Anne Neville—Character blog
Today Rose was married. So, after these sickly, anxious months since I was saved, she and I are once—and perhaps for all--parted. She and her husband Fletcher have gone north with others of Duke Richard’s servants, all of them for Middleham keep. How strange to think the castle where I spent so much of my childhood is now Richard’s! And how terrible to think that this has come to pass because my great father Warwick and the Prince of Lancaster, my young husband, have been slain! In rebellion, we Nevilles have lost our lands and honors.
So much has happened—my father changing his allegiance from White Rose to Red, my marriage to Edward—oh Edward, so handsome, so charming! There have been terrifying sea voyages, the dark webs of the Court of France, and then the battles. I have seen so much death, more than I could ever have imagined. I have seen horrors--the heads of men I knew--rotting upon spikes.
Here on earth, I have had a glimpse of hell, filled with monsters who aped men. I have entered the heat, smoke and grease of kitchens—and of far worse places of which I shall never speak. I’ve heard people say unutterable things as if they were common-place—and in their low, filthy, sinful world, perhaps they are. I have prayed on my knees for months now, telling Hail Mary, but if I did this for the rest of my life it would not pay the debt I owe The Blessed Mother for saving me from the oubliette to which my brother-in-law had consigned me. With Her Divine Hand aiding my dear cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, I have fetched up in this holy place, a survivor of the shipwreck of my father’s ambition.
Ladies Margaret and Grace, sent by my mother from Beaulieu, are again by my side, so I shall not lack for company and good service. Still, I shall ever miss my Rosie. She and I have been together for so many years, since my Countess mother brought her, so solemn and freckled, home to serve me. Rose was my handmaid, my nurse, my sweet bedmate who kept me safe from the Nightmare, who faithfully nursed me when I was sick. Rose kept all my secrets, until I learned to keep them for myself. And once more she has healed me. Together we have seen so many terrors-- the folly and evil of war, and the end of childhood.
Yes, I shall miss Rose very much, but as my mother has so often insisted, it is past time for her to live in her world and me to live in mine. All the old nursery comforts must be put aside. I shall be married to Richard, as I’d always hoped, whenever the King sees fit to let that happen. If my lord and I are to be content, Rose must be sent away, not only for her future good, but for our own.
Roan Rose - Excerpt
At this juncture, I suddenly took it into my head that Richard had received permission from the king to marry Anne. Oh, to escape the confines St. Martin's and return to Middleham and our wide Yorkshire sky! Thrilled by the idea, I colored.
Richard noticed my blush. "Do you anticipate me, Rose?" A servant had appeared, carrying a silver basin. He began to wash his hands in the scented water.
"I do not know, my Lord of Gloucester, but I do pray we shall soon make return to Middleham."
He dried his hands upon a towel presented by another servant and then motioned them both away. "Do you speak of my marriage to your lady?"
"I pray that is the matter, Milord."
"I pray that it were. However, it is of your marriage I wish to speak."
You could have knocked me over with a feather. My jaw sagged.
"Yes. When the Countess of Warwick long ago took you to service, she promised your mother that in time she would provide you with a dower and a worthy husband. She is not able to complete her promise and this disturbs her. Among other things, she writes to me of this." A jeweled hand waved for confirmation to Kendall, who gravely nodded.
"This is of no consequence to me, My Lord. As long as I serve my dear lady, I am content."
"The Countess of Warwick, however, is not." Richard leaned back in his chair, trying on amusement. "Do you hear this, Kendall? Here stands a young woman who does not wish to be well married."
"Perhaps we should call the harper back?" Kendall obliged with a smile. "There's certainly a song in this, Your Grace."
"I know a stout fellow who wishes to marry with you, Mistress Rose, who petitions me for your hand."
Richard smiled. It was a lord's smile, reassurance and guidance aimed at me, his rudderless dependent.
"He is a man of appropriate substance, a soldier of confirmed bravery who had done me excellent service. Moreover, you owe him your life."
"Master Fletcher dares to speak of this to you, My Lord?" At last, I'd found my tongue.
Richard nodded. The smile stayed firmly in place, but I noticed that he’d begun to twist one of his rings.
"Daily he pleads his case." Kendall spoke for his master.
"But—but, Sir! I—I—have refused Master Hugh."
"Come, come, Rose," said Richard. "To marry is an act of prudence. Better to marry than to burn."
Pub Date: October 1, 2013 | Books We Love, Ltd. | Formats: eBook, Paperback
Loyalty Binds Her.
More like a gangland war for turf and loot than chivalry, the War of Roses disrupted the life of the English commoners for hundreds of years. Roan Rose is the story of one of them, a girl born on the Yorkshire dales. When the Countess of Warwick decides to take sturdy, gentle Rose to Middleham Castle to be companion and bed-time poppet for her youngest daughter, Anne, her fate is changed forever. Rose bears intimate witness to the passions, betrayals, battles and all the reversals of fortune which will shape her lady’s life—and her own. Anne Neville will briefly become a Queen, and Richard, Rose’s secret love, will become a King, one whose name has become synonymous with evil. When her King is betrayed and slain at Bosworth Field, Rose returns to a peasant’s hard life. She has one final service to perform.
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Praise for Roan Rose
"a beautiful story of love and loyalty set during the tumultuous reign of Richard III"
"I loved the strength of this woman"
"This author has a powerful sense of Time and Place"
"Waldron certainly knows her history…Yet despite its accuracy … Roan Rose is ultimately a book about character".
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About the Author"Not all who wander are lost." Juliet Waldron earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist's model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after the boys left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for herself--and for her readers. She loves her grand-girls and her kitties, likes to take long hikes, and reads historical/archeological non-fiction as well as reviewing for the Historical Novel Society. For summer adventure, she rides behind her husband of 50 years on his "bucket list" (black, and ridiculously fast) Hyabusa motorcycle.
You can find more information at www.julietwaldron.com or connect with Juliet on Facebook.
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