Jeane Westin and THE VIRGIN’S DAUGHTERS

Anne here, with an interview with Jeane Westin, the author of THE VIRGIN'S DAUGHTERS. JeaneWestin

Jeane is a writer of historical novels and, like most of us here, is a lifelong passionate reader. I loved this little snippet from her website: "I took books on my honeymoon and I can remember my husband’s puzzlement when he saw me reading The History of Diseases. “It’s interesting,” I explained… difficult for a bridegroom to believe." 

Very much the sign of a writer in my opinion.

Jeane has written several popular historical romances, but now has turned to historical novels. The first, THE VIRGIN'S DAUGHTERS, was released this month.

VirgDaughtCover I read THE VIRGIN'S DAUGHTERS in galley form and despite the fact that it was in loose pages, I was unable to put it down and read it all in one hit, finishing in the wee small hours of the night. Jeane's book drew me utterly into the world of Elizabeth 1st's court, through the eyes of two of her ladies in waiting; Katherine Grey (sister of Lady Jane Grey) and Mary Rogers. Each one falls in love, each one in defiance of the queen, yet torn by their love of and loyalty to her. We see the anguish and the power —and the cost— of love for them and for their Queen. It's a wonderful story — or should I say stories, not only because it's in two parts, but because it's also Elizabeth's story, as well as Kate and Mary's. Superb stuff and well worth reading.
 

The reviewers agree: Historical Novels Review said: "this book gripped me from the earliest pages… I became caught up in the lives of these two relatively unknown ladies of Elizabeth's court, and the way Westin ties both tales together is unique and riveting… Highly recommended."  Romantic Times gave it a Top Pick, saying: "Rich, colorful details of court life, captivating characters with suppressed sexuality, scandal and intrigue thrust the reader into the era in this top-notch novel."  
 

Jeane, welcome to the WordWenches. When I first saw the title THE VIRGIN'S DAUGHTERS I wondered if the novel was about some illegitimate daughters  of Queen Elizabeth, but it isn't. How did you come by the title?

 

I believe the days when the wonderful Jean Plaidy could write a straight-on bio-novel are gone.  We now have to approach historical figures from the little known…sideways, if you will. Deep in research and trying to come up with a new approach to Elizabeth, I came across a bit of information that Elizabeth had discouraged her ladies-in-waiting from marriage, wanting them to emulate her virgin status.  I wondered what that was like: Elizabeth always on guard that they did not become romantically involved and most of her ladies trying to outwit her. 

 YoungElizabeth

I wed that information with Elizabeth's conceit that all of her ladies were her daughters and that she had a mother's concern for them.  (The real mothers of these ladies were not happy when the queen did not provide wealthy young nobles for their daughters to wed, gaining titles and wealth for the family.)

 

In an Elizabethan court that was sensuous, full of play, dancing, over-dressing, alcohol, young men and younger women–how easy could the queen's job have been?  It's no wonder she often failed.

 

This is a novel about love, rather than a conventional romance. There are two women's love stories in this novel, not counting Elizabeth's. Tell us about Kate and Mary, and why you chose to tell their stories. 

 

 Kate's dramatic story is a part of history.  Katherine Grey the younger sister of Jane Grey, queen for nine days, was Elizabeth's cousin and Henry VIII had named her next in line for the throne.  Any threat to Elizabeth's throne was major in her life…and heirs were always threats because plots constantly formed around them.  Elizabeth, as her sister Bloody Mary's heir, had learned that lesson well.  When Kate fell in love with a Seymour and another heir, she was… oops, that's a spoiler.

 

As for Mary Rogers: I brought her to the castle for John Harington, Elizabeth's favorite godson, Boye Jack.  He invented the first flush toilet and the situation was so unusual and tempting that I had to include their story.  In life, they were rather successfully married, having fifteen children.

In what way do you think the queen's own love stories impacted on the lives of these two women?  

 CateBelizabeth

They certainly could see her as a woman like themselves and understand her feelings for Robert Dudley and the Earl of Essex.  Although both Kate and Mary saw the queen's weaknesses and her strengths, they could also see the price she paid.  These two women helped me to see Elizabeth in different ways.

I was struck, as I read the book, by how much the members of the court lived on a knife-edge, depending on how they stood with the queen at any particular moment. A close up of absolute power in action. 

 

I wouldn't say Elizabeth's power was absolute.  She had advisers who curbed some of her greater excesses, but she did have the power to make or break and she was loved and hated to excess, both of which gave her personal power.  Elizabeth was highly intelligent and enormously well-educated for the time, perhaps a genius.  She had to balance that against a psyche that had been warped by her father, her on and off acceptance and rejection by him and the terror of immanent death when she was suspected of plotting by either her brother Edward VI's counselors or her sister Bloody Mary's hatred.

 

Elizabeth's stay in the Tower where she expecting to be taken to the execution block to be beheaded any morning probably hardened her forever.  Wouldn't it change anyone?

I found it fascinating to see Elizabeth portrayed through others' eyes in the novel. It created a wonderfully complex portrait.  There have been many different portrayals of Elizabeth over the years, and I suppose that will continue. What's your own view?

 

ElizabethArmadaPortrait) She is fascinating, both as queen and as woman.  I learn something new about her everyday… and about myself. Something I find interesting is that the earlier a book about her is written the more virginal she is; later books allow her to love, be a witch, a detective, etc.  A perfect illustration of our changing times.Elizabeth1-1

 

I don't see our appetite for Elizabeth and her times dimming, or a time when we will not want to sit down to that feast again.

I loved the scene when Essex bursts in on Elizabeth, unexpectedly. Can you tell the readers a little about it?Eliz:Darnley

 

It really happened as I wrote it with the emotions added.  Since I'm of a certain age, I knew how I would feel…in love with a much younger man, more than thirty years younger, and not expecting to see him before I had my hair done and my face on. 

