(Photo is copyrighted by Katherine Longshore 2014)
As part of the Tudor Thursdays tour, here is Katherine's favorite spot for this week:
The site that started it all…
“A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”
I’ve long been a huge fan of that other historical bad boy, Richard III, and recently got the chance to visit Bosworth Field, where Richard was unhorsed (and more) and Henry Tudor became Henry VII. Be you Team Richard or Team Henry, it’s worth a visit.
The battle also marked the end of the Wars of the Roses, because Henry (a Red Rose of the house of Lancaster) married Elizabeth (a White Rose of the house of York) and founded the Tudor dynasty. All of this occurred only fifty years before the action in BRAZEN takes place, and memories were long in Tudor England. Henry VIII was desperate to keep his crown, going so far as to have cousins executed for treason.
Mary, the narrator of BRAZEN, is painfully aware of this when her husband (the king’s illegitimate son) suggests that they run away to France.
“I can’t bear to stay!”
I turn and look at him. His arms are stiff at his sides, hands in fists as tight as his expression.
“You are the king’s son,” I tell him. I walk back and put my hands on his arms, but they do not relax. “If you go to France and claim asylum everyone will assume you’re planning a coup. That you have pretensions to the throne. Just like your grandfather.”
The seventh King Henry lived for years in France until he had the funds and support needed to raise an army. He knocked the crown from Richard III’s head and took his place.
“Our lives wouldn’t be worth living,” I say. “We’d have assassins and spies after us all the time. We would never be safe.”
“So we stay? Imprisoned? Married, but unable to be together. In love, but kept apart. Lapdogs, kept for show, but always at the bottom of the pack.”
I think of Urian, showing the other dogs who’s in charge. And I want to leave. Escape. Believe in the dream of a palace in exile on the Loire.
I can’t change the world, so I kiss him. Softly. Slowly. Like a lazy afternoon alone.
“Be with me, Mary,” he whispers.
I remember what the queen said just a few hours ago. How what she fears most is regret for things she hasn’t done. I press myself closer to him.
“I love you,” I say, my words tangled in his kiss. I hold his face between my palms and force him to look at me. “I love you. I love you.”
“Even if I’m nothing?”
I kiss his eyes closed so I don’t see the despair so ripe in them.
“You are not nothing,” I tell him. “To me, you are everything.”
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