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Adventures in Time Travel: Undercover at the Court of Henry II

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
Location: North London
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Adventures in Time Travel: Undercover at the Court of Henry II

Postby Miss Moppet » Tue October 20th, 2009, 7:13 pm

Part One. My Secret Life

Identities will be concealed in this story to protect the innocent.

No, scratch that. My identity will be concealed. Everyone else will be named and shamed.
I’d better explain myself. To the outside world, I’m an art historian, generally to be found in the depths of the Rare Book Reading Room at the British Library, only venturing as far as the National Archives at Kew when I think I can stand the excitement.

Little does anyone know of my secret life.

Mostly, I read about the past. But sometimes, I visit it.

Just this time last year my friends thought I was taking a relaxing break in Tuscany. I was actually in Windsor...in the year 1184, that is. I was hired by, shall we say, a very illustrious person to infiltrate Henry II's Christmas Court. My mission: to acquire the Empress Matilda's crown and bring it back to the present day, thus sparing it the fate of getting lost in the Wash in 1216.

But my goodness, the romantic complications. Not only did Henry II fall for me, but so did Prince Richard, and Prince John. Just as well I brought my laptop along - by the end of the week I needed an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all. What made me such an object of desire to those royal men? Was it destiny? Pheromones? The Chanel No.5 I chucked into my suitcase at the last minute? Or the fact that I was female, sentient and wearing a skirt? I'll never know.
Last edited by Miss Moppet on Wed October 21st, 2009, 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue October 20th, 2009, 7:43 pm

Not only did Henry II fall for me, but so did Prince Richard, and Prince John. Just as well I brought my laptop along cos by the end of the week I needed an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all.


*snort*

That should come with a monitor warning. Richard? Do tell - details, details.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
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Postby Miss Moppet » Tue October 20th, 2009, 8:35 pm

Part Two: Romantic Complications

When I walked into the Great Hall at Windsor, I hoped I was sufficiently camouflaged to fade into the background. So I wasn’t too pleased when King Henry roared at me, “You, girl! Over here!”

I approached the throne and made a curtsey.

“Not bad, not bad at all,” he said warmly. “Come to my chamber tonight. Don’t pester me for money though, you get paid Tuesdays.”

I had known it might be a mistake to think I could get away with a bit of make-up.

“My lord king, I haven’t come to join the court whores. I am Lady Moppet of Yorkshire.”

“Oh really? Well, that does change things.”

“So I needn’t come to your chamber?”

“Most certainly come to my chamber, but don’t expect to get paid.”

Looking round for an escape route, my glance fell on a tall man, dazzlingly blond, who had to be Richard the Lionheart.

Or Richard “Date Rape” Lionheart, as I later learned he was known to the women of the court.

I was conversant with recent research, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when Richard asked me if I’d "like to see his swords."

“This was the one I used at Taillebourg...this was the one I had in Poitou...I’ve cut off twenty-five heads with this one. No, twenty-six, twenty-six. This one has my name engraved on it, look.”

When he did make his move, it wasn’t subtle. In fact the only thing that saved my honour was that Prince John had spied on us and gone to King Henry to tell him Richard was making an attempt on my virtue. Henry stormed into the room in a right royal rage wanting to know what Richard was doing on his territory. (Rather a Freudian slip). It all ended in a formal duel, of course. Yes, I achieved what even the Young King’s rebellion had not...King Henry and Richard decided to fight face to face. And somehow or other, while they were all running round choosing weapons and appointing seconds and what have you, I found myself in a secluded turret bedroom with a jug of hot wine, a dish of lampreys and Prince John. Fortunately he didn’t push things quite as far as Richard had, so I had the opportunity to turn the situation to my advantage: ie. promise I’d be his if he’d help me steal the crown. He had some quite clever ideas about it, actually.
Last edited by Miss Moppet on Wed October 21st, 2009, 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Tue October 20th, 2009, 8:44 pm

Hilarious Miss Moppet!

I so hope SKP sees this one on one of her drop-ins!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue October 20th, 2009, 8:52 pm

More more more more. We do need to find Sharon and send her over.
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
Location: North London
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Postby Miss Moppet » Tue October 20th, 2009, 11:11 pm

Part Three: Closer to the Crown

One of the reasons I decided to break my silence was that I wanted to reassure people thinking of infiltrating the Angevin Court that it isn’t nearly as difficult as one might think. I imagined I’d have to spend months soaking up the culture until I could pass for an twelfth-century noblewoman, and that even then I’d be shut out from the inner circle, lucky if I caught so much as a glimpse of an ermine-trimmed robe whisking round the corner. Not a bit of it. Why, three days after I arrived I was appointed lady-in-waiting to Queen Eleanor.

That was John’s idea. Eleanor, enjoying the respite from her imprisonment, had ordered the Empress’s crown up from the treasury for the ceremonial crown-wearings, so the best way to get to the crown was to become the Queen’s shadow. The King Henry thing fitted in rather neatly: John presented me to his mother as a virtuous woman desperate to evade his father’s advances, and she kindly took me under her protection.

Of course, before John could introduce me to Eleanor he had to be introduced to her himself. Her exact words were: “Richard darling, I know you’ve told me, who is this again?” And after everyone had explained she said, “But I thought youngest sons were always drowned at birth. They’ve no lands...it’s kinder really.”

John was pretty stoical about that (“it was the same last year” ;) but he did complain about his patronal festival falling four days before New Year, so everyone got him ‘combined’ presents which were less valuable than two separate ones would have been.

“A combined Hours of the Virgin and psalter...a sword that’s short enough to pass as a dagger...a gyrfalcon/peregrine hybrid...I'm sick of it.”

Suddenly the "Two In One: Lapis Lazuli Rosary WITH Gold Pendant Crucifix" that I'd seen on sale when we were looking for a jeweller skilled enough to make an exact copy of the Empress's crown didn't seem like such a good bargain after all. But as the crown-wearing approached it was the least of my worries.
Last edited by Miss Moppet on Wed October 21st, 2009, 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Wed October 21st, 2009, 12:04 am

This is wonderful!
It would make a brilliant skit for the Historical Novel Review!
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

sharon
Reader

Postby sharon » Wed October 21st, 2009, 12:27 am

All I can say is I thank my lucky stars that my Angevin trilogy is already published. IF I'd had to compete with Miss Moffit's version, the only ones who'd have bought my books would have been blood kin or people who owed me money. Two minor complaints, though. First of all, I was drinking a coke when I read "Richard Date-Rape Lionheart" and damned near strangled. Secondly, where is Geoffrey? Everyone knows he was the most interesting one of the brothers; how could you have missed him?
Sharon
PS Can I use "May I show you my swords?" in Lionheart?

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed October 21st, 2009, 12:29 am

"Miss Moppet" wrote:I've got more but I'll post it somewhere else if you'll designate the thread, Misfit. I want to finish the story myself though - perhaps someone else can write a sequel/prequel!


Give me a name for your group story and I'll start and thread and hopefully move these without losing them. I wonder if group story would be the best place?

PS Can I use "May I show you my swords?" in Lionheart?


I will be lining up to see that one. :D :D
Last edited by Misfit on Wed October 21st, 2009, 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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robinbird79
Avid Reader
Location: Georgia

Postby robinbird79 » Wed October 21st, 2009, 1:59 am

Hahahahaha!

This is fantastic! I needed a good laugh after sitting by my son's toddler bed for over an hour trying to get him to go to sleep!! Did Miss Moppet's story get its own thread yet??? I have to keep reading! Priceless.

And I'm looking forward to seeing Richard's swords in Sharon's next book. :)
Currently Reading: Crown in Candlelight, R. H. Jarmen

http://almostcrazymommy.blogspot.com


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