be her undoing and the ruination of her name. For centuries, little beyond rumor and scandal has been associated with “the infamous Lady Rochford.” But now historian Julia Fox sets the record straight and restores dignity to this much-maligned figure whose life and reputation were taken from her.
Born to aristocratic parents in the English countryside, young Jane Parker found a suitable match in George Boleyn, brother to Anne, the woman who would eventually be the touchstone of England’s greatest political and religious crisis. Once settled in the bustling, spectacular court of Henry VIII as the wife of a nobleman, Jane was privy to the regal festivities of masques and jousts, royal births and funerals, and she played an intimate part in the drama and gossip that swirled around the king’s court.
But it was Anne Boleyn’s descent from palace to prison that first thrust Jane into the spotlight. Impatient with Anne’s inability to produce a male heir, King Henry accused the queen of treason and adultery with a multitude of men, including her own brother, George. Jane was among those interrogated in the scandal, and following two swift strokes from the executioner’s blade, she lost her husband and her sister-in-law, her inheritance and her place in court society.
Now the thirty-year-old widow of a traitor, Jane had to ensure her survival and protect her own interests by securing land and income. With sheer determination, she navigated her way back into royal favor by becoming lady-in-waiting to Henry’s three subsequent brides, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard. At last Jane’s future seemed secure–until an unwitting misstep involving the sexual intrigues of young Queen Catherine destroyed the life and reputation Jane worked so hard to rebuild.
Drawing upon her own deep knowledge and years of original research, Julia Fox brings us into the inner sanctum of court life, laced with intrigue and encumbered by disgrace. Through the eyes and ears of Jane Boleyn, we witness the myriad players of the stormy Tudor period. Jane emerges as a courageous spirit, a modern woman forced by circumstances to fend for herself in a privileged but vicious world.
Par MissGuillotine le 30 Décembre 2014 à 21:19
The Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
When Henry VIII dies in 1547 he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn - Edward, Mary and Elisabeth - to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendents of his sister Mary Tudor, one of whom was the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey, Edward was nine years old, Mary thirty-one and Jane ten. Edward, Elizabeth and Jane were staunch Protestants, Mary a devout Catholic; each had a very different mother and they had grown up in vastly different circumstances. In "The Children of Henry VIII", Alison Weir's interest is not in constitional history but in the characters and relationships of Henry's four Heirs. Making use of a huge variety of contemporary sources, she brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political one religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.
Par MissGuillotine le 30 Décembre 2014 à 08:32
The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracies, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant by Robert Hutchinson
A blazing narrative history that boldly captures the end of England's most despotic ruler and his court -- a time of murderous conspiracies, terrifying betrayals, and sordid intrigue
Henry VIII's crimes against his wives are well documented and have become historical lore. But much less attention has been paid to his monarchy, especially the closing years of his reign.
Rich with information including details from new archival material and written with the nail-biting suspense of a modern thriller, The Last Days of Henry VIII offers a superb fresh look at this fascinating figure and new insight into an intriguing chapter in history.
Robert Hutchinson paints a brilliant portrait of this egotistical tyrant who governed with a ruthlessness that rivals that of modern dictators; a monarch who had "no respect or fear of anyone in this world," according to the Spanish ambassador to his court. Henry VIII pioneered the modern "show trial": cynical propaganda exercises in which the victims were condemned before the proceedings even opened, proving the most powerful men in the land could be brought down overnight.
After thirty-five years in power, Henry was a bloated, hideously obese, black-humored old recluse. And despite his having had six wives, the Tudor dynasty rested on the slight shoulders of his only male heir, the nine-year-old Prince Edward -- a situation that spurred rival factions into a deadly conflict to control the throne.
The Last Days of Henry VIII is a gripping and compelling history as fascinating and remarkable as its subject.
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