This is basically a back-up of all my posts from the original Jean Plaidy blog that Arleigh and I created.  We still post there from time to time- so be sure to 'follow us' and check in- we'd love to see you there!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Review: The Reluctant Queen

Anne Neville, second – born daughter of Richard, the Earl of Warwick met Richard at Middleham Castle when they were young children. Anne immediately befriended the reserved and frail-looking boy. The bond and friendship they shared grew into a relationship of caring, trust and love that would eventually bring them to marriage, a coronation, a son, to culminate with the early death of Anne, at age 42.
Of course in between all of this we relive the making (by the Kingmaker Warwick, Anne’s father) of Edward lV; the descent of Henry Vl, the Woodvilles, Margaret of Anjou, the treasons and the tragic deaths. As fate would have it, nothing went smoothly. It was, after all, the time of the War of the Roses…
I very much enjoyed this book as it took me through Edward lV’s reign and the details of his family, which of course included his brother Richard. Much of Richard’s personality is seen through the eyes of Anne, as are the rest of the characters in this novel. Consequently, I began seeing many of the historical figures encountered in this novel, from a different perspective. Anne was a keen judge of characters who portrays Richard as a loyal brother to the King, as well as a fair and just man, but, also a caring and devoted husband. Anne immediately recognizes Richard’s brother, George, who was also her sister’s husband, as the devious and scheming character that he was. Through Anne’s eyes, I became a loyal Yorkist who admired King Edward and his charming good ways. Margaret of Anjou, detested at first, became an understanding woman capable of showing compassion and care when Anne became close to her during her short betrothal to this Queen’s son. I despised the whole Woodville clan, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, Edward lV’s Queen.
Anne Neville, in all her simplicity, succeeded in being admired by all. She was a loving and loyal wife to whom Richard confided all his worries and intentions. She was a doting mother who cared and worried constantly for the health of her son. Her own health was very frail but this did not keep her from wanting to be by her husband and son and fulfilling all of her duties. Towards the end of the book is where Anne’s personality takes on a less affirmative role. Much of her self confidence is lost to the persuasion that Richard wants to be rid of her, only to replace her by his own niece, Elizabeth of York, King Edward’s daughter.
This obsession consumes her as she slowly convinces herself that the only reason Richard ever married her, was for her to produce an heir to his throne. Towards the very end of the novel there is a climatic moment revealing much of what Anne suspects of both Richard and Elizabeth, his niece. Plaidy ties this exceptionally well by setting the mood; where anticipated celebration is destroyed by what Anne believes to be obvious deception. I felt her torment, and her spirit crush.
The story moved along at a very good pace. I must admit though, that some transitions seemed a bit ‘cut-off’ (especially in cases of tragic moments and deaths). These, I believe could have used a few more lines that would have made the episode much less mechanical, while providing the reader with more feeling for the moment. On the other hand, a story with such tremendous continuous evolvement could not have been told without these needed constraints.
The title for this novel is perfectly suited. No other word but ‘Reluctant’ could have better described how Anne felt as a Queen. Plaidy delivered once again in terms of historical accuracy and depiction of characters; even when seen from another perspective. Although The Reluctant Queen was not passionate enough to move me to tears, this Plaidy novel is outstanding in terms of capturing the historical essence of the time. I would highly recommend this book to anyone needing clarification of the many historical figures and events that happened during the War of the Roses (which can, at times, be so confusing).





Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Princess of Celle- Book Review

Being a habitual history devourer of the French and British monarchy, this German-based novel was an unexpectedly welcomed and delightful read. I enjoyed the differences of customs and comparisons to the French court in terms of gallantry, food and fashion.

The Princess of Celle is gradually unraveled by leading us through the generations of the German house of Brunswick-Luneberg. The story begins with the two brothers, George William and Ernest Augustus with their not-a-care in the world attitude towards life; they traveled, loved, drank and made merry until their eventual time for marriage.

