• The Pleasure Palace

    The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court #1) by Kate Emerson

    The Pleasure Palace

    Beautiful. Seductive. Innocent. Jane Popyncourt was brought to the court as a child to be ward of the king and a companion to his daughters -- the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for a powerful marriage, or perhaps even marriage at all. But as she grows into a lovely young woman, she still receives flattering attention from the virile young men flocking to serve the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she cannot help giving some of her heart -- and more -- to a man she can never marry. But the Tudor court is filled with dangers as well as seductions, and there are mysteries surrounding Jane's birth that have made her deadly enemies. Can she cultivate her beauty and her amorous wiles to guide her along a perilous path and bring her at last to happiness? Basing her gripping tale on the life of the real Jane Popyncourt, gifted author Kate Emerson brings the Tudor monarchs, their family, and their courtiers to brilliant life in this vibrant new novel.


    The Pleasure Palace

       JanePopincourt was a French maid-of-honour at the royal court of Louis XII and later of Francis I. For around twelve years, she had a position at the English court, first in the reign of Henry VII, as a distinguished tutor engaged to teach French to the princesses Margaret and Mary; and later in 1509, on the accession of Henry VIII, she was appointed a maid-of-honour to his wife, Catherine of Aragon. In 1514, there were rumors that Jane had become the King's mistress.


    During the Battle of the Spurs in 1513, the King's troops captured a number of French nobles, notably Louis I d'Orléans, duke of Longueville. It is unknown if the Duke had met Jane at the French court, but as her countryman they seem to have been introduced upon his arrival at the English court and they soon began a liaison. Although he was technically a hostage, he was used as a supplementary ambassador in arranging the marriage of Mary Tudor and Louis XII, and was treated with respect as such. This damaged the reputation of Jane, who was probably then in her mid-to-late twenties, an age by which a woman would have been expected to be married. When the Duke returned to France in 1514, Jane remained at the English court and appears to have begun a brief affair with Henry VIII.However, she seems to have wanted to return home. It has also been speculated that she was no longer welcome at the English court. She was listed as an attendant to Henry's sister, Princess Mary, who was about to become the queen of France. When Louis XII saw her name, he is said to have preferred that she be incinerated, and would not permit such an immoral woman to attend to his new wife.

    Jane remained in England until 1516, when she returned to France. She is said to have reignited her affair with the Duke and received a parting gift of £100 from Henry.

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