 

In addition, Essex had disobeyed Elizabeth's orders and she felt threatened that he would bring an army against her.

 

Again, she defended her throne, although I think it hastened her death two years later from melancholy. 

 

Strange to say it, but I think Essex really loved Elizabeth as much as he could love anyone but himself.  But Elizabeth was queen first and woman second.

 

Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

 

There are so many.  How can I say this without sounding like Elizabeth?  I struggled over and love the entire book

The research you did for this must have been difficult, as so little evidence remains. How did you approach it? Was there anything you learned that surprised you?

 

I researched and researched some more.  There is a surprising amount of information that survives.  I have shelves of books about every aspect of the period.  I was a bit amazed to discover many books already on my own shelves about her or her time.  But I ordered and read many out-of-print, some a hundred years old.

 

The thing I think that surprised me most about Elizabeth was how ill she was during her life.  Many of her illnesses during times of stress sound suspiciously like nervous breakdowns, and I suspect she was also a bit anorexic, eating only a few bites at meals.  Her eating "smally" was commented on by many biographers quoting contemporaries.  (I'm not a doctor, but I play a doctor for this interview.)Cinnamoncomfits1

 

She did have a sweet tooth, so much so that she lost teeth and was troubled with toothache.  Her favorite sweet was vanilla comfits.  She carried them in her pocket and would nibble them all day.  There must have been a Groom-of-the-Vanilla Comfits whose job was to keep her supplied.  (pic of comfits from http://www.historicfood.com/Comfits.htm)

Would you care to share a short extract?

 

Anne, here's some of your favorite scene: 

 

The earl, looking the gallant young lord in shining black velvet, starched white ruff and flowing curls, threw himself at the queen’s feet and grasped the hem of her gown, kissing it as if to devour lace, pearls and all.

            “Most beloved queen of my heart—”  His voice rumbled low and intense, filling the chamber with masculine passion.

            He got no further.  The queen snatched her gown from his hands and leapt to her feet, her lute landing on the carpeted floor.  She backed away from his desperate effort to clutch at her, saying no word, nor calling for her guard.  The cold scorn on her face would have frozen any sensible man.

            The earl, though off balance, stood upright.  Frightened for the queen, Mary came as close to Elizabeth as she dared.  If Essex drew his sword to deliver a blow, she would take the thrust.

            But it wasn’t Elizabeth who faced danger.  The queen did not flinch and advanced on Essex.  He held his arms up for her to walk into, but she knocked them wide, pushing her fists against his chest until he stumbled backward.

            The earl was obviously astonished.  “Majesty!  I beg you…speak to me…listen to my sorrow.  I have been desolate these eleven months without your love to guide me away from the mistakes of youth and crazed ardor.  In truth, your grace—” 

            The queen advanced again, no sound coming from her, no softening of her cold stare.  She showed no hot anger, only hard contempt in every gesture and every line of her face, her corded neck thrust forward.  She pushed him again.  And again, he stumbled backward, his mouth working, but now no intelligible words exiting.  He had obviously relied on the nearness of his person to melt her to forgiveness as it always had.

            With one final thrust that must have taken all her strength, she pushed him into the antechamber and slammed the doors in his still unbelieving face. 

            Mary approached Elizabeth’s back, worried that she might be near collapse from her exertions.  “Majesty, may I ease you with a little wine?”

            The queen whirled about, her face triumphant.  “This crooked carcass needs no food or drink to best such foolish men.  He thinks I need him, that I cannot let him go…that he is the stronger,” she said, scarce above a whisper, and then in full voice:  “Pish!” 

Only Mary heard all the words, and understood their meaning, knowing that they were the best part of the queen’s victory over Essex and her own heart.

            Elizabeth crossed to the lute on the floor, picked it up and struck a solid chord, croaking, “…and I the prouder grow.” 

What's next for you, Jeane? What are you working on?

 

Would you believe another Elizabeth book only this one a full exploration of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester's long love?  It comes from NAL, August 2010 and is called His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester.180px-Robert_Dudley

 

After The Virgin's Daughters, I wanted to more fully explore Elizabeth's and her Sweet Robin's lives together, yet apart.  One way I do this is by imagining that his last letter which she kept in her treasures box until she died had more to it than came down to us.  Everyone's question is did they or did they not know full sexual intimacy.  I answer it…at least to my satisfaction.

 

It sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to it. Thank you so much for joining us, Jeane. 
 

Anne, thanks for the opportunity, but before I go, I want to thank Jo Beverley who wrote once on the Novelists Inc., members' list that the historical novel of the future must have a central great love story.  That sent me off on my quest. 

 

Jeane is giving away a copy of The Virgin's Daughters, the winner to be selected from those who comment in answer to this question: What do you find most interesting or puzzling about the Elizabethan Age? Or if you have questions for Jeane, she'd be delighted to answer them.


90 thoughts on “Jeane Westin and THE VIRGIN’S DAUGHTERS”

  1. That excerpt sucked me right in. Thanks for visiting. The book sounds fascinating, and thanks Anne. You do good interviews 🙂
    It’s also timely because the past few days I’ve read a lot on an authors loop I’m on about historical accuracy in novels. Then the Times UK had a list today of the 10 most historically inaccurate films made. So I definitely appreciate the research that goes into any book the Wenches recommend or write.
    I’ve not read much about Elizabeth, but I will now!

    Reply
  2. That excerpt sucked me right in. Thanks for visiting. The book sounds fascinating, and thanks Anne. You do good interviews 🙂
    It’s also timely because the past few days I’ve read a lot on an authors loop I’m on about historical accuracy in novels. Then the Times UK had a list today of the 10 most historically inaccurate films made. So I definitely appreciate the research that goes into any book the Wenches recommend or write.
    I’ve not read much about Elizabeth, but I will now!