William, who had been chosen to marry Duchess Sophia of Heidelberg, ( who by lineage, dreamed of a possible shot at the throne of England- this being one of her main preoccupations) refused her on account of his wanting to live as a bachelor forever. He asks Ernest Augustus, who was the younger and dotingly admiring brother, to take his place in this marriage. To persuade Ernest Augustus to marry, William agrees to give any possibility of ascension to the throne, as well as his duly inherited rights. Duchess Sophia becomes resentful of this rejection by William, but being the staunchly brought up monarch that she was, agrees to marry Ernest Augustus. Theirs is from the start a marriage of convenience; which suits them both perfectly well.

Then, the inevitable happens; William falls in love with an exiled French princess, Eleonore d'Esmier d'Olbreuse, and decides to marry her. This is not well taken by Duchess Sophia who continuously makes her life a living misery. Nevertheless, William and Eleonore are extremely happy and soon they have a beautiful and much doted upon princess of their own; Sophia Dorothea. Unfortunately, no one in this precious family is recognized as having any titles because of William’s previous relinquishing of all rights. Continual struggles and barriers (imposed by Duchess Sophia) make it almost impossible for this right to be returned and finally awarded.

When the story finally focuses on Sophia Dorothea, it becomes extremely intricate. Many more characters are brought into this maze of happenings. The worst of all is Clara Von Paten, mistress of Ernest Augustus. This horribly scheming woman was responsible for the demise of all of her victims; Sophia Dorothea being no exception. The poor princess lived a life of total unhappiness. Who would have thought that this much loved princess, who was brought up by the most caring and loving parents, would have ended this way? Throughout her life, she was kind, loving and always careful to do the right thing; for her parents, in-laws, husband and children. I felt so sorry for this real fairytale princess. You’d think she could have at least been granted true love and a happily ever after…

I really enjoyed this novel of intertwined lives and unexpected consequences. I felt like personally avenging Sophia Dorothea, while wishing vicious revenge on Von Platen. The life and times of the characters in Princess of Celle revealed a never ending intrigue. Excellent read.

Follow-up Posts for this novel:
-Incidental Plaidy Lady (historical character of note that was briefly mentioned): Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia
-Instrumental Plaidy Lady (character with an important role): Duchess Sophia
-Detrimental Plaidy Lady (definitely a villain): Clara Von Platen
Let's not leave the gentlemen out...
- Plaidy Hunk: Count Philip Christopher Konigsmarck
- Plaidy Flunk: George Lewis

Stay tuned...


Monday, April 6, 2009

Book Review: The Rose Without A Thorn

This novel of Katherine Howard, the fifth of Henry VIII’s six wives, was a very enjoyable and clarifying historical read. To begin with, let’s agree that Katherine was never given a fair chance in comparison to the King’s other wives. Katherine was not as extravagant, well-known, or amazingly beautiful as some of the more renowned ones were. She was extremely young to be a bride; a child in fact. So, this in itself puts her in a category of her own.
The author brilliantly exposes this fact by writing in the first person, so that we are never to forget the fact that she was merely a child. Reading it from this point of view makes the history so much more understandable. It is difficult to be judgmental towards Katherine in any way when you read the story through her perspective.
Katherine Howard’s life is pretty simple up until she moves into the Royal Court; where, she is ultimately set-up for her demise. The events in her life unfold like a cruel domino effect, led by the deceptions and scheming of others leading Katherine to her tragic end. Her innocence, kindness, curiosity, and acts without malice, rendered her character simply endearing. Plaidy captures the essence of this Child-Belle enraptured in a world of delusion, schemes and intrigues. The game was too quick and too fierce for her to endure. Inevitably, this young girl’s innocent and hopeful nature could never survive in the vulturous world of Henry VIII

The Rose Without a Thorn is a quick read that moves you from one scene to the next in smooth and inviting transition. The passages are moving and although I often felt exasperated by some of Katherine’s decisions and motives, I felt I understood this character precisely because of her circumstances. The build up to the tragedy is difficult and ultimately heartbreaking. Excellent read.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lucy's Book Review: St. Thomas's Eve, by Jean Plaidy

The story begins with Thomas More’s decision to abandon his hopes of living the monastic life to opt for marriage and family life. He marries the very shy and less learned, Jane Colt. Together they have 4 children - the first-born, a daughter named Margaret (Meg), then Bessy, Cecily and finally, a son named Jack. They also adopt Mercy, who is Meg’s age.

