Nicola here. Today I have the very great pleasure of welcoming best-selling British historical author Suzannah Dunn to the Word Wenches. I first came across Suzannah’s books when she was writing contemporary novels and she became an auto-buy for me. When I discovered that she had turned to writing Tudor-set historical fiction I was very happy indeed! The May Bride is her new book and tells the story of Jane Seymour and Jane's friendship with her dazzling sister-in-law Katherine Filliol. It’s a multi-faceted book with mystery, history, romance, intrigue and family relationships intermingled in a fascinating whole.
Suzannah, welcome to the Word Wenches! The May Bride has Jane Seymour as its narrator but it is as much the story of Jane’s sister-in-law Katherine Filliol as it is of Jane. How did you come across Katherine Filliol’s story? Why did it appeal to you?
I can't remember when I first came across it – it seems always to have been there, off to one side but
sort of disappearing whenever I turned to try to look at it, if you know what I mean. It was never – anywhere – more than a mention, more than a footnote. And that fascinated me. Because how could something so big, as it were, have almost disappeared? Edward Seymour was - became - a Big Tudor, he was Lord Protector for several years of the boy-king Edward V1's reign: ie effectively, he ruled England for those years (which were years of great change, years which made much of the England that we recognise today). How did he come to have such a hideous scandal in his private life – and by the way, he was such an unlikely person to have had a hideous scandal in his private life, which also fascinated me - and we know next to nothing about it? (Answer: Edward was nothing if not efficient, and he was very efficient in keeping this under wraps…)