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What Are We All Reading?
August 5, 2010
11:17 am
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TinaII2None
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Lady K said:

Hi TinaII2None,

It was so funny, the very first page of the Queens Fool mentioned the word sex (not that im a prude)

I wasnt a fan of the White Queen, mainly due to all the silly witchcraft. Have you seen this future release on Margaret ?  “Margaret Beaufort the Mother of the Tudor Dynasty” – Ellizabeth Norton. I think it comes out in September.  

A few of my friends rave about Children of Henry VIII, so im curious to see what that one is like too.

🙂

 

ROTFL! Yeah, I noticed that too! And I'm not a prude either but good grief — can't it wait until say page 71? Laugh

Do you mind my asking — what the heck did witchcraft have to do with Elizabeth Wydville? Is Gregory trying to allege that she was a witch?

 

Yes, I had heard about the Norton biography and will be on the watch for it — thanks! *g* I read that one bio on Margaret back about 10 years ago (my local main library had to borrow it from a university library and then I had a limited amount of days to read it), and I don't know about the rest of you, but Margaret Beaufort may be — for me anyway — the most puzzling of all the Tudors and that's saying a lot. I'm never quite sure what to think of her — but perhaps I should start a thread elsewhere on the forum and throw that one out to the group!

 

I loved Children of Henry VIII. Definitely check it out!

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 5, 2010
11:34 am
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TinaII2None
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Sabrina:

Haven't read that in years, but would love to check it out again (just something else to add to my queue LOL). I know what you mean about reading everything about Elizabeth — I've been the same way most of my life.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 5, 2010
11:36 am
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TinaII2None
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Smile Put my money where my mouth is and instead of getting side-tracked here, I posted a new topic under the Tudor character forum — it's about Margaret Beaufort. Interested to see what you all think.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 5, 2010
5:19 pm
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Lady K
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2nd time ive tried to post this … weird its not working properly.

TinaII2None said:

ROTFL! Yeah, I noticed that too! And I'm not a prude either but good grief — can't it wait until say page 71? Laugh

Do you mind my asking — what the heck did witchcraft have to do with Elizabeth Wydville? Is Gregory trying to allege that she was a witch?

Im not totally clued up on the Plants but from what ive read I think it was propaganda as she was hated by Edward IV men (ie Earl of Warwick). They married for love, she was a divorcee and a commoner and they thought she had to much influence. Similar to Henry and our Anne. These poor Queens got bad raps for being strong….grrr…so annoys me. 🙁

I better not side track this post now myself…heheheh 

Will check out the Margaret Beaufort forum 🙂

August 6, 2010
12:02 pm
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TinaII2None
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Lady K — thanks for telling me. I just wondered. I was half-imagining Gregory having Elizabeth stealing hair so as to make waxen dolls of her enemies! (Then again — having not read the book, there still might be such a scene! LOL)

You're right — isn't it funny how these Queens or just strong women were often labeled as witches by their enemies: Elizabeth Wydville, her great-granddaughter Elizabeth; Anne Boleyn (poor Anne — not only called a witch but the “Concubine” and “The Goggle-Eyed Whore” on top of it!) Wasn't there a Joan Beaufort who was allegedly a witch? And of course there's Joan of Arc! I'm sure at some point Eleanor of Acquitaine and Margaret of Anjou were called witches too. LOL  

Anyway, thanks again Lady K! Smile

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 6, 2010
12:11 pm
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TinaII2None
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Well, with all the talk of The White Queen, I found this on Amazon.com — in a ***** star review of the book.  This is an excerpt:

Another part of this story that will keep many readers entertained is the magical and sorcery elements. Elizabeth is said to be the descendant of a mythical water creature called Melusina. Ms. Gregory incorporated the myth of Melusina into the novel and actually used it as a recurring theme/symbol throughout the story. In addition, Elizabeth's mother practiced some examples witchcraft. Some people actually claimed that Elizabeth's mother put a spell on Edward to make him fall in love with her daughter. The character of Elizabeth also had premonitions about certain things and places in her life. She always had a bad feeling that something awful would occur in the Black Tower.

