One week to release date !

It is getting closer !

My nerves are jangling as last minute preparations go on for the release date for my first book.  Only one week, seven days.  It will be amazing to hold my own book in my hands.

I have written stories for years, on different subjects, but this is the first time I have ventured into a full length novel.  And boy did it grow into a long novel !  I did not expect it to be quite such a tome when I started it last year.

I have always been a bibliophile, for as long as I can remember.  I have had a large collection of books since I was young, my current collection consisting of everything from pure history to pure fiction.  My youngest daughter seems to be following in my footsteps, at only 18 months old, she loves to have a book in her hands !

 

Mary’s Birthday

Today is the anniversary of the birth of my lead character, Mary Tudor.

She was born on the 18th of February 1516, exactly 500 years ago, at Greenwich Palace.  Her parents, as everybody knows, were Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.  Her mother had at least two previous pregnancies before her birth, possibly up to four.  There was a known stillborn daughter and Henry, Duke of Cornwall, who lived only 53 days.

Many reasons for the repeated miscarriages and stillbirths suffered by the King and Queen have been offered, though none can be proved.

Mary herself, in later years, would have much trouble with reproducing too, eventually dying with a suspected womb cancer growth.  In my book, she has a happier time with her family.

Happy 500th birthday, Mary Tudor !!

Illness

My children have been ill this week, and it made me think about illness in medieval times. Many households would have grown their own herbs to make potions and poultices to help with symptoms of their illnesses, but essentially the rate of fatalities through what we would now consider minor twinges was terribly high.

A major killer in the Tudor era was called the ‘sweating sickness’.  This was alledgedly brought to England by Henry Tudor and his ragtag army when he invaded in 1485 to face off wih King Richard III for the crown.

This was quite a nasty illness with people being known to die within hours of showing their first symptoms.  These symptoms included cold shivers, headache, neck pain and inevitably the hot sweats, which led to death.

William Carey, husband of Mary Boleyn died of this disease, and Anne Boleyn herself was said to have caught it, but survived.  The two young sons of Charles Brandon, Henry and Charles, also died of the sweating sickness within hours of each other in 1551.

Interestingly though, this particular disease was never again recorded after 1578 and it cannot be explained why.

Reginald Pole

I have learnt many interesting facts about the Tudor period while researching my book.

For example, Reginald Pole, a key character in my book, spent his formative years in college, paid for by Henry VIII.  They were later to fall out over Henry’s relationship with Anne Boleyn.

He stayed in exile for many years and rose to be appointed a Cardinal by the then Pope. Returning to court during the reign of Queen Mary Tudor (another main character), she made him her Archbishop of Canterbury. He was to be the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.

Another interesting fact is that both Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole died on the same day, she in the morning, he in the evening.

Four weeks to go.

Eeeeek!!!

Four weeks seems a short time now.  I am yo-yoing between being excited and being terrified about the release date.

Every time I read through a part of my book, I wonder if sounds right, whether I have set the scene well enough, etc.

I can only hope that people who choose to read my book, enjoy it even half as much as I enjoyed imagining it and writing it.  I have begun on the sequel, though that will be a year away from publishing.

Four weeks……….eeeeeeekkkkkk!!!