Mary – Tudor Princess
by Tony Riches
From the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her.
Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?
Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this ‘sequel’ follows Mary’s story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.
Excerpt from Chapter Nine – 1514
Mary noted the look of disdain from Countess Louise. Dressed in white mourning clothes, she’d wasted no time in taking control. The whole of Paris came to a standstill as the grand procession made its way to Notre-Dame, where Louis was laid to rest with undue haste at the side of Anne of Brittany.
‘You must retire now to your mourning chapel, as is our custom.’ It sounded like an order to a disobedient child.
Mary stared at Countess Louise. She had little time for French customs. ‘For how long?’ She tried to sound assertive yet it sounded petulant.
‘Until it can be established that you are not with child.’ Her tone suggested she doubted it. ‘One month or two.’
‘I refuse to be shut away. I must write to my brother the king, there is too much to do.’
‘You cannot refuse,’ Louise’s voice sounded harsher now, ‘and King Henry has of course been informed.’
Mary realised she could make a dangerous enemy by resisting the will of the countess. ‘I agree on condition my secretary is permitted to see me to take letters to England.’
The countess gave a curt nod. ‘I am pleased you respect our customs. You are the Dowager Queen of France and will want for nothing while you are in mourning.’ She softened a little for the first time. ‘You might pray for my son, that he will be a wise and noble king.’
Mary agreed. She had no choice. She entered the darkened rooms of Cluny Palace, overlooking the Seine, and heard the door close behind her with a thump. Looking around she saw an altar with a blue-robed statue of the Virgin and a few prayer books. Worst of all, the windows and walls and even her bed were hung with heavy black cloth, blocking the light.
She shivered in the cold, turned back and tried to open the door. It rattled in the frame as she shook the handle, realising it had been locked from the outside. She called out but heard no reply.
She’d been tricked. The duke’s scheming mother had made sure nothing would stand in the way of her son’s coronation. Even a king who clung to the last of his life despite his pain. Mary crossed to the altar and kneeled before it. Taking a taper, she lit it from the solitary candle and lit a second for Louis. As she watched the yellow flame take hold she recalled the last words Louis said to her, ‘Je t’aime mon ange,’ and wept.
About the Author
Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors.
Update: This post’s title has been corrected to reflect its spotlight status,
as opposed to blog tour, which was added in error.