Written by Jennifer C Wilson
My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this Blog Blitz today
The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court?
Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?
Tags: historical romance
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1403 KB
- Print Length: 68 pages
- Publication Date: 2 Oct 2017
- Purchase Link: Amazon UK
Hello, and thank you for being part of my blog blitz today, for The Last Plantagenet?
I can see why some might be surprised at the notion of Richard III as a romantic lead, but to me, when I saw the call-out from Mills and Boon for historical novellas with a twist, his was the name which immediately popped into my head. In the end, I couldn’t write what Mills and Boon were after, but five thousand words in, I decided to continue anyway, and use it as a bit of an experiment in self-publishing.
The tale began a couple of years before Richard’s remains were found in the now-famous carpark, but the whole process of the dig, the aftermath, the re-interment, and commemoration inspired me not only to finish the project, but also gave me the mental image of my leading man. I like to picture my characters, but let’s face it, the historical portraits of Richard III aren’t the most inspiring for a romantic hero. The facial reconstruction, however, that worked. Seeing it ‘in the flesh’ as it were, on my first visit to the Visitor Centre in Leicester.
He’s rather handsome, don’t you think? Definitely better than any of the portraits.
But what of the man himself? Personally, I’m always drawn to the underdog, the misrepresented and the misunderstood. In historical terms, I don’t think you get more misrepresented and misunderstood than Richard. Well, maybe Macbeth. I’ll revisit him one day. Here was a man who did a lot for this country in his short two-year reign. It was an interesting snippet from one of the lectures on the weekend of his re-interment week that he spent more time ‘above ground’ following his discovery, than he did on the throne itself. There’s also the notion that here was a medieval man who married for, well, if not true love, then surely strong affection. Having grown up in the same household as Anne Neville, daughter of the Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick, the two would certainly have known each other well, and if you believe the tales, he rescued her from virtual imprisonment at the hands of his brother, keen to keep the inheritance of her and her sister, George’s wife Isabel. Now, alright, having half of that might inheritance for himself would have been an attractive draw for Richard, he was no fool after all, but as brother to the King of England, there could have been the option of a European royal princess as a bride, and all the riches and honour that would have brought. Instead though, he married Anne, a childhood friend, and there’s no evidence it was anything other than a happy marriage.
A romantic then, rescuing his damsel in distress that he’d known since youth? And why not?
I’m not of the misconception that he was a saint, have no fear there. He was a member of the medieval aristocracy, a royal duke, and ultimately a king. These were hard times, creating hard people. Here was a battle-hardened man, who would have seen (and caused) plenty of death throughout his comparative short life (he was only 32 when he was killed at Bosworth). But that contrast made the idea of him as a romantic lead even more appealing, that contradiction between the man he had to be in public, and an ordinary man who no doubt craved affection like everyone else. Especially having lost his wife and companion. Why wouldn’t he be attracted to a new addition to the court?
Above all of that, it was fun to write! One day, I have an ambition to write a ‘straight’ historical fiction novel, featuring Richard III, but I know that the level of research and effort needed to do that properly is far greater than I can commit too right now. Whereas ‘playing’ with the concept, for a shorter, lighter piece, that was achievable. And I loved writing every word of it. Which is surely the point?
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Meet the Author
Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon.