Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneak Peek Inside The Tudor Throne (a.k.a. Mary & Elizabeth)


All I have ever wanted was to be loved, to find on this earth a love as true and everlasting as God’s.”
As Father lay dying, I remembered a time when he had well and truly loved me; a time when he had called me the most valuable jewel in his kingdom, his most precious pearl, dearer than any diamond. Those were the days when he would burst through the door, like the bright golden sun imperiously brushing aside an ugly black rain cloud, and sweep me up into his arms and ask “How fares my best sweetheart?” and kiss me and call me “the pearl of my world!” Easter of the year I turned five, upon a whim of his, to illustrate this, he had me dressed in a white gown, cap, and dainty little shoes so densely encrusted with pearls I seemed to be wearing nothing else, they were sewn so thick and close. And when I walked into the royal chapel between him and my mother, holding their hands, turning my head eagerly from left to right to smile up at them, I walked in love.

On my next birthday, my sixth, I awoke to find a garden of fragrant rosemary bushes, one for each year of my life, growing out of gilded pots, their branches spangled with golden tinsel and glowing mysteriously from within with circles of rosy pink, sunny yellow, sapphire blue, emerald green, and ruby red light, emanating, I discovered, from little lanterns with globes of colored glass concealed inside. My father had created a veritable fairyland for me, peopled with beautiful fairies and evil imps, grotesque goblins and mischievous elves, leering trolls, playful pixies, crook-backed gnomes, and gossamer-winged sprites, and the Fairy Queen herself, flame-haired and majestic in emerald green, all made of sugar and marzipan in a triumph of confectioner’s art. I stood before them timid and unsure, hardly daring to move or breathe, in case they truly were real and might work some terrible magic upon me if I dared interfere with them, until Father laughed and bit the head off a hobgoblin to show me I had nothing to fear. And there were four gaily costumed dwarves, two little women and two little men, every seam, and even their tiny shoes and caps, sewn with rows of tiny tinkling gold bells, to cavort and dance and play with me. We joined hands and danced rings around the rosemary bushes until we grew dizzy and fell down laughing. And when I sat down to break my fast, Father took it upon himself to play the servant and wait upon me. When he tipped the flagon over my cup, golden coins poured out instead of breakfast ale and overflowed into my lap and spilled onto the floor where the dwarves gathered them up for me.

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