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August 2011 BOTM: Queen by Right by Anne Easter Smith

A monthly discussion on varying themes guided by our members. (Book of the Month discussions through December 2011 can be found in this section too.)
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boswellbaxter
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August 2011 BOTM: Queen by Right by Anne Easter Smith

Post by boswellbaxter » Mon August 1st, 2011, 1:29 pm

Please discuss Queen by Right by Anne Easter Smith here.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Mon August 1st, 2011, 5:46 pm

So I'm only 100 pages in, but I really like Cecily already! I love stories with girls that go against the "norm" but are lovable at the same time. There is so much about her story that I don't know; really I only know her from SKP's Sunne. I feel like I have a better handle on why she reacts the way she does in Sunne based on what I've learned about her mother in Queen. So far, so good!
Brenna

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon August 1st, 2011, 6:56 pm

I started this, then put it aside for other books. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't grabbing me, either. Now I'll pick it up again and hope things start moving. Although I admit, as a writer who is extremely critical of my own writing, I'm a difficult reader to please.

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Post by Susan » Mon August 1st, 2011, 8:27 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I started this, then put it aside for other books. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't grabbing me, either.[/quote]

That's about what I thought of it. It was fine, but it wasn't WOW! I chalked it up to reading too many books from the same time period.
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Tue August 2nd, 2011, 12:27 pm

So Dickon and Cecily are finally married. The lovey dovey stuff is a little over the top but at the same time I'm trying to remember what is felt like to be a teenager in love. It was pretty over the top. As it's beena while since I've read this time period, I'm having a hard time remembering what is happening in France and putting things into context.
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Wed August 3rd, 2011, 12:37 pm

Does anyone know which castle that is on the cover? It might be in the Author's Note, but I won't read that until the end. And the lovey dovey stuff as stopped now that I'm 200 pages in and wow, I feel horrible for Cecily! God really wasn't a big fan of the white rose for sure!
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Post by Brenna » Thu August 4th, 2011, 2:29 pm

I have a feeling I'm reading this by myself, but to hopefully encouarge others to discuss, I'm going to continue to post (I have no life and I need a distraction-see Chat). Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed to see Smith subcomb to Gregory's insistence that the Woodville women were witches. Really? I am not a fan of the Woodvilles thanks to SKP, but I find the whole idea that noble women, especially someone has level headed as Cecily would consider Jaquetta a witch. Anyone else find that far fetched? In her books claims are also made that Margaret of Anjou and Somerset were lovers. Possible?
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Post by boswellbaxter » Thu August 4th, 2011, 3:45 pm

[quote=""Brenna""]I have a feeling I'm reading this by myself, but to hopefully encouarge others to discuss, I'm going to continue to post (I have no life and I need a distraction-see Chat). Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed to see Smith subcomb to Gregory's insistence that the Woodville women were witches. Really? I am not a fan of the Woodvilles thanks to SKP, but I find the whole idea that noble women, especially someone has level headed as Cecily would consider Jaquetta a witch. Anyone else find that far fetched? In her books claims are also made that Margaret of Anjou and Somerset were lovers. Possible?[/quote]

Sorry, I started to read this but got absorbed in other things. There's no evidence that either Jacquetta or Elizabeth practiced witchcraft, other than the accusations of their enemies. The accusations against Jacquetta were made in 1469 by a follower of the Earl of Warwick. Jacquetta vigorously fought the charges against her and was cleared by the king’s great council on January 19, 1470. For good measure, she obtained letters of exemplification from the king in February 1470, taking the opportunity to have it recorded as well that she was a believer “on God according to the truth of Holy Church.”

Richard III revived the charges against Jacquetta in 1483 (she was dead by then, so she couldn't defend herself) by accusing her and Elizabeth of procuring Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth by witchcraft. Elizabeth was in sanctuary at the time and was not in a good position to refute the allegations, of which Richard never offered any proof. During her husband's reign, Elizabeth performed the acts of Christian piety that a queen was expected to perform.

As for Margaret and Somerset, there were rumors that Edward of Lancaster was illegitimate, but there's no proof that Margaret had love affairs with any of the dukes of Somerset or anyone else. She was at one point rumored to be thinking of poisoning Henry and of "uniting with" Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (died 1464), but the ambassador who passed this rumor along did not repose much confidence it it. I did a blog post about this subject some time ago:

http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/p ... ed-lovers/
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
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Post by Misfit » Thu August 4th, 2011, 3:54 pm

I am not reading this, but I believe Jemidar is, she's been doing updates over at Goodreads. I tried The King's Grace and it flew around page 100. Language like sibling rivalry was driving me batty, but the twist she threw in there with Henry VII and Bess sent the book flying.

I do want to throw something into the discussion here and one that never would have occured to me except that I heard it mentioned on another discussion, but the fascination with Joan of Arc by an Englishwoman of that period is a bit off - the English would have loathed her and what she stood for.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Posts: 3560
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu August 4th, 2011, 5:16 pm

I do plan of finishing this, right after I'm done with Water for Elephants, which I must confess has got me hooked. Even though I don't much like fiction set in the last century, and I prefer novels set 1400--1600, that being my period of specialty, I am an impatient reader and need things to get off the ground faster that AES seems to write.

As far as a belief in witchcraft, actually that plot element would not be jarring to me, whatever the rank of the person. Those of our era (at least in the developed world) have been trained not to think about any possibility of spiritual influence beyond a kind of personal placebo effect. (On the order of "If you believe it, that's why it works for you.") Our ideas on the topic, if any, are rarely examined and fall into general concepts of 'luck' or 'chance', with a few ghost stories, taken half in jest. In the time of Cecily Neville, everybody assumed that spiritual forces both for good an evil were the root cause of everything. So anything that happened might be because of witchcraft.

Our idea of evil has become very 'Hollywoodized', with Satan pictured as a horned, trident-carrying cartoon character, and possession something that makes people's heads spin all the way around, a' la Exorcist. But who is to say that disease bacteria and/or natural disasters are not managed by evil forces in the world, or allowed by good ones?
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Thu August 4th, 2011, 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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