An Author at Hampton Court

MphcpHi. Jo Beverley here delighted to welcome Margaret Evans Porter back to the Word Wenches. Margaret is an award-winning, bestselling novelist with a life-long interest in British history, and she generously shares her investigations.

Today she's blogging about Hampton Court Palace, one of the royal palaces. It plays a part in her first mainstream historical novel,  A Pledge of Better Times"A sweeping tale of ambition, treachery, and passion For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II’s tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—also rebels against his newly crowned uncle’s manipulation.

Political and religious turmoil bring revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to from war to claim his promised bride. In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement—or their happiness."  

That sounds thrilling, Margaret. I look forward to how Hampton Court plays a part. Firstvisit

Margaret Evans Porter.

As a teenager, entirely unaware of the impact it would have upon my future, I spent a full day Hampton Court Palace. On that initial visit I had my pocket journal, and at some point I recorded my thoughts my chief impression: “Never has history seemed so alive to me.” I was very much taken with the gardens. “I think every flower is in bloom. The roses are as big as my face.” Lunch was a picnic on the grass. I got lost in the maze—temporarily.

 


I have no clear recollection of noticing Godfrey Kneller’s portrait of Lady Diana de Vere, maid of honour to Queen Mary II. At that time she and the other Hampton Court Beauties were displayed in the King’s Presence Chamber. (Now re-located to the King’s Private Dining Room.)

PledgeCover400x600 Certainly I never guessed that Diana’s lovely face would someday grace the cover of my twelfth book and first mainstream historical novel, released last week. A Pledge of Better Times features Diana, her father, Queen Mary II, and Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St. Albans—bastard son of King Charles II and actress Nell Gwyn—all of whom were caught up in the political turmoil and transitions of the late 17th century.

I can’t tell how many times I’ve wandered Hampton Court’s splendid rooms and spacious grounds. Over the past decade, charting the friendship between Diana and Queen Mary II and pursuing in-depth research its development, I returned as often as I could.


The Glorious Revolution of 1688
brought William and Mary to the throne, at which time they expressed an immediate and shared distaste for Whitehall—at that time the largest royal palace in all Europe. Its proximity to the river worsened William’s asthma. Convinced that rural Hampton Court would suit them better, they planned to raze the famed Tudor towers and commission an entirely new building from Sir Christopher Wren. Fortunately for architectural scholars and Tudor-era fans, the original plan proved unfeasible and too costly. So Wren proposed a modern extension to the historic building, and work began in 1689. Williamandmary

Mary, a keen palace and garden designer, was a very hands-on overseer of the process and responsible for the renovation of the Water Gallery. This compact building beside the Thames contained several rooms, including a dining room, and tall windows with a rear balcony from which she could observe her builders’ progress and the creation of her new gardens in fashionable—and formal—French style. To fill the narrow spaces between the windows, Mary commissioned a set of twelve portraits of court ladies. Lady Diana de Vere, daughter of Aubrey, 20th Earl of Oxford, was one of them.

As Daniel Defoe observed, “The Queen had here her gallery of beauties, being the pictures, at full length, of the principal ladies attending upon her majesty…with a set of lodgings, for her private retreat only, but most exquisitely furnished; particularly a fine chintz bed…and here was also her majesty’s fine collection of Delft ware.

The five-hour journey from London to Hampton was great inconvenience for ministers and members of the Privy Council. As work continued at Hampton Court, the King and Queen purchased Lord Nottingham’s house at Kensington as more convenient and less palatial residence.

With Queen Mary’s death from smallpox after Christmas in 1694, William’s interest in Hampton Court declined, work abruptly halted, and he relied on Windsor Castle as his country retreat. Not until the prospect of peace with France and the cessation of an expensive war did the rebuilding proceed. The Queen’s Water Gallery was demolished to make room for a square banqueting pavilion with a bowling green, and though her suite of rooms was completed, they remained unoccupied. In 1702 William, an avid huntsman, fell from his horse Sorrel—who stumbled in a mole’s burrow—and broke his shoulder. During his recovery from this accident he succumbed to a lung infection that proved fatal and he died at Kensington House. His successor, Queen Anne rarely visited Hampton Court.

Hcp&gardensDuring my time there researching A Pledge of Better Times, I’ve walked in my characters’ footsteps, imagining their conversations, their hopes and dreams, their struggles. And as I did on that very first visit so long ago, I eat a picnic lunch—and inevitably become lost in the maze!

