Guest Post by Susan Higginbotham + Giveaway of Her Highness, the Traitor

Please welcome author Susan Higginbotham to Passages to the Past today!  Susan is here with a guest post in honor of the release of her latest novel Her Highness, the Traitor.  And thanks to Sourcebooks I also have one copy up for grabs!

Chelsea: The Manor of Queens 

Several important scenes in Her Highness, the Traitor take place at the royal manor of Chelsea in Middlesex. Now a vital part of London, the area of Chelsea in Tudor England was still a country retreat. 

Jane Seymour
The neighborhood had two residences strongly associated with the Tudors: the royal manor and Thomas More’s house. It was the latter house, not the royal manor, where Jane Seymour was brought on May 14, 1536, to await her marriage to Henry VIII while Anne Boleyn in the Tower awaited her trial and execution. The manor of Chelsea did not come to the crown until July 14, 1536, when William, Lord Sandys, granted it and other land to the king in exchange for other property. 



Henry VIII is recorded as visiting his new acquisition only in May 1538. In May 1541, however, both Katherine Howard and her stepdaughter, the future Elizabeth I, went there by barge on several occasions. Henry did expend funds on the gardens at Chelsea, where cherry trees, red peach trees, damask roses, lavender, and rosemary were planted and tended. 

Katherine Parr
Katherine Parr is the queen most closely associated with Chelsea. She was granted the manor as part of her jointure in 1544 and moved there after Henry VIII’s death in 1547. 

It was at Chelsea that Katherine carried on a love affair with the new king’s uncle, Thomas Seymour, detailed in a series of letters. In a letter written early in their courtship, Katherine apologized for writing Thomas sooner than expected, but explained, “Howbeit, the time is well abbreviated, by what means I know not, except the weeks be shorter in Chelsea than in other places.” In another letter, Katherine, now signing herself as “your humble, true, and loving wife,” instructed Seymour, “When it shall be your pleasure to repair hither, ye must take some pain to come early in the morning, that ye may be gone again by seven o’clock. And so, I suppose, ye may come without suspect. I pray you let me have knowledge overnight at what hour ye will come, that your portress may wait at the gate to the fields for you.” 

The teenage Princess Elizabeth, known as the Lady Elizabeth, was living in the household of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. It was while the household was at Chelsea that Thomas Seymour began indulging in sexually charged horseplay with Elizabeth: stealing into the princess’s chamber before she was up in the morning, striking her upon her back or buttocks, and pulling open her bed curtains and making as if he would come at her. To put a stop to this, Katherine Parr, now pregnant with Seymour’s child, finally sent the young Elizabeth to live elsewhere. 

Tragically, Katherine Parr, having moved to Sudeley Castle to await her coming child, died of complications following childbirth. The royal manor of Chelsea returned to the crown. 

The next occupant of Chelsea was John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In November 1552, the ambassador Jehan Scheyfve wrote, ”The Duke of Northumberland keeps his room at Chelsea, in a little house belonging to the King about two miles from Westminster, on the Thames.” Northumberland spent the last Christmas season of his life, 1552-53, there. Often ailing and depressed in the last years of his life, Northumberland may have believed that Chelsea was conducive to his health. In a particularly gloomy letter written from Chelsea to William Cecil, he asked, “And now, by extreme sickness and otherwise constrained to seek some health and quietness, I am not without a new evil imagination of men. What should I wish any longer this life, that seeth such frailty in it? Surely, but for a few children which God hath sent me, which also helpeth to pluck me on my knees, I have no great cause to desire to tarry much longer here.” 

Jane Grey
In May 1553, Northumberland’s son Guildford married Lady Jane Grey. According to Jane, after hearing the unwelcome news from the Duchess of Northumberland that Edward VI had named her his heir, Jane got permission to go to Chelsea, where she fell ill. (Jane, who had been Thomas Seymour’s ward during and after his marriage to Katherine Parr, had likely stayed at Chelsea during Katherine Parr’s tenancy there, though she seems to have been insulated from the goings-on involving Seymour, the queen, and the Lady Elizabeth.) It was at Chelsea that Jane was summoned by Northumberland’s daughter Mary Sidney to go to Sion, where she heard of the death of Edward VI and accepted the crown. 