More’s view on education was quite avant-garde for the times. More’s home is open, but not limited to, intellectuals who love to spend time at his place for conversation and discourse. An extremely rare notion back then, More believed that girls should be taught literature and be able to enjoy the same scholarly opportunities as men. He particularly loved the fact that Meg was so much like him- intelligent and compassionate. The two had a wonderful father –daughter relationship which clearly is noted throughout the novel. More, however, never lets on to show any preference for Meg since he always treated all of his children with special love and devotion.

When More’s first wife passes away, he shortly thereafter remarries a woman named Alice Middleton, who actually helped care for his dying wife. With the addition of Alice’s daughter, theirs becomes a full house of merriment, learning, studying and literature. Although More was a lawyer by profession, much of his interests and studies were focused on the Catholic faith and its teachings.

More lived an exemplary life according to the scriptures and the reasoning of the Church. He was much loved by all who knew him. His openness to understanding based upon ‘the teachings’ and his broad knowledge of the Law lead him to high places in the court of Henry VIII (then a staunch Catholic).

Along the years, all of his children married wonderful and respectable people. Alice enjoyed being the proud wife of Thomas More, Lord Chancellor. He was a favourite of the King. Known for his indisputably intact reputation, More’s opinions were respected and chided by all. So long as the King was in accordance with these opinions, More and his family lived a very fine life. Trouble began when the King’s views on a certain matrimonial matter did not match those of Thomas More.

From then on, the story of Thomas More and of his unfaltering and adamant stance for ‘doing what is morally right’ becomes a nightmare for him and his family. This much loved man was reduced to living in the lowest of conditions until he met his tragic fate.

I really enjoyed reading about such a fine man. Thomas More represents all that is wonderful and heroic in the fatherly sense. His morals and obligations towards a higher cause and the elevation of man through his spirituality and love of others are seen throughout the novel. I enjoyed everything about this novel and especially the More family life. How incredibly fortunate was this family to live in such unity and with so much love and kindness. Thomas More was a real life hero and role-model of the times.

This is the first Plaidy novel I read that has more to do with moral integrity rather than intrigue and royal complexities. A very different and reflective read- Loved it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Book Review: Indiscretions of the Queen

Poor Caroline of Brunswick! Did she really not know any better? Could she have maybe toned things down a notch…be a little less eccentric maybe? Regardless, I doubt that would have changed George’s mind in any way…Caroline was doomed from the beginning.

The story of Caroline of Brunswick and her sad marriage of convenience to George, the Prince of Wales- later King George IV of England, could not have joined two of the most mismatched people ever. The very eccentric Caroline was loved by the people of England, while the ever-so- perfect George despised and rebutted. All that the princess ever wanted was a loving family with lots and lots of children. The prince, on the other hand, was totally into himself and all he wanted was fame and to conquer every grandmotherly figure he set eyes on; at the exception of his loving Maria (the poor thing)!

Well, as it seems neither got their way as Caroline gave birth to a precious daughter which she was barely allowed to see- and George, after much ado, managed to lose Maria altogether.

I felt so much compassion for this kind princess and her overly loving ways with people. At the beginning I thought she was very odd, and frankly her issues with hygiene were a bit overwhelming…But after living through her story, I began to feel that there was so much more to this lady. Within that flamboyant self, there actually thrived a simple and pure soul. There was no malice in this lady who used humor to hide her sorrow.

I was particularly touched by the way she helped poor families and how she loved the children so. She built a school for disadvantaged children and opened up her home to all. It’s no wonder that everyone who got to know her on a more personal level also appreciated her goodness. People were able to accept her unusual ways in exchange for her company and friendship.

Although I found the book stalled a bit towards the middle, some of the outrageously funny scenes made up for the anticipation of wondering where all this would result.