 

 

Thank you, Margaret. 

I wonder how many of our blog readers have visited Hampton Court, or one of the other royal palaces.

Readers, do you enjoy fiction about real people and real events? Is the reign of William and Mary new to you? Would you have liked to live at a royal court, or would it be too dangerous or too formal for you?

We welcome any and all comments, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of A Pledge of Better Times. 

Jo

 

120 thoughts on “An Author at Hampton Court”

  1. Raising hand as having visited Hampton Court. I was lucky enough to be there for a costumed performance of Tudor dances, too. I managed to walk about five feet into the maze before chickening out and retracing my steps. Good thing my characters are braver than I am! I don’t think I’ve read any novels set in the reign of William and Mary, but A Pledge of Better Times just went on my to read list. Margaret–so glad to hear you have a new book out.
    Kathy (aka Kate) Emerson

    Reply
  2. Raising hand as having visited Hampton Court. I was lucky enough to be there for a costumed performance of Tudor dances, too. I managed to walk about five feet into the maze before chickening out and retracing my steps. Good thing my characters are braver than I am! I don’t think I’ve read any novels set in the reign of William and Mary, but A Pledge of Better Times just went on my to read list. Margaret–so glad to hear you have a new book out.
    Kathy (aka Kate) Emerson

    Reply
  3. Raising hand as having visited Hampton Court. I was lucky enough to be there for a costumed performance of Tudor dances, too. I managed to walk about five feet into the maze before chickening out and retracing my steps. Good thing my characters are braver than I am! I don’t think I’ve read any novels set in the reign of William and Mary, but A Pledge of Better Times just went on my to read list. Margaret–so glad to hear you have a new book out.
    Kathy (aka Kate) Emerson

    Reply
  4. Raising hand as having visited Hampton Court. I was lucky enough to be there for a costumed performance of Tudor dances, too. I managed to walk about five feet into the maze before chickening out and retracing my steps. Good thing my characters are braver than I am! I don’t think I’ve read any novels set in the reign of William and Mary, but A Pledge of Better Times just went on my to read list. Margaret–so glad to hear you have a new book out.
    Kathy (aka Kate) Emerson

    Reply
  5. Raising hand as having visited Hampton Court. I was lucky enough to be there for a costumed performance of Tudor dances, too. I managed to walk about five feet into the maze before chickening out and retracing my steps. Good thing my characters are braver than I am! I don’t think I’ve read any novels set in the reign of William and Mary, but A Pledge of Better Times just went on my to read list. Margaret–so glad to hear you have a new book out.
    Kathy (aka Kate) Emerson

    Reply
  6. I’ve also visited Hampton Court a couple of times, and fell in love with the maze. Not coincidentally, mazes have figured in a couple of my books. *G*
    Margaret, thanks so much for visiting us today! I’ve been listening to interesting tidbits about this book from you for years, and finally I have a chance to read it. It’s a fascinating period of history, and I know you’ll bring it to vivid life.

    Reply
  7. I’ve also visited Hampton Court a couple of times, and fell in love with the maze. Not coincidentally, mazes have figured in a couple of my books. *G*
    Margaret, thanks so much for visiting us today! I’ve been listening to interesting tidbits about this book from you for years, and finally I have a chance to read it. It’s a fascinating period of history, and I know you’ll bring it to vivid life.

    Reply
  8. I’ve also visited Hampton Court a couple of times, and fell in love with the maze. Not coincidentally, mazes have figured in a couple of my books. *G*
    Margaret, thanks so much for visiting us today! I’ve been listening to interesting tidbits about this book from you for years, and finally I have a chance to read it. It’s a fascinating period of history, and I know you’ll bring it to vivid life.

    Reply
  9. I’ve also visited Hampton Court a couple of times, and fell in love with the maze. Not coincidentally, mazes have figured in a couple of my books. *G*
    Margaret, thanks so much for visiting us today! I’ve been listening to interesting tidbits about this book from you for years, and finally I have a chance to read it. It’s a fascinating period of history, and I know you’ll bring it to vivid life.

    Reply
  10. I’ve also visited Hampton Court a couple of times, and fell in love with the maze. Not coincidentally, mazes have figured in a couple of my books. *G*
    Margaret, thanks so much for visiting us today! I’ve been listening to interesting tidbits about this book from you for years, and finally I have a chance to read it. It’s a fascinating period of history, and I know you’ll bring it to vivid life.

