Thursday, February 21, 2013


Today here on EBJ - History Salon, as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour,
I have the great pleasure of  interviewing Anne Easter Smith,

Welcome to EBJ- History Salon, Anne,
1-In your opinion why is it that it took so long to find Richard's bones- is conspiracy perhaps part of the answer?

Interesting theory, Lucy, but I honestly can’t buy it! It was known where the bones were up until the dissolution of the monasteries in Henry VIII’s time, and Greyfriars along with every other monstery in England was ransacked and desecrated. There was then a rumor that Richard’s grave had been dug up, his bones thrown in the nearby River Soar, and the sarcophagus used as a horse trough. There was a small monument that Henry VII felt he ought to pay for placed in the church about eight years after Bosworth, with Richard’s name on it, and the last time it was seen was as part of a garden of a residence built around the ruins of the old Grehfriars Church a couple of hundred years ago. By this time, poor Richard had such an awful reputation, no one bothered to look around. Even when I joined the Society 20 years ago, we believed the bones in the river story. We were sad not to have a gravesite to visit, but there it was. All that was done in the more recent past by the Society was a plaque nailed to a wall by the car park that said Richard’s bones might be lying somewhere near this spot. It was Philippa Langley, president of the Scottish Branch of the Society, who decided to do more than accept the belief that the bones had simply disappeared and made a ten-year study of a possible site.

2- Again pertaining to Richard, why do people have such strong feelings about this royal; either hate, or love?

The case against Rchard begun by the Tudor historians, Rous, Hall and Holinshed, continued by Sir Thomas More (“Historie of King Richard III”) and subsequently Shakespeare was hard to refute. They painted a compelling portrait of a hunchbacked, evil tyrant and only a few writers in later centuries (Sir George Buck in the 17th century and Horace Walpole in the 18th century) tried to rectify Richard’s unfair reputation, but they fell on deaf ears. The creation of the Richard III Society in the 1920s has led several 20th century scholars to revise the history books, and with many of we novelists also doing our jobs in helping to debunk the Tudor writers, the history books are gradually changing their tone about this much-maligned king.

3- In your upcoming novel, what inspired you to write about this favourite mistress? 

I wanted to make sure I didn’t give King Edward IV short shrift in my series about the York family in the Wars of the Roses. Edward certainly was featured in three of them (he was already long dead when “The King’s Grace” began), and I thought about using  his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, to tell his story, but she has already been written about enough, so I turned to Jane Shore. When I discovered what a dramatic tale hers was, I could not resist! It also brought me full circle from my first book “A Rose for the Crown” in which my protagonist was an ordinary medieval woman to this daughter of a silk merchant in the city of London--another commoner. I love delving into every-day medieval life and find being in a castle constantly with my royal protagonists a totally different experience.

4- Lastly, what advice can you give aspiring authors in finding the heroine they want to write about? Where's a good place to get started?

In my case, it was Richard’s story I wanted to tell but I didn’t dare try and get into the head of a man -- they are so complicated! So I looked around for someone who could tell a good story and who had not been written about before. His wife, Anne Neville’s point of view is often told -- in fact there are two historical novels about her out right now! While I was researching Richard, I kept seeing references to his sister Margaret and she fascinated me more and more, so became the protagonist of “Daughter of York.” In “The King’s Grace” I went back to a minor character to tell the Perkin Warbeck story and again, doing my research on him, I ran across the one line in history that mentions Edward IV’s bastard daughter, Grace. And voila, my next heroine! I have to feel a connection and there has to be an “aha!” moment for me. You must write about someone you are passionate about or the words won’t come!

Thanks so much for hosting me, Lucy.

Thank you Anne! 

About the Book

Publication Date:  May 7, 2013 | Touchstone | 512p

From the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses, telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IV.

Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore—but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance.

This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years, and told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well.

About the Author

Anne Easter Smith is an award-winning historical novelist whose research and writing concentrates on England in the 15th century. Meticulous historical research, rich period detail, and compelling female protagonists combine to provide the reader with a sweeping portrait of England in the time of the Wars of the Roses. Her critically acclaimed first book, A Rose for the Crown, debuted in 2006, and her third, The King’s Grace, was the recipient of a Romantic Times Review Best Biography award in 2009. A Queen by Right has been nominated by Romantic TImes Review for the Best Historical Fiction award, 2011.
For full Blog Tour with Anne Easter Smith, see HERE.

1 comment:

Jenny Girl said...

Lovely interview! I LOVED Queen by Right. Looking forward to reading this one as well :)