I enjoyed reading about Caroline’s life- what a strange royal indeed! And George III is one character I’m not about to forget any time soon. His kindness towards Caroline (the only Royal who actually displayed some compassion) was a times very touching. He was very endearing and sincere in his concern about his family as well. Although he was portrayed as being some sort of an outcast for being unpredictable due to his bouts of mental illness, George was a vivid character who livened up much of the court scenes with his unusual ways and manner of speech.

Indiscretions of the Queen touches on very real basic human issues that are still important today: acceptance, image, deception and mental and emotional suffering…Much to ponder on, yet presented in a very light and uplifting read. Very enjoyable.

Monday, June 29, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: My Enemy the Queen, by Victoria Holt

Here’s a story that webs the lives of Elizabeth I, Lettice Devereux (granddaughter of Mary Boleyn), the Earl of Leicester and finally the Earl of Essex (Lettice’s son)…

In reading this novel, it would seem that Elizabeth had few other interests besides the Earl himself firstly, other young gents, and finally, power. She was portrayed as being ruthless, self-centered, vain, quite nasty, frivolous, superficial and vehemently jealous and possessive. Gee what wonderful traits for a monarch.

Lettice, was actually not any better. This one was portrayed as scheming, devout of morals, sexually insatiable and having very few other interests at heart. Boy did this one need a hobby!

The Earl of Leicester was a man hungry for power, endowed with incredible chameleon prowess when it came to keeping himself latched onto the Queen. Oh, yes, and if one can get past his penchant for murder- I suppose you can call him quite gallant.

The Earl of Essex, being another bird of a feather, had noone else in mind but himself. Totally arrogant, unyielding, a womanizer and royal disturber- this Earl totally enraptured the Queen.

What can I say… absolutely irresistible characters! Talk about an entertaining read. I especially enjoy when Plaidy, oops, Victoria Holt, uses the first person. It’s carried superbly in this novel. There were times when I thought the story dragged a bit (I mean how many shallow details can you read about in just one paragraph?)

So what made this book so interesting for me? Basically, there wasn’t much to the story except the intricacies of the characters’ relationships towards eachother. In one way or another they were all linked like a magnet to the Queen. Despite the fact that I loathed her completely in this novel, in the end, Elizabeth still shone majestically.

Lettice only began to grow on me towards the end, where I finally sensed she could actually care for someone other than herself. Before that I couldn’t quite understand her love-hate need for the Queen.

The Earls were quite secondary in this novel. Their representation only strengthened their humiliating choices to serve and revel in foreplay to an end they could never attain. The ultimate prize for all those concerned : Queen Elizabeth; magnificently unattainable to all.

Another enjoyable read.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: The Thistle and The Rose

This Plaidy novel begins with Margaret Tudor as a young girl. She is portrayed as strong-minded and very defiant, yet close to Henry, her brother. I love the way from the very beginning the two of them go at it in terms of who will rule first. Margaret is so intent on getting married and when all of a sudden it’s decided that she is to be wed to the King James IV of Scotland, although she is somewhat reluctant, she’s also extremely delighted.

From the moment she meets him, she becomes totally enamored with the King, whom she thought to be the handsomest man ever. Margaret is but a young girl, but being a Tudor in every way, her appetite for love is strong and her passions difficult to curb. The King enjoys his young bride and the marriage is seemingly perfect. It’s only when Margaret discovers that the formidably charming and irresistible James is also very much the ladies’ man…her heart is shattered.

King James is a kind man at heart, and although he cannot refute his passions, he still makes sure that his Queen never goes amiss of anything. He respects and nurtures her, and also takes care of her every need. They go through much hardship as the Queen suffers many miscarriages and deaths of their children. Finally, she bears him two sons; future heirs of the Scottish throne.

The happily-ever-married does not last forever…Margaret is terribly hurt from James affairs and she seeks her own adventures. When James dies, she goes on to marry the Lord Angus, to the dismay of all of Scotland. He was a Douglas, and thought to be extremely detrimental for the fate of their country. Nonetheless, Margaret made the terrible decision to marry Angus, for she cold not bear to not live out her lusty passions.