    Reply
  11. Kathy, I’ve been there during Tudor events as well! The chaps working in the kitchens are a delight to observe.
    My husband isn’t keen about entering the maze with me…but I never mind getting lost in it.

    Reply
  12. Kathy, I’ve been there during Tudor events as well! The chaps working in the kitchens are a delight to observe.
    My husband isn’t keen about entering the maze with me…but I never mind getting lost in it.

    Reply
  13. Kathy, I’ve been there during Tudor events as well! The chaps working in the kitchens are a delight to observe.
    My husband isn’t keen about entering the maze with me…but I never mind getting lost in it.

    Reply
  14. Kathy, I’ve been there during Tudor events as well! The chaps working in the kitchens are a delight to observe.
    My husband isn’t keen about entering the maze with me…but I never mind getting lost in it.

    Reply
  15. Kathy, I’ve been there during Tudor events as well! The chaps working in the kitchens are a delight to observe.
    My husband isn’t keen about entering the maze with me…but I never mind getting lost in it.

    Reply
  16. Mary Jo, mazes and labyrinths fascinate me. I have a secret desire to design one, but I don’t think I’m clever enough to do it successfully! It’s a pleasure to join the Wenches again–I believe this is my 5th (?) time.

    Reply
  17. Mary Jo, mazes and labyrinths fascinate me. I have a secret desire to design one, but I don’t think I’m clever enough to do it successfully! It’s a pleasure to join the Wenches again–I believe this is my 5th (?) time.

    Reply
  18. Mary Jo, mazes and labyrinths fascinate me. I have a secret desire to design one, but I don’t think I’m clever enough to do it successfully! It’s a pleasure to join the Wenches again–I believe this is my 5th (?) time.

    Reply
  19. Mary Jo, mazes and labyrinths fascinate me. I have a secret desire to design one, but I don’t think I’m clever enough to do it successfully! It’s a pleasure to join the Wenches again–I believe this is my 5th (?) time.

    Reply
  20. Mary Jo, mazes and labyrinths fascinate me. I have a secret desire to design one, but I don’t think I’m clever enough to do it successfully! It’s a pleasure to join the Wenches again–I believe this is my 5th (?) time.

    Reply
  21. I like the puzzle of mazes…until I end up hopelessly puzzled by them. There is a trick to working one’s way through them without any difficulty, but I never do remember it before entering!

    Reply
  22. I like the puzzle of mazes…until I end up hopelessly puzzled by them. There is a trick to working one’s way through them without any difficulty, but I never do remember it before entering!

    Reply
  23. I like the puzzle of mazes…until I end up hopelessly puzzled by them. There is a trick to working one’s way through them without any difficulty, but I never do remember it before entering!

    Reply
  24. I like the puzzle of mazes…until I end up hopelessly puzzled by them. There is a trick to working one’s way through them without any difficulty, but I never do remember it before entering!

    Reply
  25. I like the puzzle of mazes…until I end up hopelessly puzzled by them. There is a trick to working one’s way through them without any difficulty, but I never do remember it before entering!

    Reply
  26. King Henry VIII’s kitchen was the highlight of Hampton Court for me. Costumed volunteers brought Tudor times to life, cooking over braziers and in the huuuge fireplace, showing us the spices used in that era (to preserve the fresh and deodorize the not-so-fresh), explaining table settings, etc. Amazing to think of the history in that palace, but a little hard to “feel it” with all the tourists milling around. Still, an experience not to be missed.

    Reply
  27. King Henry VIII’s kitchen was the highlight of Hampton Court for me. Costumed volunteers brought Tudor times to life, cooking over braziers and in the huuuge fireplace, showing us the spices used in that era (to preserve the fresh and deodorize the not-so-fresh), explaining table settings, etc. Amazing to think of the history in that palace, but a little hard to “feel it” with all the tourists milling around. Still, an experience not to be missed.

    Reply
  28. King Henry VIII’s kitchen was the highlight of Hampton Court for me. Costumed volunteers brought Tudor times to life, cooking over braziers and in the huuuge fireplace, showing us the spices used in that era (to preserve the fresh and deodorize the not-so-fresh), explaining table settings, etc. Amazing to think of the history in that palace, but a little hard to “feel it” with all the tourists milling around. Still, an experience not to be missed.