    Reply
  3. That excerpt sucked me right in. Thanks for visiting. The book sounds fascinating, and thanks Anne. You do good interviews 🙂
    It’s also timely because the past few days I’ve read a lot on an authors loop I’m on about historical accuracy in novels. Then the Times UK had a list today of the 10 most historically inaccurate films made. So I definitely appreciate the research that goes into any book the Wenches recommend or write.
    I’ve not read much about Elizabeth, but I will now!

    Reply
  4. That excerpt sucked me right in. Thanks for visiting. The book sounds fascinating, and thanks Anne. You do good interviews 🙂
    It’s also timely because the past few days I’ve read a lot on an authors loop I’m on about historical accuracy in novels. Then the Times UK had a list today of the 10 most historically inaccurate films made. So I definitely appreciate the research that goes into any book the Wenches recommend or write.
    I’ve not read much about Elizabeth, but I will now!

    Reply
  5. That excerpt sucked me right in. Thanks for visiting. The book sounds fascinating, and thanks Anne. You do good interviews 🙂
    It’s also timely because the past few days I’ve read a lot on an authors loop I’m on about historical accuracy in novels. Then the Times UK had a list today of the 10 most historically inaccurate films made. So I definitely appreciate the research that goes into any book the Wenches recommend or write.
    I’ve not read much about Elizabeth, but I will now!

    Reply
  6. Thanks, Theo. I try to be as accurate as I can be, staying true to the times. Still, no writer today knows what they thought four hundred years ago or every aspect of their daily behavior. For a novelist, accuracy sometimes has to take second place to what makes sense in the story. I always try to stay true to what is known of Elizabeth’s personal story…that’s dramatic enough.
    Jeane

    Reply
  7. Thanks, Theo. I try to be as accurate as I can be, staying true to the times. Still, no writer today knows what they thought four hundred years ago or every aspect of their daily behavior. For a novelist, accuracy sometimes has to take second place to what makes sense in the story. I always try to stay true to what is known of Elizabeth’s personal story…that’s dramatic enough.
    Jeane

    Reply
  8. Thanks, Theo. I try to be as accurate as I can be, staying true to the times. Still, no writer today knows what they thought four hundred years ago or every aspect of their daily behavior. For a novelist, accuracy sometimes has to take second place to what makes sense in the story. I always try to stay true to what is known of Elizabeth’s personal story…that’s dramatic enough.
    Jeane

    Reply
  9. Thanks, Theo. I try to be as accurate as I can be, staying true to the times. Still, no writer today knows what they thought four hundred years ago or every aspect of their daily behavior. For a novelist, accuracy sometimes has to take second place to what makes sense in the story. I always try to stay true to what is known of Elizabeth’s personal story…that’s dramatic enough.
    Jeane

    Reply
  10. Thanks, Theo. I try to be as accurate as I can be, staying true to the times. Still, no writer today knows what they thought four hundred years ago or every aspect of their daily behavior. For a novelist, accuracy sometimes has to take second place to what makes sense in the story. I always try to stay true to what is known of Elizabeth’s personal story…that’s dramatic enough.
    Jeane

    Reply
  11. Theo – You haven’t? How does that happen?
    Jeane – the comfit link was fascinating, I had no idea they took days to make and required panning. My mental picture of what a comfit was turned out entirely wrong. The site notes that the ones colored yellow used an emetic -maybe she kept herself faintly ill all day long to further curb her appetite. I think she’s a fascinating woman for many reasons.
    Do you think her aversion to marriage was rooted solely in her father’s murder of his wives? I wonder what effect Thomas Seymour had in her views – Elizabeth is reported to have changed so much after leaving Katherine Parr. It makes me think she had previously (with natural teenage self arrogance) held a distance between what happened to ‘them’ (Katherine, her mother, etc) and what could happen to her. Without him, would she have decided to marry after all?

    Reply
  12. Theo – You haven’t? How does that happen?
    Jeane – the comfit link was fascinating, I had no idea they took days to make and required panning. My mental picture of what a comfit was turned out entirely wrong. The site notes that the ones colored yellow used an emetic -maybe she kept herself faintly ill all day long to further curb her appetite. I think she’s a fascinating woman for many reasons.
    Do you think her aversion to marriage was rooted solely in her father’s murder of his wives? I wonder what effect Thomas Seymour had in her views – Elizabeth is reported to have changed so much after leaving Katherine Parr. It makes me think she had previously (with natural teenage self arrogance) held a distance between what happened to ‘them’ (Katherine, her mother, etc) and what could happen to her. Without him, would she have decided to marry after all?

    Reply
  13. Theo – You haven’t? How does that happen?
    Jeane – the comfit link was fascinating, I had no idea they took days to make and required panning. My mental picture of what a comfit was turned out entirely wrong. The site notes that the ones colored yellow used an emetic -maybe she kept herself faintly ill all day long to further curb her appetite. I think she’s a fascinating woman for many reasons.
    Do you think her aversion to marriage was rooted solely in her father’s murder of his wives? I wonder what effect Thomas Seymour had in her views – Elizabeth is reported to have changed so much after leaving Katherine Parr. It makes me think she had previously (with natural teenage self arrogance) held a distance between what happened to ‘them’ (Katherine, her mother, etc) and what could happen to her. Without him, would she have decided to marry after all?

    Reply
  14. Theo – You haven’t? How does that happen?
    Jeane – the comfit link was fascinating, I had no idea they took days to make and required panning. My mental picture of what a comfit was turned out entirely wrong. The site notes that the ones colored yellow used an emetic -maybe she kept herself faintly ill all day long to further curb her appetite. I think she’s a fascinating woman for many reasons.
    Do you think her aversion to marriage was rooted solely in her father’s murder of his wives? I wonder what effect Thomas Seymour had in her views – Elizabeth is reported to have changed so much after leaving Katherine Parr. It makes me think she had previously (with natural teenage self arrogance) held a distance between what happened to ‘them’ (Katherine, her mother, etc) and what could happen to her. Without him, would she have decided to marry after all?