A tragedy suddenly hits when the youngest of her two sons, while under the guidance of the Duke of Albany (brother to the former King James) dies from the pox. Margaret is convinced that Albany wants to be rid of the boys to conquer the throne himself. She compares him to the late Richard III and the boys in the tower. A love-hate relationship begins…

The story unfolds with Margaret in continuous struggle to be back with her son, the King, and rid herself of Albany. But in the meantime, she also discovers Angus to be unfaithful. This leads her to having another affair and then again another marriage…another bad choice. Henry VIII, her brother, who is now King of England, is always in communication with his sister. Many a times, she finds refuge and assistance by his side- except when he does not want to acknowledge her divorce from Angus…for religious purposes (suitable to him until he seeks similar cause with his own once-beloved Anne…)

This story is continuously on the move. Margaret, who is so much like Henry in so many ways, is always ruled by her heart and passions rather than by logic. A Tudor weakness that is too often the blame.

I really enjoyed this novel especially because of the history. From the beginning, right up to the end, starting with Elizabeth of York, all the way to James V’s first wife and Henry’s Jane Seymore, the novel, through its historical figures and happenings, pieces the puzzle of this wonderful time in history.

I totally enjoyed reading about this feisty lady who loved passionately- all she wanted was to find someone who loved her deeply in return...The characters, the history, everything was incredibly entertaining. I highly recommend The Thistle and The Rose to anyone who’d love to read a great summary of what happened back in Scotland, England and France in the times of Margaret and Henry. It’s all Tudors and Stuarts. Loved it!

NOTE: I must also mention that this novel is filled with 'Incidentals'- so you can be sure I'll be writing a few posts on these as well. It's just too juicy.



Monday, July 6, 2009


Can you hear the whispering around this lady’s ‘accidental’ death? For the longest time there was (and historians are still not settled on this one), doubt on how Amy Robsart Dudley died.

She and Robert Dudley (the then future Earl of Leicester) were both married around the age of eighteen. Dudley was a busy guy even back then, when his father took him often to Court with him. When Edward VI died, Dudley was part of the plan to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne and was consequently sent to ther Tower. Amy visited him there regularly.

When he was released, Dudley led a very eventful life in Court and this was even more so when Elizabeth reigned. Amy began to feel neglected and often depressed. The rumours of her husband being the Queen’s favourite and having an alleged affair, along with the suspicions of him marrying Elizabeth upon her death, nearly drove her mad.

There’s another side to this however…Amy was also known to suffer from what we now know as breast cancer (possibly causing debilitating pain and an associated depressive state- leading to suicide). It’s also speculated that she may have suffered from osteoporosis (which could explain her fragile neck easily breaking from the fall). Other thories have given light to the possibility of Amy having had an aneurysm (which either caused the fall –or happened immediately after)…

Nevertheless, on a Sunday in 1560, Amy decided that her servants, despite their contrarity to this, should go to the Fair. She remained at home with Lady Owen. When the servants returned they found Amy dead at the bottom of the staircase.

Did she have a stroke? Was she depressed enough to finally end it all? Was she pushed down the stairs? Was this a contracted hit? Or had she simply slipped down the stairs? History still isn’t clear on any of it. Without alluding to any partaking of sides in this very shady situation, the fact still remains that Robert Dudley never ran to the fatal scene to be by Amy’s side; nor did he even attend her funeral…

Any idea as to what really might have happened?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

INCIDENTAL PLAIDY LADY: Augusta Caroline Frederika Louise of Brunswick

Duchess Augusta Caroline Frederika Louise of Brunswick – Wolfenbüttel (Dec. 3, 1764- Sept. 27, 1788)

What a short tragic life this German princess led…Seems like the Brunswick sisters had the worse of luck when it came to marriage.

Augusta, Caroline of Brunswick's eldest sister ( often called ‘Zelmira’ by her family), is mentioned early on in ‘Indiscretions of the Queen’. Her upcoming marriage to Prince Frederick Wilhelm Karl of Würtenburg and the exciting notion of having a husband was a thrilling event. Caroline especially aspired to this and couldn’t wait to be the next one in line for marriage. Little did she know that her sister’s marriage would be doomed right from the start.