    Reply
  29. King Henry VIII’s kitchen was the highlight of Hampton Court for me. Costumed volunteers brought Tudor times to life, cooking over braziers and in the huuuge fireplace, showing us the spices used in that era (to preserve the fresh and deodorize the not-so-fresh), explaining table settings, etc. Amazing to think of the history in that palace, but a little hard to “feel it” with all the tourists milling around. Still, an experience not to be missed.

    Reply
  30. King Henry VIII’s kitchen was the highlight of Hampton Court for me. Costumed volunteers brought Tudor times to life, cooking over braziers and in the huuuge fireplace, showing us the spices used in that era (to preserve the fresh and deodorize the not-so-fresh), explaining table settings, etc. Amazing to think of the history in that palace, but a little hard to “feel it” with all the tourists milling around. Still, an experience not to be missed.

    Reply
  31. I’ve not been lucky enough to visit, but would love to! I do appreciate when historical novels actually include real people and events. Of course, unless it is an alternate universe or complete farce, I don’t like when the real historical figures act totally out of character.

    Reply
  32. I’ve not been lucky enough to visit, but would love to! I do appreciate when historical novels actually include real people and events. Of course, unless it is an alternate universe or complete farce, I don’t like when the real historical figures act totally out of character.

    Reply
  33. I’ve not been lucky enough to visit, but would love to! I do appreciate when historical novels actually include real people and events. Of course, unless it is an alternate universe or complete farce, I don’t like when the real historical figures act totally out of character.

    Reply
  34. I’ve not been lucky enough to visit, but would love to! I do appreciate when historical novels actually include real people and events. Of course, unless it is an alternate universe or complete farce, I don’t like when the real historical figures act totally out of character.

    Reply
  35. I’ve not been lucky enough to visit, but would love to! I do appreciate when historical novels actually include real people and events. Of course, unless it is an alternate universe or complete farce, I don’t like when the real historical figures act totally out of character.

    Reply
  36. Glenda, most author of historical fiction–every genre of it–strive to create characters true to their times, real or fictional. In a way it’s easiest, dealing with known figures about whom much has been written, or left behind a legacy of their own writings. But opinions of those historical figures can alter over time. The author must therefore determine his or her own vision of that character to serve the story. But carefully–or else the very knowledgeable reader will have a problem with the portrayal!

    Reply
  37. Glenda, most author of historical fiction–every genre of it–strive to create characters true to their times, real or fictional. In a way it’s easiest, dealing with known figures about whom much has been written, or left behind a legacy of their own writings. But opinions of those historical figures can alter over time. The author must therefore determine his or her own vision of that character to serve the story. But carefully–or else the very knowledgeable reader will have a problem with the portrayal!

    Reply
  38. Glenda, most author of historical fiction–every genre of it–strive to create characters true to their times, real or fictional. In a way it’s easiest, dealing with known figures about whom much has been written, or left behind a legacy of their own writings. But opinions of those historical figures can alter over time. The author must therefore determine his or her own vision of that character to serve the story. But carefully–or else the very knowledgeable reader will have a problem with the portrayal!

    Reply
  39. Glenda, most author of historical fiction–every genre of it–strive to create characters true to their times, real or fictional. In a way it’s easiest, dealing with known figures about whom much has been written, or left behind a legacy of their own writings. But opinions of those historical figures can alter over time. The author must therefore determine his or her own vision of that character to serve the story. But carefully–or else the very knowledgeable reader will have a problem with the portrayal!

    Reply
  40. Glenda, most author of historical fiction–every genre of it–strive to create characters true to their times, real or fictional. In a way it’s easiest, dealing with known figures about whom much has been written, or left behind a legacy of their own writings. But opinions of those historical figures can alter over time. The author must therefore determine his or her own vision of that character to serve the story. But carefully–or else the very knowledgeable reader will have a problem with the portrayal!

    Reply
  41. I’ve never been to Hampton Court, alas. I actually think writing about true historical figures in historical fiction grounds the book; the links to facts often drive me to go read more about the real people. My closest link to William and Mary was watching a public television depiction of them from years ago! And no, I would have had no desire to live at court. I think the constant intrigue would have been draining….