Northumberland was executed on August 22, 1553, after Jane’s brief reign collapsed. The new queen, Mary I, allowed Northumberland’s widow, Jane Dudley, to live at Chelsea. The Duchess of Northumberland died at Chelsea in January 1555 and was buried in nearby Chelsea Old Church. The church was damaged during the Blitz, but it, and Jane’s tomb, survived the bombardment. 

Anne of Cleves
With the Duchess of Northumberland gone, Chelsea was free to receive another queenly tenant: Anne of Cleves, whose marriage to Henry VIII had been dissolved years before. Anne did not have long to enjoy Chelsea, for she died there on July 16, 1557, at about three in the morning. Her body was taken to Westminster for burial. 

Anne of Cleves was the last queen to reside at Chelsea, although Elizabeth I visited the manor after it passed into the hands of Charles Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. The Tudor palace known to Henry VIII, his wives, and his children was demolished between 1759 and 1765 and its site covered by the houses and gardens of 19-26 Cheyne Walk. 


Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Sourcebooks
323p

{SYNOPSIS}

As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI.

For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another step upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane, it means that she—and the Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England.

Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure.

Giveaway Information

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- Giveaway is open to US and Canada ONLY.
- +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- +3 additional entries follow me on Twitter.
- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook or Google+.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on June 19th.

Thanks to Susan Higginbotham for the fabulous guest post and to Sourcebooks for sponsoring the giveaway!  Good luck to all!


52 comments:

  1. This sounds really interesting. I would love to see how the two work together, to get more power.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't want to enter the giveaway. I just wanted to say thanks for the fascinating post! I love Susan Higginbotham's books and can't wait to read this one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. +5 – being a follower – gfc – griperang
    +3 – follow facebook page Angela (Newcomb) Holland
    +3 – twitter follower - @griperang
    +1 - posting on twitter - https://twitter.com/griperang/status/209966568891879426
    +1 – posting on facebook - http://www.facebook.com/angela.holland.359?ref=tn_tnmn#!/angela.holland.359/posts/245861925515775
    +1 – posting on blog - http://griperangsbookmarks.blogspot.com/p/giveaways.html
    +1 – posting on google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/115100497418423360820#115100497418423360820/posts/hTzmAEMRRSz

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have read Alison Weir's Innocent Traitor. I felt sorry for Miss Grey. The only joy in her short life was her learning. I'm looking forward to downloading Susan Higginbotham's novel on my Kindle.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read and enjoyed the author's Traitor's Wife, and would love to read this novel. Thanks for the giveaway.

    +5 Google follower

    lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can you even imagine if those (now destroyed) walls could talk! I wonder if any of the royal and rich occupants still roam the land where the house once sat...it is so sad they destroyed it!

    +5. GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
    +3. Facebook member (Colleen Turner).
    +1. Shared on Facebook.
    +1. Shared on Google+.

    Thanks Amy!
    candc320@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've heard really good things about this author. Would love to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. A fascinating history of Chelsea manor in Tudor times. Please enter my name for a chance to win a copy of Her Highness, the Traitor.

    carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    - +5 I am an email follower of PttP: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx
    - +3 I am also a member of the Passages to the Past FB Page: Carl Scott
    - +3 I do follow on Twitter: @carlrscott
    - +1 Tweeted: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/210022265495109632

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another great sounding book.
    I follow on:
    facebook
    GFC
    Twitter

    I shared on
    facebook
    twitter
    google+

    Thanks!
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. This sounds like such a great premise. I love that the two women scheme and make a small but calculated impact on history. And I love reading about the history of places. It makes them seem so alive.
    I follow you on gfc and twitter. I posted the giveaway on my sidebar!
    Thanks!
    Allisonmharper(at)hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. This book sounds wonderful!
    +5 Email follower- PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com
    +3 Joined Facebook Group

    Thank you for the very informative blog. What a world it was for those in the royal homes! I will gladly stay in my life!

    Phoenix Carvelli
    PhoenixCarvelli(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just love Susan's work, so sign me up for the drawing, please!