And, if you think Caroline had it bad- Augusta’s fairytale, (if one can even call it that) was a horrible nightmare. Prince charming turned out to be a brutal man who was repeatedly violent towards her. He made her life so unbearable that she escaped to find refuge within the realm of Empress Catherine II. To rid herself of the rogue, Augusta seeked help from the Empress because going to her family was useless. Her father could not understand her situation and refused her from getting a divorce.

The desolate Princess confined herself to the estates where she was placed in the custody of Wilhelm von Pohlman. Compare one brute to the other, this man was no different. Taking advantage of his position, he apparently forced himself upon her repeatedly- she soon became pregnant with his child.

Poor Augusta went into premature labor and suffered severe complications…The coward, for fear of letting out his secret of having fathered and illegitimate child, left her to die without providing her with medical care. She hemorrhaged to death. Her family was notified of her death and told that she died from a bursting blood vessel. The truth only came out later when her eldest son had the whole mystery investigated.

Here ends the tragic life of another ‘injured’ princess of Brunswick.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Incidental Plaidy Lady: Elizabeth Barton

Elizabeth Barton (circa 1506 – 1534)

Such controversy about this lady! She’s referred to briefly in Plaidy’s St. Thomas’s Eve (The King’s Confidante) as one of the voices against King Henry’s right to divorce.

The ‘Nun of Kent’, as she was otherwise known, was against Henry’s religious reform (in order to permit his divorce to Queen Catherine and proceed to marry Anne Boleyn) and prophesized that if the King were to marry Anne, he would die right after, along with other doom and gloom events that were sure to happen in consequence…

When she was about fifteen and working as a servant in Kent, she became very ill and often fell into trances after that. Her visions were of a religious nature. Elizabeth became a Benedictine nun shortly after having the religious authorities verify the validity of her predictions and seeings. She had great credibility among the faithful who believed and were inspired by her prophesies.

This posed a great problem for Henry VIII, since he feared (not only the nun’s predictions) but also the people’s opinions. The King need not have anything encumber his way. So by Henry’s orders, off went the non of Kent.. executed for treason and hanged at the Tyburn gallows in Westminster.

So, for some Elizabeth was an imposter and for others a saint; a debatable issue on the side of both Catholics and Protestants alike.

What is your opinion on Elizabeth Barton?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Incidental Plaidy Lady: Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia (19 August 1596 – 13 February 1662

Briefly mentioned in Princess of Celle, this Queen, who was a great beauty, was also the mother of Duchess Sophia. She is briefly mentioned in Plaid’s novel through Duchess’ Sophia’s thoughts of her. Apparently, this charming Queen was very much loved by all. In fact, she was known as the ‘Queen of Hearts.’ But to Duchess Sophia, the Queen was not always accessible. She also felt a bit neglected by her, it seemed. The Duchess referred to her mother, the Queen, as preferring the company of her dogs and monkeys as opposed to that of her children…

Elizabeth, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia, was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth l. she was the eldest daughter of King James Vl of Scotland and James l of England and Ireland and Anne of Denmark (Queen of Scotland, England and Ireland).

At the age of seventeen, she married Frederick V, then Elector of the Palatinate. Six years later, Frederick accepted the crown of Bohemia. Consequently, Elizabeth became Queen of Bohemia.

When driven into exile, the Royal couple moved to Holland, where Frederick would later die, in 1632. Queen Elizabeth would pass away thirty years later. Meanwhile, Duchess Sophia would succeed as Electress and her son, King George would attain the Throne of England. Resulting that from that point on, all monarchs after George l are descendants of this Bohemian Queen of Hearts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Incidental Plaidy Lady: Eleanor Talbot Butler (?-1468)