    Reply
  42. I’ve never been to Hampton Court, alas. I actually think writing about true historical figures in historical fiction grounds the book; the links to facts often drive me to go read more about the real people. My closest link to William and Mary was watching a public television depiction of them from years ago! And no, I would have had no desire to live at court. I think the constant intrigue would have been draining….

    Reply
  43. I’ve never been to Hampton Court, alas. I actually think writing about true historical figures in historical fiction grounds the book; the links to facts often drive me to go read more about the real people. My closest link to William and Mary was watching a public television depiction of them from years ago! And no, I would have had no desire to live at court. I think the constant intrigue would have been draining….

    Reply
  44. I’ve never been to Hampton Court, alas. I actually think writing about true historical figures in historical fiction grounds the book; the links to facts often drive me to go read more about the real people. My closest link to William and Mary was watching a public television depiction of them from years ago! And no, I would have had no desire to live at court. I think the constant intrigue would have been draining….

    Reply
  45. I’ve never been to Hampton Court, alas. I actually think writing about true historical figures in historical fiction grounds the book; the links to facts often drive me to go read more about the real people. My closest link to William and Mary was watching a public television depiction of them from years ago! And no, I would have had no desire to live at court. I think the constant intrigue would have been draining….

    Reply
  46. ML, thanks for commenting. I gained a lot of sympathy for those whose fates were directly tied to obtaining–and keeping–the good favour of the monarch. Serving in a royal court was not for sissies!

    Reply
  47. ML, thanks for commenting. I gained a lot of sympathy for those whose fates were directly tied to obtaining–and keeping–the good favour of the monarch. Serving in a royal court was not for sissies!

    Reply
  48. ML, thanks for commenting. I gained a lot of sympathy for those whose fates were directly tied to obtaining–and keeping–the good favour of the monarch. Serving in a royal court was not for sissies!

    Reply
  49. ML, thanks for commenting. I gained a lot of sympathy for those whose fates were directly tied to obtaining–and keeping–the good favour of the monarch. Serving in a royal court was not for sissies!

    Reply
  50. ML, thanks for commenting. I gained a lot of sympathy for those whose fates were directly tied to obtaining–and keeping–the good favour of the monarch. Serving in a royal court was not for sissies!

    Reply
  51. So unsettling to walk in from the 21s century to the rooms and walks actual historical people knew.
    Like a time machine.

    Reply
  52. So unsettling to walk in from the 21s century to the rooms and walks actual historical people knew.
    Like a time machine.

    Reply
  53. So unsettling to walk in from the 21s century to the rooms and walks actual historical people knew.
    Like a time machine.

    Reply
  54. So unsettling to walk in from the 21s century to the rooms and walks actual historical people knew.
    Like a time machine.

    Reply
  55. So unsettling to walk in from the 21s century to the rooms and walks actual historical people knew.
    Like a time machine.

    Reply
  56. I so enjoy visting historical places as you really get a sense of size, though without the huge pannier skirts of the ladies of the court there was probably much less room. I love stories based on real events and persons. They remind me that history is STORY and should be taught that way rather than the dry stuff one finds in many texts and classrooms.

    Reply
  57. I so enjoy visting historical places as you really get a sense of size, though without the huge pannier skirts of the ladies of the court there was probably much less room. I love stories based on real events and persons. They remind me that history is STORY and should be taught that way rather than the dry stuff one finds in many texts and classrooms.

    Reply
  58. I so enjoy visting historical places as you really get a sense of size, though without the huge pannier skirts of the ladies of the court there was probably much less room. I love stories based on real events and persons. They remind me that history is STORY and should be taught that way rather than the dry stuff one finds in many texts and classrooms.

    Reply
  59. I so enjoy visting historical places as you really get a sense of size, though without the huge pannier skirts of the ladies of the court there was probably much less room. I love stories based on real events and persons. They remind me that history is STORY and should be taught that way rather than the dry stuff one finds in many texts and classrooms.

    Reply
  60. I so enjoy visting historical places as you really get a sense of size, though without the huge pannier skirts of the ladies of the court there was probably much less room. I love stories based on real events and persons. They remind me that history is STORY and should be taught that way rather than the dry stuff one finds in many texts and classrooms.

    Reply
  61. As I think about accuracy in historical novels, it is more a true sense of feel rather than totally accurate dialogue and behavior. Yet I find myself more accepting of time travel than I do of someone serving a potato in 1300s England.