So Lady K, I guess that kind of answers what we wondered as far as the witchcraft aspect. Confused I did notice that many of the less flattering reviews said that the plot device started out interesting but then got tiresome as it is mentioned ad-nauseum. LOL

Oh! Caught this in one review. Has nothing to do with witchcraft but does have to do with very sloppy research!!

As to her being considered such a great historian, one thing really jumped out at me that makes me question how thorough she is with some topics. At one point Elizabeth mentions they're going to Nonsuch Palace. Nonsuch was started by her grandson, Henry VIII. Anyone can go to the internet, type in “Nonsuch Palace” and get this information. Some might consider that a bit nit picky on my part but in my opinion, if you're going to call yourself a great historian, at least have your characters going to places that existed at the time.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 6, 2010
8:24 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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With regard to Elizabeth Wydeville (Woodville) and witchcraft, I just finished Sandra Worth's The King's Daughter, which is a novel about Elizabeth of York, and she also includes a scene where E of Y sees her mother and others (she suspects they are her grandmother and a priest known to them) performing a witchcraft ritual, which later results in the daughter confronting her mother and the two getting into a slap-fight! So it's a pervasive rumor.

As for the rest of the book, it's very pro-Richard III. I initially started to give away the plot, but reconsidered, so I'll just say it's kinda depressing. One interesting thing – in the book, it says that Margaret Beaufort made exact replicas of her daughter-in-law's dresses and appears in them beside her in public to gain attention/make herself look more royal. Is this just a fictional tidbit thrown in by the author, or was there any truth to that? I know MB was the mother-in-law from hell, but did she really do that?

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August 7, 2010
2:46 am
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Lady K
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TinaII2None said:

Lady K — thanks for telling me. I just wondered. I was half-imagining Gregory having Elizabeth stealing hair so as to make waxen dolls of her enemies! (Then again — having not read the book, there still might be such a scene! LOL)

—————————

Hey TinaII2None,

Um well, i forgot about it until you mentioned it but from memory in the book, Elizabeth Wydville did in fact take material from her brother in law George,Duke of Clarence and did some magical thing to it to inact revenge. Her mother and her also brewed a storm up too ~ bwahahahahahahah 

—————————–

Hello Impish_Impulse

I have heard that story about Margaret Beaufort, or something similar but ive no idea if its true. I would love to read up more on her.

A book that i can recommend (well ive partially read it and comes highly recommend) on the Plantagenets is The Sunne In Splendour, though it too is a pro Richard III. It apparantely is quite factual even though its fiction. I plan to get around to this one in a few months time for a buddy read.  

Great chating to you :)


August 7, 2010
9:46 am
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TinaII2None
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Well, thank you Lady K! That gave me a chuckle which was desperately needed (I just came off 3 hours of Overtime and have to be back at work later tonight). Now I'm sure Ms. Gregory's scene was in all seriousness Laugh, but I suddenly had this image of her dropping a waxen figure into a tub or bucket…and then later learns her brother-in-law may have drowned in a vat of malmsey!

Okay, I hate to get sidetracked but I guess you all know how it is when you think of something and you want to throw it out there, so excuse this little asideSmile.

