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The Rose without a Thorn: A Novelby Jean Plaidy
Synopses & Reviews
SHE IS YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL and very frightened.
She said to me: It is coming nearer. I feel it all about me. There will be no way out. It will be as it was with my cousin Anne. Why did I not see it? Tell me.
I answered: Your Majesty must not distress yourself. The King loves you as he loved none other...not even your cousin.
The long-lashed hazel eyes regarded me intently.
She answered: He loved her much in the beginning. He defied the Church for her sake. He sent good men to their deaths because of her. And then he ordered her to be killed. The same fate awaits me. I can already see the executioner's axe ready for me.
There is no need... I began.
There is every need, she replied. I know you love me. I know you speak out of regard for my feelings. You would give me cheer. But it remains, and there is one thing I would ask of you. The desire has come to me to set it all down, to see it all in clarity, just as it happened. Mayhap it could have been different. I could have been happy with Thomas. He is waiting for me...even now. If I had never gone to Court...if only the King had never looked my way...if only I could go back to the time when it had all begun. No, right to the beginning, those first days--that day when I left my father's home at Lambeth, before I went to my grandmother in Horsham...yes, right to the very beginning, mayhap I could then discover where I might have saved myself. But I am not good with the pen. I was never tutored as I should have been.
Your Majesty would indeed find such writing an arduous task.
Yes. And you are my good friend. That is why I ask you to help me in this.
I? How so?
You are a good scribe. It would be an easy task for you. I have a conviction that there will be some time for us to be together in the weeks to come. It will turn my thoughts from what awaits me. I shall tell you how it happened--scene by scene--and you shall write it down as it should be written, for you will know well how to do that. Then you will read to me what I have said, and I shall say, 'Yes, that was how it was.' And I shall say to myself, 'This I...or that...is the way I should have gone.'
I think Your Majesty will tire of this ere long.
She shook her head. I shall not tire, my good friend, for I want so much to see it as it was. Mayhap Thomas will see it. It will help him to understand that, whatever happened before, he was the one I loved.
Her lips trembled and she hesitated for a while before she said with emotion: And I shall do so as long as there is breath in my body.
I bowed my head and said: I shall be ready to start as soon as Your Majesty commands.
The Duchess Calls
I SEE NOW THAT IT BEGAN when I went to my grandmother's house in Horsham. That was a long time ago but, without doubt, that was the move which set me on the path which led me to where I stand today. There was nothing I could have done about it. I was a child and such decisions were not made by me. If I had possessed a different nature, if I had not been so ready to love and trust, I might have been wise enough to avoid the pitfalls; but we are as God made us, and what was irresistible temptation to m
From the pen of legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy comes an unforgettable true story of
royalty, passion, and innocence lost.
Born into an impoverished branch of the noble Howard family, young Katherine is plucked from her home to live with her grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk. The innocent girl quickly learns that her grandmother’s puritanism is not shared by Katherine’s free-spirited cousins, with whom she lives. Beautiful and impressionable, Katherine becomes involved in two ill-fated love affairs before her sixteenth birthday. Like her cousin Anne Boleyn, she leaves her grandmother’s home to become a lady-in-waiting at the court of Henry VIII. The royal palaces are exciting to a young girl from the country, and Katherine ?nds that her duties there allow her to be near her handsome cousin, Thomas Culpepper, whom she has loved since childhood.
But when Katherine catches the eye of the aging and unhappily married king, she is forced to abandon her plans for a life with Thomas and marry King Henry. Overwhelmed by the change in her fortunes, bewildered and flattered by the adoration of her husband, Katherine is dazzled by the royal life. But her bliss is short-lived as rumors of her wayward past come back to haunt her, and Katherine’s destiny takes another, deadly, turn.
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