    Reply
  62. As I think about accuracy in historical novels, it is more a true sense of feel rather than totally accurate dialogue and behavior. Yet I find myself more accepting of time travel than I do of someone serving a potato in 1300s England.

    Reply
  63. As I think about accuracy in historical novels, it is more a true sense of feel rather than totally accurate dialogue and behavior. Yet I find myself more accepting of time travel than I do of someone serving a potato in 1300s England.

    Reply
  64. As I think about accuracy in historical novels, it is more a true sense of feel rather than totally accurate dialogue and behavior. Yet I find myself more accepting of time travel than I do of someone serving a potato in 1300s England.

    Reply
  65. As I think about accuracy in historical novels, it is more a true sense of feel rather than totally accurate dialogue and behavior. Yet I find myself more accepting of time travel than I do of someone serving a potato in 1300s England.

    Reply
  66. Lyn, I so agree. I’m sure I learned more from reading historical novels as a child than I ever did in history classes at school. A few teachers had the gift of making the past sing for us, but most didn’t.

    Reply
  67. Lyn, I so agree. I’m sure I learned more from reading historical novels as a child than I ever did in history classes at school. A few teachers had the gift of making the past sing for us, but most didn’t.

    Reply
  68. Lyn, I so agree. I’m sure I learned more from reading historical novels as a child than I ever did in history classes at school. A few teachers had the gift of making the past sing for us, but most didn’t.

    Reply
  69. Lyn, I so agree. I’m sure I learned more from reading historical novels as a child than I ever did in history classes at school. A few teachers had the gift of making the past sing for us, but most didn’t.

    Reply
  70. Lyn, I so agree. I’m sure I learned more from reading historical novels as a child than I ever did in history classes at school. A few teachers had the gift of making the past sing for us, but most didn’t.

    Reply
  71. Unfortunately I have never visited Hampton Court or any of the other British palaces, but I have been to some of the more famous ones on the Continent, like Versailles, and Schonbrunn in Vienna.
    This book sounds fascinating, because I know almost nothing about James II’s reign. I do like when real characters are incorporated into historic fiction.

    Reply
  72. Unfortunately I have never visited Hampton Court or any of the other British palaces, but I have been to some of the more famous ones on the Continent, like Versailles, and Schonbrunn in Vienna.
    This book sounds fascinating, because I know almost nothing about James II’s reign. I do like when real characters are incorporated into historic fiction.

    Reply
  73. Unfortunately I have never visited Hampton Court or any of the other British palaces, but I have been to some of the more famous ones on the Continent, like Versailles, and Schonbrunn in Vienna.
    This book sounds fascinating, because I know almost nothing about James II’s reign. I do like when real characters are incorporated into historic fiction.

    Reply
  74. Unfortunately I have never visited Hampton Court or any of the other British palaces, but I have been to some of the more famous ones on the Continent, like Versailles, and Schonbrunn in Vienna.
    This book sounds fascinating, because I know almost nothing about James II’s reign. I do like when real characters are incorporated into historic fiction.

    Reply
  75. Unfortunately I have never visited Hampton Court or any of the other British palaces, but I have been to some of the more famous ones on the Continent, like Versailles, and Schonbrunn in Vienna.
    This book sounds fascinating, because I know almost nothing about James II’s reign. I do like when real characters are incorporated into historic fiction.

    Reply
  76. It can be unsettling, Laura. It’s always so odd when I’m there before Christmas and see the ice-skating rink set up on the grounds at the entrance to Hampton Court. It seems incongruous, until I remind myself that the uncrowned King Charles II and his courtiers-in-exile often entertained themselves with skating on the frozen Dutch canals!

    Reply
  77. It can be unsettling, Laura. It’s always so odd when I’m there before Christmas and see the ice-skating rink set up on the grounds at the entrance to Hampton Court. It seems incongruous, until I remind myself that the uncrowned King Charles II and his courtiers-in-exile often entertained themselves with skating on the frozen Dutch canals!

    Reply
  78. It can be unsettling, Laura. It’s always so odd when I’m there before Christmas and see the ice-skating rink set up on the grounds at the entrance to Hampton Court. It seems incongruous, until I remind myself that the uncrowned King Charles II and his courtiers-in-exile often entertained themselves with skating on the frozen Dutch canals!