    Reply
  15. Theo – You haven’t? How does that happen?
    Jeane – the comfit link was fascinating, I had no idea they took days to make and required panning. My mental picture of what a comfit was turned out entirely wrong. The site notes that the ones colored yellow used an emetic -maybe she kept herself faintly ill all day long to further curb her appetite. I think she’s a fascinating woman for many reasons.
    Do you think her aversion to marriage was rooted solely in her father’s murder of his wives? I wonder what effect Thomas Seymour had in her views – Elizabeth is reported to have changed so much after leaving Katherine Parr. It makes me think she had previously (with natural teenage self arrogance) held a distance between what happened to ‘them’ (Katherine, her mother, etc) and what could happen to her. Without him, would she have decided to marry after all?

    Reply
  16. Liz, interesting question. We can only guess at the answer. I think the cumulative effect of her first 25-years decided her against marriage. But she had early decided against it. Robert Dudley is reported to have said she so informed him when eight years old. If she was fearful of marriage and childbirth at such an early age, her later experiences only reinforced her inclination. Remember husbands at that time were the ruler of their wives in “God’s chain of being”. Elizabeth could not have abided a ruler. When I add up all her experiences, I cannot blame her for going it alone,although she did it with many handsome men around her and a lifelong need for Robert Dudley to be at her side. They fought and parted repeatedly, but could not stay apart for long.
    Jeane

    Reply
  17. Liz, interesting question. We can only guess at the answer. I think the cumulative effect of her first 25-years decided her against marriage. But she had early decided against it. Robert Dudley is reported to have said she so informed him when eight years old. If she was fearful of marriage and childbirth at such an early age, her later experiences only reinforced her inclination. Remember husbands at that time were the ruler of their wives in “God’s chain of being”. Elizabeth could not have abided a ruler. When I add up all her experiences, I cannot blame her for going it alone,although she did it with many handsome men around her and a lifelong need for Robert Dudley to be at her side. They fought and parted repeatedly, but could not stay apart for long.
    Jeane

    Reply
  18. Liz, interesting question. We can only guess at the answer. I think the cumulative effect of her first 25-years decided her against marriage. But she had early decided against it. Robert Dudley is reported to have said she so informed him when eight years old. If she was fearful of marriage and childbirth at such an early age, her later experiences only reinforced her inclination. Remember husbands at that time were the ruler of their wives in “God’s chain of being”. Elizabeth could not have abided a ruler. When I add up all her experiences, I cannot blame her for going it alone,although she did it with many handsome men around her and a lifelong need for Robert Dudley to be at her side. They fought and parted repeatedly, but could not stay apart for long.
    Jeane

    Reply
  19. Liz, interesting question. We can only guess at the answer. I think the cumulative effect of her first 25-years decided her against marriage. But she had early decided against it. Robert Dudley is reported to have said she so informed him when eight years old. If she was fearful of marriage and childbirth at such an early age, her later experiences only reinforced her inclination. Remember husbands at that time were the ruler of their wives in “God’s chain of being”. Elizabeth could not have abided a ruler. When I add up all her experiences, I cannot blame her for going it alone,although she did it with many handsome men around her and a lifelong need for Robert Dudley to be at her side. They fought and parted repeatedly, but could not stay apart for long.
    Jeane

    Reply
  20. Liz, interesting question. We can only guess at the answer. I think the cumulative effect of her first 25-years decided her against marriage. But she had early decided against it. Robert Dudley is reported to have said she so informed him when eight years old. If she was fearful of marriage and childbirth at such an early age, her later experiences only reinforced her inclination. Remember husbands at that time were the ruler of their wives in “God’s chain of being”. Elizabeth could not have abided a ruler. When I add up all her experiences, I cannot blame her for going it alone,although she did it with many handsome men around her and a lifelong need for Robert Dudley to be at her side. They fought and parted repeatedly, but could not stay apart for long.
    Jeane

    Reply
  21. Wonderful interview and fascinating comments so far.
    While no one can know for sure when Elizabeth decided not to ever marry, from any starting point everything in her life would continue to reinforce that decision. The examples of her father, mother, stepmothers, cousin Mary and sister Mary would all surely lead her to the realization that “this is not for me”.
    The book sounds wonderful- I am looking forward to reading it!

    Reply
  22. Wonderful interview and fascinating comments so far.
    While no one can know for sure when Elizabeth decided not to ever marry, from any starting point everything in her life would continue to reinforce that decision. The examples of her father, mother, stepmothers, cousin Mary and sister Mary would all surely lead her to the realization that “this is not for me”.
    The book sounds wonderful- I am looking forward to reading it!

    Reply
  23. Wonderful interview and fascinating comments so far.
    While no one can know for sure when Elizabeth decided not to ever marry, from any starting point everything in her life would continue to reinforce that decision. The examples of her father, mother, stepmothers, cousin Mary and sister Mary would all surely lead her to the realization that “this is not for me”.
    The book sounds wonderful- I am looking forward to reading it!

    Reply
  24. Wonderful interview and fascinating comments so far.
    While no one can know for sure when Elizabeth decided not to ever marry, from any starting point everything in her life would continue to reinforce that decision. The examples of her father, mother, stepmothers, cousin Mary and sister Mary would all surely lead her to the realization that “this is not for me”.
    The book sounds wonderful- I am looking forward to reading it!

    Reply
  25. Wonderful interview and fascinating comments so far.
    While no one can know for sure when Elizabeth decided not to ever marry, from any starting point everything in her life would continue to reinforce that decision. The examples of her father, mother, stepmothers, cousin Mary and sister Mary would all surely lead her to the realization that “this is not for me”.
    The book sounds wonderful- I am looking forward to reading it!

    Reply
  26. How frustrating to be Dudley. I think this is such a fascinating time in English history not just because of the intense changes in the region, but because of all the deaths. Dudley loses his father, his brother, his sister in law, all of his children, his young wife, cannot marry the queen but must not abandon her either – it just goes on for him. The Tudor period is one where you can’t imagine how the ruling class manages to move forward, and yet they do.

    Reply
  27. How frustrating to be Dudley. I think this is such a fascinating time in English history not just because of the intense changes in the region, but because of all the deaths. Dudley loses his father, his brother, his sister in law, all of his children, his young wife, cannot marry the queen but must not abandon her either – it just goes on for him. The Tudor period is one where you can’t imagine how the ruling class manages to move forward, and yet they do.

    Reply
  28. How frustrating to be Dudley. I think this is such a fascinating time in English history not just because of the intense changes in the region, but because of all the deaths. Dudley loses his father, his brother, his sister in law, all of his children, his young wife, cannot marry the queen but must not abandon her either – it just goes on for him. The Tudor period is one where you can’t imagine how the ruling class manages to move forward, and yet they do.

    Reply
  29. How frustrating to be Dudley. I think this is such a fascinating time in English history not just because of the intense changes in the region, but because of all the deaths. Dudley loses his father, his brother, his sister in law, all of his children, his young wife, cannot marry the queen but must not abandon her either – it just goes on for him. The Tudor period is one where you can’t imagine how the ruling class manages to move forward, and yet they do.

    Reply
  30. How frustrating to be Dudley. I think this is such a fascinating time in English history not just because of the intense changes in the region, but because of all the deaths. Dudley loses his father, his brother, his sister in law, all of his children, his young wife, cannot marry the queen but must not abandon her either – it just goes on for him. The Tudor period is one where you can’t imagine how the ruling class manages to move forward, and yet they do.

    Reply
  31. LadyDoc you made an interesting observation. The Tudor period was a time of renaissance in England. It came later than in Italy or France, but every art advanced. Elizabeth was a patron of theater, music and artists. Many portraits of her survive and I found it interesting that after middle age she no longer wanted her face painted as it was. There was a pattern made of a her younger self and it was used on every painting after…first turned one way and then the other.
    I think she would have loved botox.
    Jeane

    Reply
  32. LadyDoc you made an interesting observation. The Tudor period was a time of renaissance in England. It came later than in Italy or France, but every art advanced. Elizabeth was a patron of theater, music and artists. Many portraits of her survive and I found it interesting that after middle age she no longer wanted her face painted as it was. There was a pattern made of a her younger self and it was used on every painting after…first turned one way and then the other.
    I think she would have loved botox.
    Jeane

    Reply
  33. LadyDoc you made an interesting observation. The Tudor period was a time of renaissance in England. It came later than in Italy or France, but every art advanced. Elizabeth was a patron of theater, music and artists. Many portraits of her survive and I found it interesting that after middle age she no longer wanted her face painted as it was. There was a pattern made of a her younger self and it was used on every painting after…first turned one way and then the other.
    I think she would have loved botox.
    Jeane

    Reply
  34. LadyDoc you made an interesting observation. The Tudor period was a time of renaissance in England. It came later than in Italy or France, but every art advanced. Elizabeth was a patron of theater, music and artists. Many portraits of her survive and I found it interesting that after middle age she no longer wanted her face painted as it was. There was a pattern made of a her younger self and it was used on every painting after…first turned one way and then the other.
    I think she would have loved botox.
    Jeane

    Reply
  35. LadyDoc you made an interesting observation. The Tudor period was a time of renaissance in England. It came later than in Italy or France, but every art advanced. Elizabeth was a patron of theater, music and artists. Many portraits of her survive and I found it interesting that after middle age she no longer wanted her face painted as it was. There was a pattern made of a her younger self and it was used on every painting after…first turned one way and then the other.
    I think she would have loved botox.
    Jeane

    Reply
  36. Liz M, Dudley is a bit of a tragic figure as Elizabeth is…at lease in love. He could never really leave her, nor could she allow him to be from her for very long. They argued and hurt each other over and over and yet returned for more.
    I’m exploring what that did to both of them in my next book His Last Letter.
    Frederick Chamberlin, an early 20th Century biographer said of them: They were like two angry, genius children in their treatment of each other.
    Jeane

    Reply
  37. Liz M, Dudley is a bit of a tragic figure as Elizabeth is…at lease in love. He could never really leave her, nor could she allow him to be from her for very long. They argued and hurt each other over and over and yet returned for more.
    I’m exploring what that did to both of them in my next book His Last Letter.
    Frederick Chamberlin, an early 20th Century biographer said of them: They were like two angry, genius children in their treatment of each other.
    Jeane

    Reply
  38. Liz M, Dudley is a bit of a tragic figure as Elizabeth is…at lease in love. He could never really leave her, nor could she allow him to be from her for very long. They argued and hurt each other over and over and yet returned for more.
    I’m exploring what that did to both of them in my next book His Last Letter.
    Frederick Chamberlin, an early 20th Century biographer said of them: They were like two angry, genius children in their treatment of each other.
    Jeane

    Reply
  39. Liz M, Dudley is a bit of a tragic figure as Elizabeth is…at lease in love. He could never really leave her, nor could she allow him to be from her for very long. They argued and hurt each other over and over and yet returned for more.
    I’m exploring what that did to both of them in my next book His Last Letter.
    Frederick Chamberlin, an early 20th Century biographer said of them: They were like two angry, genius children in their treatment of each other.
    Jeane

    Reply
  40. Liz M, Dudley is a bit of a tragic figure as Elizabeth is…at lease in love. He could never really leave her, nor could she allow him to be from her for very long. They argued and hurt each other over and over and yet returned for more.
    I’m exploring what that did to both of them in my next book His Last Letter.
    Frederick Chamberlin, an early 20th Century biographer said of them: They were like two angry, genius children in their treatment of each other.
    Jeane

    Reply
  41. Jeane, thank you for sharing your wonderful insights and the excerpt. The book sounds absolutely fascinating. I don’t know a lot about the Elizabethan era but am looking forward to learning more!
    Elizabeth is certainly one of the most intriguing—and complex—women in history, and life at her court must have been . . . quite an experience!

    Reply
  42. Jeane, thank you for sharing your wonderful insights and the excerpt. The book sounds absolutely fascinating. I don’t know a lot about the Elizabethan era but am looking forward to learning more!
    Elizabeth is certainly one of the most intriguing—and complex—women in history, and life at her court must have been . . . quite an experience!

    Reply
  43. Jeane, thank you for sharing your wonderful insights and the excerpt. The book sounds absolutely fascinating. I don’t know a lot about the Elizabethan era but am looking forward to learning more!
    Elizabeth is certainly one of the most intriguing—and complex—women in history, and life at her court must have been . . . quite an experience!

    Reply
  44. Jeane, thank you for sharing your wonderful insights and the excerpt. The book sounds absolutely fascinating. I don’t know a lot about the Elizabethan era but am looking forward to learning more!
    Elizabeth is certainly one of the most intriguing—and complex—women in history, and life at her court must have been . . . quite an experience!

    Reply
  45. Jeane, thank you for sharing your wonderful insights and the excerpt. The book sounds absolutely fascinating. I don’t know a lot about the Elizabethan era but am looking forward to learning more!
    Elizabeth is certainly one of the most intriguing—and complex—women in history, and life at her court must have been . . . quite an experience!

    Reply
  46. Cara is my only daughter’s name.
    Thanks for reading more about Elizabeth. Yes, her court would have been the experience of a lifetime.
    Just writing about it is. I’m currently reading a book of her sayings in which her humor and intelligence just sparkles.
    Many at the time and since have said she was a figurehead and that either Dudley or Cecil ran the country. If you read what she said and wrote, you will see in an instant that she was not one to stand aside for anyone.
    Her answer to a Bishop (Cox) who crossed her by defaulting on a rent tells the tale:
    “Proud Prelate! I understand you are backward in complying with your agreement, but I would have you know that I who made you what you are can unmake you and if you do not forthwith fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock you.”
    I think I would have complied, immediately.
    Jeane

    Reply
  47. Cara is my only daughter’s name.
    Thanks for reading more about Elizabeth. Yes, her court would have been the experience of a lifetime.
    Just writing about it is. I’m currently reading a book of her sayings in which her humor and intelligence just sparkles.
    Many at the time and since have said she was a figurehead and that either Dudley or Cecil ran the country. If you read what she said and wrote, you will see in an instant that she was not one to stand aside for anyone.
    Her answer to a Bishop (Cox) who crossed her by defaulting on a rent tells the tale:
    “Proud Prelate! I understand you are backward in complying with your agreement, but I would have you know that I who made you what you are can unmake you and if you do not forthwith fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock you.”
    I think I would have complied, immediately.
    Jeane

    Reply
  48. Cara is my only daughter’s name.
    Thanks for reading more about Elizabeth. Yes, her court would have been the experience of a lifetime.
    Just writing about it is. I’m currently reading a book of her sayings in which her humor and intelligence just sparkles.
    Many at the time and since have said she was a figurehead and that either Dudley or Cecil ran the country. If you read what she said and wrote, you will see in an instant that she was not one to stand aside for anyone.
    Her answer to a Bishop (Cox) who crossed her by defaulting on a rent tells the tale:
    “Proud Prelate! I understand you are backward in complying with your agreement, but I would have you know that I who made you what you are can unmake you and if you do not forthwith fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock you.”
    I think I would have complied, immediately.
    Jeane

    Reply
  49. Cara is my only daughter’s name.
    Thanks for reading more about Elizabeth. Yes, her court would have been the experience of a lifetime.
    Just writing about it is. I’m currently reading a book of her sayings in which her humor and intelligence just sparkles.
    Many at the time and since have said she was a figurehead and that either Dudley or Cecil ran the country. If you read what she said and wrote, you will see in an instant that she was not one to stand aside for anyone.
    Her answer to a Bishop (Cox) who crossed her by defaulting on a rent tells the tale:
    “Proud Prelate! I understand you are backward in complying with your agreement, but I would have you know that I who made you what you are can unmake you and if you do not forthwith fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock you.”
    I think I would have complied, immediately.
    Jeane

    Reply
  50. Cara is my only daughter’s name.
    Thanks for reading more about Elizabeth. Yes, her court would have been the experience of a lifetime.
    Just writing about it is. I’m currently reading a book of her sayings in which her humor and intelligence just sparkles.
    Many at the time and since have said she was a figurehead and that either Dudley or Cecil ran the country. If you read what she said and wrote, you will see in an instant that she was not one to stand aside for anyone.
    Her answer to a Bishop (Cox) who crossed her by defaulting on a rent tells the tale:
    “Proud Prelate! I understand you are backward in complying with your agreement, but I would have you know that I who made you what you are can unmake you and if you do not forthwith fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock you.”
    I think I would have complied, immediately.
    Jeane

    Reply
  51. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Henry VIII went through so many wives in order to get himself a son and heir, and his daughter, Elizabeth, when she finally got to the throne, refused to marry and discounted the need for an heir.I suppose it depends on the personal risk to oneself.
    I don’t know a lot about Elizabeth, apart from Jeane’s book, but I know in my research of her father, Henry, he was also a brilliant scholar (and sportsman) – and this wasn’t simply due to people at the time fawning over the achievements of a prince. So he passed the smart genes along.

    Reply
  52. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Henry VIII went through so many wives in order to get himself a son and heir, and his daughter, Elizabeth, when she finally got to the throne, refused to marry and discounted the need for an heir.I suppose it depends on the personal risk to oneself.
    I don’t know a lot about Elizabeth, apart from Jeane’s book, but I know in my research of her father, Henry, he was also a brilliant scholar (and sportsman) – and this wasn’t simply due to people at the time fawning over the achievements of a prince. So he passed the smart genes along.

    Reply
  53. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Henry VIII went through so many wives in order to get himself a son and heir, and his daughter, Elizabeth, when she finally got to the throne, refused to marry and discounted the need for an heir.I suppose it depends on the personal risk to oneself.
    I don’t know a lot about Elizabeth, apart from Jeane’s book, but I know in my research of her father, Henry, he was also a brilliant scholar (and sportsman) – and this wasn’t simply due to people at the time fawning over the achievements of a prince. So he passed the smart genes along.

    Reply
  54. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Henry VIII went through so many wives in order to get himself a son and heir, and his daughter, Elizabeth, when she finally got to the throne, refused to marry and discounted the need for an heir.I suppose it depends on the personal risk to oneself.
    I don’t know a lot about Elizabeth, apart from Jeane’s book, but I know in my research of her father, Henry, he was also a brilliant scholar (and sportsman) – and this wasn’t simply due to people at the time fawning over the achievements of a prince. So he passed the smart genes along.

    Reply
  55. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Henry VIII went through so many wives in order to get himself a son and heir, and his daughter, Elizabeth, when she finally got to the throne, refused to marry and discounted the need for an heir.I suppose it depends on the personal risk to oneself.
    I don’t know a lot about Elizabeth, apart from Jeane’s book, but I know in my research of her father, Henry, he was also a brilliant scholar (and sportsman) – and this wasn’t simply due to people at the time fawning over the achievements of a prince. So he passed the smart genes along.

    Reply
  56. Anne, her mother Anne Boleyn was no dummy and had nobody knows how much influence on Henry’s decisions.
    But I’ll leave Henry to you since you wrote the The Tudors tie-in book.
    By the way, Elizabeth was very physical…a first rate horse-woman and even in her old age rode and walked to the exhaustion of her ladies.
    Jeane

    Reply
  57. Anne, her mother Anne Boleyn was no dummy and had nobody knows how much influence on Henry’s decisions.
    But I’ll leave Henry to you since you wrote the The Tudors tie-in book.
    By the way, Elizabeth was very physical…a first rate horse-woman and even in her old age rode and walked to the exhaustion of her ladies.
    Jeane

    Reply
  58. Anne, her mother Anne Boleyn was no dummy and had nobody knows how much influence on Henry’s decisions.
    But I’ll leave Henry to you since you wrote the The Tudors tie-in book.
    By the way, Elizabeth was very physical…a first rate horse-woman and even in her old age rode and walked to the exhaustion of her ladies.
    Jeane

    Reply
  59. Anne, her mother Anne Boleyn was no dummy and had nobody knows how much influence on Henry’s decisions.
    But I’ll leave Henry to you since you wrote the The Tudors tie-in book.
    By the way, Elizabeth was very physical…a first rate horse-woman and even in her old age rode and walked to the exhaustion of her ladies.
    Jeane

    Reply
  60. Anne, her mother Anne Boleyn was no dummy and had nobody knows how much influence on Henry’s decisions.
    But I’ll leave Henry to you since you wrote the The Tudors tie-in book.
    By the way, Elizabeth was very physical…a first rate horse-woman and even in her old age rode and walked to the exhaustion of her ladies.
    Jeane

    Reply
  61. What a complex era. English politics has always been full of intrigue, deception, double dealing, betrayal, and uncertainty. Henry VIII’s life and legacy loom larger than most. Many strong women didn’t survive. It sounds like this book will answer some of the questions of how she managed to survive and rule. It sounds like a truly interesting and enjoyable book. I look forward to reading it and sharing it with several people I know. Our new library director is a history buff and I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I’ll look forward to the His Last Letter next year.

    Reply
  62. What a complex era. English politics has always been full of intrigue, deception, double dealing, betrayal, and uncertainty. Henry VIII’s life and legacy loom larger than most. Many strong women didn’t survive. It sounds like this book will answer some of the questions of how she managed to survive and rule. It sounds like a truly interesting and enjoyable book. I look forward to reading it and sharing it with several people I know. Our new library director is a history buff and I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I’ll look forward to the His Last Letter next year.

    Reply
  63. What a complex era. English politics has always been full of intrigue, deception, double dealing, betrayal, and uncertainty. Henry VIII’s life and legacy loom larger than most. Many strong women didn’t survive. It sounds like this book will answer some of the questions of how she managed to survive and rule. It sounds like a truly interesting and enjoyable book. I look forward to reading it and sharing it with several people I know. Our new library director is a history buff and I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I’ll look forward to the His Last Letter next year.

    Reply
  64. What a complex era. English politics has always been full of intrigue, deception, double dealing, betrayal, and uncertainty. Henry VIII’s life and legacy loom larger than most. Many strong women didn’t survive. It sounds like this book will answer some of the questions of how she managed to survive and rule. It sounds like a truly interesting and enjoyable book. I look forward to reading it and sharing it with several people I know. Our new library director is a history buff and I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I’ll look forward to the His Last Letter next year.

    Reply
  65. What a complex era. English politics has always been full of intrigue, deception, double dealing, betrayal, and uncertainty. Henry VIII’s life and legacy loom larger than most. Many strong women didn’t survive. It sounds like this book will answer some of the questions of how she managed to survive and rule. It sounds like a truly interesting and enjoyable book. I look forward to reading it and sharing it with several people I know. Our new library director is a history buff and I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I’ll look forward to the His Last Letter next year.

    Reply
  66. I love reading about history and historicals of many time periods, although I’m a little more on the voyeristic side of things. The Virgin Queen: did she or didn’t she? Was she or wasn’t she? Or is that curiosity?

    Reply
  67. I love reading about history and historicals of many time periods, although I’m a little more on the voyeristic side of things. The Virgin Queen: did she or didn’t she? Was she or wasn’t she? Or is that curiosity?

