Monday, July 21, 2008

Margaret Tudor, Divorce, and Dismay

I zipped through Jean Plaidy's "The Thistle and the Rose" yesterday. Though she only had half the number of husbands as her brother Henry VIII had wives, there are some similarities between these lusty siblings. According to Plaidy, Margaret had a real weakness for a pretty face, and her judgement was corrupted thereby. All of her husbands had mistresses (surprise!), and children they wanted to bring up as if legitimate. Sadly, she could not accept infidelity, past, present or future.

James IV (pictured), a connoisseur of women, was her first king, infatuation and then disappointment. Plaidy's characterization of him was, I thought, very sympathetic. It would be interesting to meet such a man- a charmer without modern morals, sort of a male Madonna (the singer).  James and Margaret appear to have worked things out pretty well.  Unfortunately the Warfare Sickness claimed a royal soldier and left his son a crown on a child.  The others were earls I think, pretty and not too bright.

Hester Chapman stressed Margaret's plainness, here Plaidy pronounces her beautiful. (Or maybe it was the clothes that were beautiful.) (Or maybe in royal circles it is close to the same thing.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Elizabeth Woodville (My Heroine)

The breadth and depth of suffering in the daily lives of those of the nobility who lived in times of high infant mortality, civil war, and delicate political situations is palpable.  Elizabeth Woodville lost all five of her brothers, six of her seven sisters, four of her five sons, two daughters,  and both husbands.  When her time came she had little to spend on her soul.  Her poverty at the end of her life may mirror that of Margaret of Anjou, although she left key progeny and Margaret was to be at the end the Lancastrian line.

Elizabeth was grandmother to two queens, Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France, as well as that monster Henry VIII.  Edward IV couldn't have been the easiest husband, but they must have seen eye to eye as her many pregnancies suggest.  Was she a witch - no - she inspired jealousy perhaps, and perhaps the charge of witchcraft explained a marriage so "imprudent".

My heroine?  She is very person-al, genuine, gifted and beautiful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Battle of Northampton

7/10/1460 - Henry VI captured at Northampton.  What was he wearing?  Or, as they say around here with people robbed in the sad side of town - what was he doing there?  Will forthwith study the battle and its aftermath.  Factors of good mental skies and plenty of rest may make this possible.  I will be happy to reacquaint myself with my royal historical friends.