    Reply
  79. It can be unsettling, Laura. It’s always so odd when I’m there before Christmas and see the ice-skating rink set up on the grounds at the entrance to Hampton Court. It seems incongruous, until I remind myself that the uncrowned King Charles II and his courtiers-in-exile often entertained themselves with skating on the frozen Dutch canals!

    Reply
  80. It can be unsettling, Laura. It’s always so odd when I’m there before Christmas and see the ice-skating rink set up on the grounds at the entrance to Hampton Court. It seems incongruous, until I remind myself that the uncrowned King Charles II and his courtiers-in-exile often entertained themselves with skating on the frozen Dutch canals!

    Reply
  81. Lyn, that is such a good point–history is story. If it’s taught only with dates and timelines it can be very dull indeed. But when it includes personalities and their motivations and their conflicts with one another, it is fascinating!
    And as historical novelists, we always must remember we are writing to entertain, primarily.

    Reply
  82. Lyn, that is such a good point–history is story. If it’s taught only with dates and timelines it can be very dull indeed. But when it includes personalities and their motivations and their conflicts with one another, it is fascinating!
    And as historical novelists, we always must remember we are writing to entertain, primarily.

    Reply
  83. Lyn, that is such a good point–history is story. If it’s taught only with dates and timelines it can be very dull indeed. But when it includes personalities and their motivations and their conflicts with one another, it is fascinating!
    And as historical novelists, we always must remember we are writing to entertain, primarily.

    Reply
  84. Lyn, that is such a good point–history is story. If it’s taught only with dates and timelines it can be very dull indeed. But when it includes personalities and their motivations and their conflicts with one another, it is fascinating!
    And as historical novelists, we always must remember we are writing to entertain, primarily.

    Reply
  85. Lyn, that is such a good point–history is story. If it’s taught only with dates and timelines it can be very dull indeed. But when it includes personalities and their motivations and their conflicts with one another, it is fascinating!
    And as historical novelists, we always must remember we are writing to entertain, primarily.

    Reply
  86. It’s a balancing act, providing sense of time and place, yet at the same time writing for a modern readership. Completely accurate 17th century dialogue would be mystifying to the average 21st century person…but it’s possible to give the flavour of the vernacular without overdoing it!

    Reply
  87. It’s a balancing act, providing sense of time and place, yet at the same time writing for a modern readership. Completely accurate 17th century dialogue would be mystifying to the average 21st century person…but it’s possible to give the flavour of the vernacular without overdoing it!

    Reply
  88. It’s a balancing act, providing sense of time and place, yet at the same time writing for a modern readership. Completely accurate 17th century dialogue would be mystifying to the average 21st century person…but it’s possible to give the flavour of the vernacular without overdoing it!

    Reply
  89. It’s a balancing act, providing sense of time and place, yet at the same time writing for a modern readership. Completely accurate 17th century dialogue would be mystifying to the average 21st century person…but it’s possible to give the flavour of the vernacular without overdoing it!

    Reply
  90. It’s a balancing act, providing sense of time and place, yet at the same time writing for a modern readership. Completely accurate 17th century dialogue would be mystifying to the average 21st century person…but it’s possible to give the flavour of the vernacular without overdoing it!

    Reply
  91. There are a couple of scenes at Versailles, Karin, which is an amazing place. I’ve been to Vienna but hadn’t time to see Schonbrunn. I plan to return, because it will figure in a future novel! I am prepared to be overwhelmed by the grandeur!

    Reply
  92. There are a couple of scenes at Versailles, Karin, which is an amazing place. I’ve been to Vienna but hadn’t time to see Schonbrunn. I plan to return, because it will figure in a future novel! I am prepared to be overwhelmed by the grandeur!

    Reply
  93. There are a couple of scenes at Versailles, Karin, which is an amazing place. I’ve been to Vienna but hadn’t time to see Schonbrunn. I plan to return, because it will figure in a future novel! I am prepared to be overwhelmed by the grandeur!

    Reply
  94. There are a couple of scenes at Versailles, Karin, which is an amazing place. I’ve been to Vienna but hadn’t time to see Schonbrunn. I plan to return, because it will figure in a future novel! I am prepared to be overwhelmed by the grandeur!

    Reply
  95. There are a couple of scenes at Versailles, Karin, which is an amazing place. I’ve been to Vienna but hadn’t time to see Schonbrunn. I plan to return, because it will figure in a future novel! I am prepared to be overwhelmed by the grandeur!

    Reply

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