    Reply
  68. I love reading about history and historicals of many time periods, although I’m a little more on the voyeristic side of things. The Virgin Queen: did she or didn’t she? Was she or wasn’t she? Or is that curiosity?

    Reply
  69. I love reading about history and historicals of many time periods, although I’m a little more on the voyeristic side of things. The Virgin Queen: did she or didn’t she? Was she or wasn’t she? Or is that curiosity?

    Reply
  70. I love reading about history and historicals of many time periods, although I’m a little more on the voyeristic side of things. The Virgin Queen: did she or didn’t she? Was she or wasn’t she? Or is that curiosity?

    Reply
  71. Patricia, everyone was a survivor in those days. Seasonal illnesses like the plague, the sweat and smallpox (or smallpocks as they spelled it) carried off thousands every summer especially in the cities.
    Eliabeth survived even smallpox. When she thought she was dying, she famously left her realm to her Sweet Robin, Robert Dudley. In other words, she left her most precious possession to him, though after she recovered she would still not marry him and make him king.
    I hope you enjoy the book.
    Jeane

    Reply
  72. Patricia, everyone was a survivor in those days. Seasonal illnesses like the plague, the sweat and smallpox (or smallpocks as they spelled it) carried off thousands every summer especially in the cities.
    Eliabeth survived even smallpox. When she thought she was dying, she famously left her realm to her Sweet Robin, Robert Dudley. In other words, she left her most precious possession to him, though after she recovered she would still not marry him and make him king.
    I hope you enjoy the book.
    Jeane

    Reply
  73. Patricia, everyone was a survivor in those days. Seasonal illnesses like the plague, the sweat and smallpox (or smallpocks as they spelled it) carried off thousands every summer especially in the cities.
    Eliabeth survived even smallpox. When she thought she was dying, she famously left her realm to her Sweet Robin, Robert Dudley. In other words, she left her most precious possession to him, though after she recovered she would still not marry him and make him king.
    I hope you enjoy the book.
    Jeane

    Reply
  74. Patricia, everyone was a survivor in those days. Seasonal illnesses like the plague, the sweat and smallpox (or smallpocks as they spelled it) carried off thousands every summer especially in the cities.
    Eliabeth survived even smallpox. When she thought she was dying, she famously left her realm to her Sweet Robin, Robert Dudley. In other words, she left her most precious possession to him, though after she recovered she would still not marry him and make him king.
    I hope you enjoy the book.
    Jeane

    Reply
  75. Patricia, everyone was a survivor in those days. Seasonal illnesses like the plague, the sweat and smallpox (or smallpocks as they spelled it) carried off thousands every summer especially in the cities.
    Eliabeth survived even smallpox. When she thought she was dying, she famously left her realm to her Sweet Robin, Robert Dudley. In other words, she left her most precious possession to him, though after she recovered she would still not marry him and make him king.
    I hope you enjoy the book.
    Jeane

    Reply
  76. Bluecat, if you’re curious about whether she did or didn’t know full sexual love, you join a multitude of others over the centuries.
    That’s the question I get from almost everyone when they hear I’m researching her.
    No one will ever know for sure and that is why the speculation carries on. Even when she was angry with Dudley, she signed her letters “Ever the same”.
    Every Elizabeth writer has to decide for themselves. I’ve decided what I believe and write about it in His Last Letter.
    Jeane

    Reply
  77. Bluecat, if you’re curious about whether she did or didn’t know full sexual love, you join a multitude of others over the centuries.
    That’s the question I get from almost everyone when they hear I’m researching her.
    No one will ever know for sure and that is why the speculation carries on. Even when she was angry with Dudley, she signed her letters “Ever the same”.
    Every Elizabeth writer has to decide for themselves. I’ve decided what I believe and write about it in His Last Letter.
    Jeane

    Reply
  78. Bluecat, if you’re curious about whether she did or didn’t know full sexual love, you join a multitude of others over the centuries.
    That’s the question I get from almost everyone when they hear I’m researching her.
    No one will ever know for sure and that is why the speculation carries on. Even when she was angry with Dudley, she signed her letters “Ever the same”.
    Every Elizabeth writer has to decide for themselves. I’ve decided what I believe and write about it in His Last Letter.
    Jeane

    Reply
  79. Bluecat, if you’re curious about whether she did or didn’t know full sexual love, you join a multitude of others over the centuries.
    That’s the question I get from almost everyone when they hear I’m researching her.
    No one will ever know for sure and that is why the speculation carries on. Even when she was angry with Dudley, she signed her letters “Ever the same”.
    Every Elizabeth writer has to decide for themselves. I’ve decided what I believe and write about it in His Last Letter.
    Jeane

    Reply
  80. Bluecat, if you’re curious about whether she did or didn’t know full sexual love, you join a multitude of others over the centuries.
    That’s the question I get from almost everyone when they hear I’m researching her.
    No one will ever know for sure and that is why the speculation carries on. Even when she was angry with Dudley, she signed her letters “Ever the same”.
    Every Elizabeth writer has to decide for themselves. I’ve decided what I believe and write about it in His Last Letter.
    Jeane

    Reply
  81. The tight waisted skirts are both interesting and puzzling. Were they really as tight as they looked in pictures? And if so, why? I can imagine it must have been painful or difficult to breathe.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  82. The tight waisted skirts are both interesting and puzzling. Were they really as tight as they looked in pictures? And if so, why? I can imagine it must have been painful or difficult to breathe.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  83. The tight waisted skirts are both interesting and puzzling. Were they really as tight as they looked in pictures? And if so, why? I can imagine it must have been painful or difficult to breathe.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  84. The tight waisted skirts are both interesting and puzzling. Were they really as tight as they looked in pictures? And if so, why? I can imagine it must have been painful or difficult to breathe.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  85. The tight waisted skirts are both interesting and puzzling. Were they really as tight as they looked in pictures? And if so, why? I can imagine it must have been painful or difficult to breathe.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply

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