There is a 1939 movie — Hollywood's Golden Age — on YouTube called The Tower of London and it's about Richard III, his family and his eventual fall. It is NOT Shakespeare! While Richard is cunning, the real monster of the movie is Boris Karloff as a club-footed torturer in the Tower who becomes Richard's dog-like slave. (It is the Karloff character who murders the Little Princes in a scene that honestly had me screaming in horror when it ended). Vincent Price — who was Richard in a Roger Corman version of The Tower of London — has a small role as a loutish and traitorous George Duke of Clarence (this may be closer to what I've read about the real George than the saintly version we get in Shakespeare's play), and in one memorable scene, Clarence and Gloucester have a drinking contest to end all drinking contests! Anyway, it's a pretty good movie, even with the fictionalized moments. Oh and the Richard of this Universal Studio's movie — none other than one of the finest actors to pull off villains in that decade: BASIL RATHBONE! Watch for Scarlett O'Hara's mother (Barbara O'Neil) as Elizabeth Wydville.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 7, 2010
10:08 am
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TinaII2None
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Continuing on the subject of Ms. Gregory — yesterday morning, after reading Claire's wonderful articles on Mary Boleyn — I found that The Red Queen actually has a large amount of excerpts (as in several chapters) on Amazon's listing. Not sure how the UK site is set up, but if you go to the US version and click on the link that takes you inside the book, you can get a very good idea of what you'll have in store. Suffice it to say, half of me was chuckling at some pretty poor prose, and the first person take — well, Charlotte Bronte and Daphne DuMaurier have nothing to worry about!! This is what I got from reading approximately 50+ pages and this does contain some spoilers:

Margaret is about 9 when the novel opens, but she prays a lot, enough to put even Katherine of Aragon to shame. She is quite proud of her “saints knees” as she calls them, so proud in fact that the author makes mention of it about 3 or 4 times in one friggin' paragraph. (Okay I get it!!)

In fact, Margaret Beaufort — a child wise beyond her years or so Margaret tells us – prays so incessantly that she's getting on the nerves of her Lady Mother and her governess. I doubt many saints or prophets prayed as she does. When she is not praying, she imagines herself to be an English Jeanne D'Arc, which is a puzzling aspect considering that I always thought the English believed Joan to be a witch and burned her at the stake as we all know. Yeah, a lot of it was poltical of course, but Margaret seems to think herself a reincarnation of Joan — if she believed in such a thing. She's obsessed with Joan of Arc; knows everything about her; has spoken with those that served in Calais or other English territories and saw Joan either at the head of her armies or being executed. Margaret has such empathy for Joan that she imagines herself being at Joan's side during her passion.

By the end of chapter 1, I just want to shake the crap out of Margaret and tell her to snap out of it!! BUT WAIT! There's more! (Well, of course there is or you wouldn't have a 400 page novel). Of course Margaret still prays and prays and prays AND PRAYS, and she ends up at court with her Lady Mother in order to invalidate one “marriage”. She hopes to be allowed to go to a convent afterwards, but that's not what Mummy Dearest has in mind, and in short order, Margaret's been made a ward to the Tudor brothers; somewhere in there (I think I missed a paragraph or two) she and Edmund get married; he pretty much rapes her on a nightly basis, and then at dinnertime, he and brother Jasper talk strategy and plot their futures while Margaret just wants to get somewhere to pray (of course). She gets pregnant, Edmund gets captured, Edmund dies, Jasper swears fealty to Margaret’s child (if it’s a son), Margaret’s Mummy Dearest tells the midwives to let her daughter die if it comes down to her or the future Lancaster heir, Margaret prays some more and wonders when her Joan of Arc visions will return…and I decided I couldn’t take much more.

I’m glad Amazon.com had such an enormous amount of excerpts available because it helped me to make up my mind – I don’t think I could suffer 400 pages of just more of the same. But that’s just me and I don’t have a very high opinion of Ms. Gregory; still, I wanted to be able to make up my own mind when I saw that it wasn’t just a few pages of excerpts but dozens, enough to give me a good feel. I think I’ll definitely pass!

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 7, 2010
9:37 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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Wow, Tina! I was curious, but leery of PG, but I'll definitely not be curious any more!

PS – That was a hysterical critique, BTW. I laughed all the way through it. You have a definite talent, there!

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August 7, 2010
11:10 pm
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Ha ha ha, I'm still giggling over your review Tina!  Too funny!

That's the thing with Ms. Gregory – I swear her writing gets worse with each book and it seems for the last few she can't help but descend into caricature.  Poor Margaret Beaufort, now I'm not even slightly curious in checking out 'The Red Queen'!

Funny you should mention Daphne DuMaurier – I'm reading 'Rebecca' right now.  Yeah, I've read it a couple of times before, but it is one of my favourites…. Smile 

August 8, 2010
9:26 am
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TinaII2None
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Impish_Impulse said:

Wow, Tina! I was curious, but leery of PG, but I'll definitely not be curious any more!

PS – That was a hysterical critique, BTW. I laughed all the way through it. You have a definite talent, there!


Thanks for the compliment Impish_Impulse. Much appreciated. I had to take that angle in my critique because there was no way to be completely serious, not when I was nearly LMAO when reading the excerpts. (I couldn't believe that she mentions 'saints knees' that many times in one paragraph! How the heck did her editor(s) let her get away with it and think that was good writing?) Look, I realize royal children often had serious and hard lives, and some were borderline brilliant. We all know how bright Mary, Elizabeth and Edward were, as well as Jane Grey. But PG takes Margaret Beaufort's purported piety and jumps the shark. I think I might have taken a different approach, but hey, that's me.

Yep, this one definitely went OFF my Amazon wish list! Laugh And consider my “review” my good deed for the day!

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 8, 2010
9:38 am
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TinaII2None
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Bella44 said:

Ha ha ha, I'm still giggling over your review Tina!  Too funny!

That's the thing with Ms. Gregory – I swear her writing gets worse with each book and it seems for the last few she can't help but descend into caricature.  Poor Margaret Beaufort, now I'm not even slightly curious in checking out 'The Red Queen'!

Funny you should mention Daphne DuMaurier – I'm reading 'Rebecca' right now.  Yeah, I've read it a couple of times before, but it is one of my favourites…. Smile 


Hi Bella (and that's my youngest sister's name) — I read 'Rebecca' years ago, then saw Hitchcock's movie not long afterwards. Just loved it and it may be one of my few favorite first person novels (along with 'Jane Eyre'). Smile

That's sad to hear — that PG's writing is getting “worse with each book.” I read 'The Virgin's Lover' and while I didn't care for the premise, the writing at the time didn't seem too bad. In fact, I was almost tempted to buy 'The Other Boleyn Girl', but in the end decided not to.

I guess no matter what you think of Margaret Beaufort, she deserved better than this.

And thanks for the compliment about my review. Like I said before, that was my good deed for the day! Laugh

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 8, 2010
4:20 pm
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Another book geek!! I read constantly! 🙂

I actually loved I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Mlies–one of my favorite Elizabeth books! I just loved the way Miles portrayed Elizabeth, plus how it was a start-to-finish story: you got to know Elizabeth from a little child to an old woman. Especially, I liked the Elizabeth-Robert Dudley thing, and Elizabeth's personality. How is The Lady Elizabeth? I bought it, as well as The Last Boleyn, and both are on my near-future reading list. Innocent Traitor is really good in my opinion, if a bit slow at times, and sort of odd because the perspective alternates a lot. I read Red Queen's Daughter and, yes, it was weird, but pretty good!

If anyone wants to comment on my post in the Book Club section, you can post the book/s you think should be the book club book so that Claire and I can make a poll on which book it will be and we can start reading and discussing!

Oh, and right now I'm re-reading The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives. It's the best non-fic book on Anne ever in my opnion. I'm also about to start a fiction book (probably Robin Maxwell's new one, O Juliet, or Karen Harper's Mistress Shakespeare).

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

August 8, 2010
4:23 pm
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TinaII2None said:

And thanks for the compliment about my review. Like I said before, that was my good deed for the day! Laugh


Downright 'saintly' of you – no calloused knees needed! Laugh

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August 9, 2010
12:20 pm
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Wow! Tina I have not laughed that hard over a book review ever.  You made my day.  I was questioning whether to read The Red Queen, but you have totally convinced me not to bother.  I have read PG's other books and I have never been thrilled with them.  I decided not to buy this new one. But there is always that little doubt, ya know?  Like, maybe I should read it.  You have removed all doubt.  Thanks.

