I am SO thrilled to announce that my new book, Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester, will be released in the UK on 2 November! As soon as I have a confirmed US date I’ll be posting it here too. I feel very privileged to have been able to write a second book, and I’ve really loved working on this subject. I hope everyone enjoys it. I won’t give away too much more at this time, but if you would like to know what you can expect, you can read my synopsis by following this link to my agent’s website:
Excitingly, there’s less than two months left until Crown of Blood is published, I can’t wait! Later this month I’m hoping to go and visit the newly refurbished Visitor Centre at Bradgate Park, and I’ll be speaking there about the book in November too – do check it out if you get the opportunity.
You can also read my short interview in the current issue of BBC History Magazine – I talked about what it’s like to be a historian and a writer as part of the History Study Guide, and where my inspiration came from.
Whilst I was working on Crown of Blood, I spent a great deal of time researching Syon Park, and it reminded me of a mini project I did about the influence of Robert Adam on Syon when I was an undergraduate.
What a busy summer it has transpired to be! I’ve been enjoying a few weeks of research in preparation for my new book, and whilst on one journey I stopped by the pretty Oxfordshire village of Ewelme. I’ve always really wanted to visit Ewelme, mainly due to its links with a lady who has always fascinated me: Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk.
I’ve been doing lots of work on Tudor portraiture recently, and it’s taken me back to my days at Sudeley Castle. In one of the Castle corridors, aptly named The Vertue Corridor, are thirty-three hung portraits of members of the Tudor court by George Vertue. The originals, now in Windsor Castle, were taken from life by Henry VIII’s court painter, Hans Holbein. Holbein drew at least eighty members of the court, and over the centuries these have been lost and found and re-mounted on several occasions. The identities of the sitters have been the cause of much controversy, and some of them are still unidentified.
I‘ve spent most of May buried deep in editing Crown of Blood, and the book is now starting to take its final shape – exciting! You may have seen that the UK jacket cover has been unveiled, and I think it’s gorgeous! Michael O’Mara books have done an amazing job. Crown of Blood also got a mention with The Bookseller on 18th May. You can read it by clicking on the link here: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/michael-o-mara-publish-debut-lady-grey-biography-330200
In celebration of the Queen’s birthday, BBC History Magazine have been running a royal week, and I was asked to write a piece about notable royal deaths throughout history. My article is available online, so please do check it out:
I’ve just returned from a ten day Richard III tour, and it was superb! We had wonderful guests, excellent sites and guides, and luckily, great weather. Our tour took us everywhere from London, to Oxford, to Stratford Upon Avon, to York, and Leicester. There are too many highlights to mention, so I thought I’d just choose a few …
Matilda was the first woman to make a claim to the English throne in her own right: a claim which ultimately failed when it became clear that it was out of the question that a woman should rule without the authority of a man. Matilda was the only legitimate daughter of Henry I by his wife Matilda of Scotland, and her father had high hopes for her.
I’ve been busily working on a number of projects this month – everything from talks to book proposals! From 16 -25 April I’ll be away on Alison Weir Tours Richard III tour, and I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll be starting in London, and travelling as far north as the beautiful city of York – there are lots of historical treats in store!
One of the things I’ve been studying lately is Tudor portraiture. With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to talk a little more about one of my favourite paintings.