Reading Recommendations: The Kings Daughter, Barbara Kyle
Historical Preface-"In 1547 the obese body of King Henry VIII gave up its hold on life. During his tumultuous reign Henry had defied Popes, brought the sentence of excommunication on himself, and forged a national Protestant church, all to get a divorce. He had also wiped out a thousand monastic houses and dispersed their rich holdings to loyal servants of the Crown in an avalanche of sales. Henry had altered forever the face of religion in England.
He left behind three heirs from three different marriages: Mary, age thirty, Elizabeth, age fourteen, and Edward, age nine. As the only son, Edward ascended the throne as King Edward VI.
The boy King was guided by counselors. These included such powerful Protestant men as Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Led by Northumberland the government hardened into a severe Protestant regime that crated strangling inflation through debasement of the coinage, siphoned off public moneys and lands to Northumberland's friends, and brought in foreign mercenary troops to ruthlessly put down unrest.
On July 6, 1553, Edward VI, not yet sixteen, died. His half sisters were his heirs, but a young great niece of Henry VIII also stood in the line of succession, Lady Jane Grey. Jane was the daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, and was married to the Duke of Northumberland's son.
Northumberland immediately made a grab for power. He gathered a small army, bullied the royal council into acquiescence, and had his daughter-in-law Jane proclaimed Queen on London's main street. The people listened in sullen silence for they stubbornly believed that a child of old King Henry's loins should inherit the crown.
Meanwhile in Norfolk, Princess Mary was biding her time. Influential men started going to her side, and soon supporters were flocking to her. Northumberland could not shore up his position. The Royal council switched allegience and publicly proclaimed Mary as Queen. The people of London cheered, the Tower guns boomed, the city bells rang. On August 3, Mary rode into her capital, triumphant. Jane the nine-day Queen, was imprisoned in the tower. Her father, Suffolk, oddly was set free. But Northumberland was beheaded.
The people were satisfied that the rightful heir was now on the throne. Many were anxious about Mary's rigid Catholicism, but England was ready for any change that would deliver the country from the spoliations of Northumberland and his cronies."
And so begins the reign of Bloody Mary. and-
Against this background of pageantry, riches, passion and danger, we meet Isabel Thornleigh. Even as she plans for her own nuptials, she is helping to lay the groundwork to overthrow Mary and bring Elizabeth to power. But none of the secrets Isabel has discovered compares to the truths hidden in her own family. With her beloved father imprisoned by Queen Mary, only Carlos Valverde, a Spanish soldier of fortune, can help Isabel. Now with England's future at stake, Isabel risks all to change the course of history.
Another book along the same line is Suzannah Dunn's new book, The Queen's Sorrow
Plain and dutiful and passionate Catholic, Mary Tudor is overjoyed when she becomes Queen of England. After the misery of her childhood, when her father, Henry VIII, rejected her and her mother, Mary feels at last that she is achieving her destiny. And when she marries Phillip of Spain, her happiness is complete.
But Mary's delight quickly turns sour as she realizes that her husband does not love her, indeed, that he finds her devotion irritating. Desperate for a baby, she begins to believe that God is punishing her. Her people are horrified at the severity of the measures she takes and begin to turn against their queen, who is lonely, frightened, and desperate for love.
Rafael, a member of Phillip of Spain's entourage, reluctantly witnesses the tragedy that unfolds as the once feted queen tightens her cruel hold on the nation. As Rafael becomes closer to Mary, his life, and new found love, are caught up in the terrible chaos.
See you at Rylander!