As to Elizabeth Wydeville.  Of course she was accused of witchcraft.  She was never charged.  Weren't all women who made it to the top in those days accused of witchcraft?  Her mother was accused of witchcraft and charged with it, but it couldn't be proven and charges were dropped.  (Richard III brought the charges against her)

They are in good company.  Catherine D' Medici and Marie Antoinette were both accused of being witches.  I think that was one of the accusations men knew would work to hurt the reputation of the women they hated and wanted gone.   That and whore seem to be the charges of choice.  It stayed that way for centuries.

Boleynfan: I loved, I, Elizabeth.  Was not fond of Lady Elizabeth.  Liked Innocent Traitor.

I just finished Sisters To the King.  I enjoyed it. 

I am in the middle of The First Queen of England. 

Also red The King's Rose.  Enjoyed this one.

August 14, 2010
4:08 pm
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Just to follow up, I said that I was about to start Mistress Shakespeare, by Karen Harper. It is about Anne Whateley. One of the mysteries revolving around Shakespeare is that one day there is a marriage license for him and Anne Whateley, and the next one for him and Anne Hathaway (not the actress, but same name!). In this novel, the story is that Anne Whateley and Shakespeare are in love, but when Hathaway finds out she is with child, Shakespeare is forced to marry her. He doesn't love her, and he and Anne Whateley live in London. Anne Whateley considers herself his true wife, and she becomes very involved with the theater, etc. There is a run-in with Robert Cecil.

I loved the book! It was great. I don't think there's any substantial proof about Anne Whateley-Anne Hathaway-Shakespeare, though. But still, a good story.

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

August 15, 2010
1:47 am
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Claire
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I know that PG's “The White Queen” caused a real stir because of the whole Melusina angle and also because PG made a comment in an interview about how Jacquetta Woodville was tried for and found guilty of witchcraft and would have been executed if it hadn't been for the intervention of Margaret of Anjou. Jacquetta was actually cleared of all the charges against her and Margaret of Anjou was in exile at the time. Hmm…

I actually thoroughly enjoyed The White Queen but I hate the way that PG claims in interviews and book notes that her books are factual. That's why I have such a problem with TOBG because of PG's notes where she accuses AB of being prepared to commit incest and also being guilty of at least one murder – what???

Tina, your review had me splitting my sides, so funny! I'm not sure I can cope with The Red Queen, think I'll buy Elizabeth Norton's bio instead.

Anyway, I've just finished “The Confession of Catherine Howard” by Suzannah Dunn, which I'll review soon, and I'm in the middle of Christy English's “The Queen's Pawn” which is a fabulous read so far. When I'm not reading history I love Joanne Fluke's murder mysteries, e.g. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, they are so light hearted and are a great wind-down for me.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 15, 2010
5:24 am
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I just finished reading 1536: The Year That Changed Henry VIII  by Suzannah Lipscomb. It was an interesting read where Dr. Lipscomb argues 1536 is the year where Henry VIII changed from the Virtuous Prince (a la Dr. Starkey) to a feared tyrant that popular culture likes to represent today. Lipscomb argues that the events leading up to and around 1536, such as the accusations against Anne, her execution, the Pilgrimage of Grace, etc. brought out the worst in Henry's personality.

Suzannah Lipscomb is a research curator at Hampton Court Palace, so she has a certain understanding of the subject manner. An interesting read for anyone who wants a new perspective on how Henry became the tyrant we all hate, and what role Anne Boleyn and the others played in Henry's life.

Lipscomb presents a cogent argument, especially when she reflects in later chapter about the number of people killed under Henry VIII prior to 1536, and how that number surges post-1536.

In my opinion, Anne Boleyn's execution was ground zero for a tyrannical Henry VIII to emerge.

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

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