The story behind this lady is that she was instrumental in indirectly putting Richard of Gloucester on the throne.
Apparently, it all began after the passing of Eleanor’s husband (Sir Thomas Butler), whose father could not repossess two properties because he didn’t have the appropriate transfer permit to do so. As a result of bad (or non-existent) paper work, Edward lV took advantage of this opportunity to seize them himself.
Since Lady Eleanor wanted her properties back, she went directly to the king and asked for these in return. Being the ladies’ man that he was, Edward did what he did best when it came to women; he tried to seduce her. Story has it that Eleanor did not succumb. Rather, she came out of this with both her properties and a pre-contract of marriage. Whatever happened after that is a mystery…except that Edward then secretly went on to marry Elizabeth of Woodville (Why all the hush? Was he worried about Eleanor coming around and spilling the beans?)
Someone else though, it seems, was ready to tell all…that awful nuisance of a brother, George the Duke of Clarence. We’ll never know if he truly succeeded but one thing we do know is that he was found drowned in his favourite drink. This would all come out after Edward’s death, with Robert Stillington, Bishop of Bath, confessing that he knew the whole thing to be the truth, since he was the one who had married them…really? He had apparently shared some of this truth when he did time in the tower with Clarence. After this announcement Edward’s boys were no longer legitimate heirs to the throne. And- Richard of Gloucester became King Richard lll.
So what of Lady Eleanor Talbot Butler? The truth behind her marriage to Edward will continue to remain a mystery, since Henry Vll asked that all copies of the acts deposing Edward be destroyed. But- after Richard’s death, new evidence by Tudor historians found that after all that, Eleanor was not the one! Stillington actually had another woman named Elizabeth Lucy (also known as Elizabeth Wayte) married to Edward.
All we do know for sure is that Eleanor ‘died in a convent in June 1468 and was buried in the Church of the White Carmelites, in England’.
Artist: Mark Satchwill:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

INSTRUMENTAL Plaidy Lady : Duchess Sophia (from Princess of Celle)

Duchess Sophia of Hanover- Electress of Brunswick-Luneberg (October 14, 1630- June 8, 1714)

What a gal…always beautiful and placid in portraits; nothing like what she’s depicted in the Princesse of Celle…

Duchess Sophia was the youngest of 5 daughters of our Incidental lady, Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. She was actually born in Exile and when she was older went to live with her brother Chatrles II Louis. From a very young age, she was very bright and determined. The Duchess was very literate and enjoyed the works of Descartes and the likes. Her main concern was becoming Queen of England, and this would have been possible if only (as she'd hoped)her cousin Anne had passed away before her.

Obtaining the crown was a lifelong quest for Duchess Sophia. After agreeing to marrying Ernest August, in a marriage of convenience, she was always devising ways of escalating her name and family’s worth- through titles, money and properties. She never let any of her emotions rule her.

Duchess Sophia was also the mother of George I; whom she considered to be the dullest of her sons and the least worthy of the throne. Of all the emotions she managed to keep in check, her jealousy towards her French sister-in-law, Eleonore d'Esmier d'Olbreuse was the only one she could not contain. She despised this woman for having a loving relationship with her husband and for raising the seemingly perfect princess, Sophia Dorothea.

Despite the jealousy, her love of money and quest for power prevailed. Against the will of both Eleanore and Sophia Dorothea, Duchess Sophia was instrumental in the evolution and planning of the marriage between her son George Lewis and Sophia Dorothea- a marriage of convenience, reconciliation between the fathers, and a chance of uniting royalty.

Duchess Sophia was a rather healthy lady who lived a long life. She met her end one afternoon after her daily walk in her gardens. To seek shelter from a sudden downpour, Sophia ran for cover and suddenly collapsed. She was 83. Her cousin, Anne, died a few months after that... 


Monday, June 15, 2009

Detrimental Plaidy Lady: Lady Jersey

So here’s the story of another detrimental lady that takes almost center stage in Plaidy’s ‘Indiscretions of the Queen’. This detrimental was no other than the conniving Lady Jersey, born Frances Twysden (1753 – 1821).

If we stick to the saying that ‘the apple doesn’t fall...,’ I guess it would be no shock to learn that she was the daughter of a disreputable bishop- or that at the young age of seventeen she eagerly married Georges Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey, who was twenty years her senior. And- that throughout her marriage, Lady Jersey kept herself quite busy flaunting and romancing with numerous members of the English aristocracy.