    Jo Ann Butler
    joann(at)rebelpuritan(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. It doesn't sound like many of the residents of Chelsea enjoyed good health or long lives. I enjoyed one of Higginbotham's previous books, so I'm sure this will be a delight as well.
    Thanks for the contest :)

    jennygirl73[at]gmail[dot]com
    +5 old skool follower
    +3 Twitter follower

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't read much about Jane Grey - I would love to learn more. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I am A GFC Follower
    ashley.l.mikowski@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love to read about this time period.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. #1 I follow via GFC

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. #2 I follow via GFC

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. #3 I follow via GFC

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. #4 I follow via GFC

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. #5 I follow via GFC

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. #1 I joined the Passages to the Past FB Page.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. #2 I joined the Passages to the Past FB Page.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. #3 I joined the Passages to the Past FB Page.

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I posted on my FB wall: https://www.facebook.com/clenna/posts/112110138929165

    clenna at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love to learn more about Lady Jane Grey. I know Susan is a good writer and would really like to win Her Highness the Traitor.
    I follow on facebook, the internet and email
    Ecol904046@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sounds interesting

    cyderryATyahooDOTcom
    Chèli
    Cheli's Shelves

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am a follower


    cyderryATyahooDOTcom
    Chèli
    Cheli's Shelves

    ReplyDelete
  28. Spreading the word on my blog sidebar!


    cyderryATyahooDOTcom
    Chèli
    Cheli's Shelves

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'd love to win this book.
    michyellowrose@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love historical novels!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I follow via email.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would love to win a copy, and I'm a follower. shoshanahinla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. That was a great post by Susan Higginbotham--I had no idea about the history of the manor of Chelsea.

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

    Google follower
    FaceBook follower

    ReplyDelete
  34. Would love to enter. I'm a follower.

    Lisa.2713@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would love to win this book !
    Thanks ! Lynda

    Lynda716@hotmail.com
    +5

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've loved all of Susan Higgenbotham's novels and I'm excited for this new one. I'm a follower- thanks for the giveaway!

    Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would love to learn more about this time period.
    Kathleenbianchi@ymail.com
    I follow on facebook
    I follow on twitter
    I tweeted
    I shared on facebook

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you for the book giveaway. mkbrow at sbcglobal dot net

    ReplyDelete
  39. No need to enter me in the giveaway. I just wanted to say thanks for Susan's post! I love knowing the story behind the story! :-)

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'd love to win this. I'm a Facebook follower, too.

    cas2201@barnard.edu

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks for the chance to win this book!
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. +5 gfc - mamabunny13
    +3 Fb-mamabunny shelor
    +3 twitter @mamabunny13
    +1 tweet https://twitter.com/mamabunny13/status/210833549497090048

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh I just can't get enough of the Tudors!

    -5+ blog follower

    -3+ fb follower

    -3+ twitter follower

    -1+ shared on fb

    -1+ tweeted on twitter

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Would love to win this interesting story. Enjoy learning about Lady Jane Grey. Thx 4 the chance!!

    follower of Passages to the Past(Lori Thomas)

    follow Passages to the Past FB Page(Tudor Rose)

    follow u on Twitter(CrftyDuchess)

    tweeted(https://twitter.com/CrftyDuchess/status/210835919421448193)

    shared on fb(https://www.facebook.com/CrftyDuchess/posts/475839562429830)

    shared on google+(https://plus.google.com/114074766130396757576/posts/3BubLYwx7xf)


    ctymice at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sounds delicious! I've been spending a lot of time in the Tudor court lately. Thanks for the giveaway!

    sidhekist at gmail dot com

    +5+3+3

    ReplyDelete
  46. Oooooh, what a giveaway! Please enter me, plus I am already a follower of this blog!

    beth-martin(AT)live(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. This sounds like a great read...I love all things Tudor-related!

    +5 - GFC follower (Kristin T.)
    +3 - Facebook member (Kristin Fullam Thorvaldsen)

    Thanks!
    ~Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  48. Forgot to leave my email.

    k2reader (at) gmaail (dot) com

    Thanks!
    ~Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  49. I've been seeing this book around the blog-o-sphere and it looks pretty good! I love when you have the author share stuff. Wow, seems like Chelsea did not have the best juju. Crazy.

    Thanks!

    +5 I follow
    +3 Follow FB
    +3 Follow Twitter
    +1 Sharing via Twitter & FB

    Amanda
    libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'd love to win this giveaway!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm an historical fiction junkie! Would love to read this book!
    + 5 blog follower
    +3 Twitter follower fionawellsley
    1+ google +
    caseycmead@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I love historical fiction, I am sure I would love to win.

    Ilene @ Papagil@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete

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