Her affair with the Prince of Wales began when she was almost thirty years-old, but she would only become Senior royal mistress some twelve years later (by then she was also a grandmother). In the meantime though, she opened her home as the meeting place for high society gambling and her salon was renowned for being the ‘in’ place for social rendez-vous; such a classy gal!

Lady Jersey was quite the schemer as well. She was personally responsible for encouraging the Prince of Wales to marry Caroline of Brunswick. Knowing very well that Caroline would never appeal to George, Lady Jersey was in fact securing her place at Court. She had even managed to lure George from his ‘supposed’ wife Maria Fitzherbert.

Lady Jersey kept her position and the right to run the Prince’s life as she pleased. Her sole purpose was retaining position as she destroyed everyone else’s. Her scheming was such that she even managed to win Queen Charlotte’s favour and trust (convincing the Queen that anyone was better than Caroline-gasp!)

Finally in 1803, she was replaced by a new grandmotherly figure in George IV’s life. But this did not limit Lady Jersey; she found great pleasure in pursuing her lurid diversions which continued even after the death of her husband. According to her, she had had a wonderful marriage producing ten children. Lady Jersey really did live a ‘fruitful’ (or should we say, detrimental) life.

Friday, May 1, 2009

DETRIMENTAL Plaidy Lady: Clara von Platen (from Princess of Celle)

Countess Clara Elisabeth Von Platen was born Clara Elisabeth von Meysenbug (1648-1700) a daughter of Georg Philip von Meysenbug.

Conniving by nature and extremely manipulative, her determination to succeed at all costs in terms of ranking, money and power led her to the position of mistress to Ernest Augustus. From that point, she was able to control and operate the dealings through Ernest Augustus’power. She obtained the Countess title and high ranking positions for her husband of convenience, Franz Ernst Graf von Platen.

Her debut in the court of Hanover was schemed by her own father and assisted by the help of her sister. Clara danced and used her French savoire-faire, learned in Versailles under Louis’ rule to astonish and mesmerize the German court. This is where she slowly but surely enraptured Ernest Augustus.

Being ravenous by nature, her greed and wants did not end with Ernest Augustus. Clara was known to have other lovers as well. She seemingly fell for the Count Philip of Konigsmarck and could not bare any other woman to be by his side...especially Sophia Dorothea.

She became extremely possessive of him to the point, it is believed she was directly responsible for his murder. Clara was deviously into everyone’s lives for the purpose of advancing her own destiny. At the end, the woman who had been detrimental in destroying the lives of so many, died an excruciatingly painful death. 



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Day in the Diary of a Plaidy Mystery-Lady...

I dislike my sister-in-law. She’s always watching over us like a hawk. She and her husband are both so afraid that my beautiful daughter will inherit everything.

They’ve stripped me of my title, but they won’t keep my daughter from getting what is duly hers. My husband loves me and will do anything to make me happy.

All I want is for my daughter to be legitimate. I shall write to the highest authority…Only he can understand and grant me my wish. The future of my beautiful daughter is all I can think about…

Who is this mystery lady? 


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Plaidy Mystery Lady # 2

If I had lived, I would have been Queen of The UK. Things were different for me from the very beginning though. You could say I had a wild streak…probably from my mother’s side. It seems my father loved me at the beginning…but then things changed. He never let my Mom mother me the way she should; heaven knows he certainly seemed to be in constant search of a motherly figure himself! Ahh the perils of being kept from your eccentric, yet loving mother- especially when I needed her most! How terribly sad for both of us… Things could have been different if my dad would have given the marriage a chance….

Do you recognize who I am?


Plaidy HUNK vs. Plaidy FLUNK
According to the depiction in Princess of Celle...

Count Philip Konigsmarck (March 4, 1665- July 2 , 1694: Handsome, beautiful manners, a real gentleman, passionate and caring, and a warrior of merit, class and fame…


George Lewis (later GeorgeI): Ruthlessly barbaric, no stance- no poise, no charm, ill-mannered, vulgar, dim, dull, uncaring and unemotional, unkept, void of spirit and of emotion…

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