Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Get Lost in Death of an Alchemist
Not a Tudor fan?
Choosing a time period or special locale matters as much to the ‘feel’ of a story as it does to an author’s comfort zone—
Part of the reason why I’ve set my Bianca Goddard mysteries in Tudor London at the end of Henry VIII’s reign, is that I’ve been reading fiction and nonfiction set in the 1500s for over twenty-five years. I never tire learning about the period. So what draws me to Tudor England?
I like that the period is far enough in the past that it isn’t familiar. Most folks don’t have a preconceived notion of what it must have been like. It lends a mysterious feel to the time and, in my mind, makes it ripe for interjecting a little creep and superstition into the mix. The majority of books about this period are centered on politics or court machinations. But I began to wonder what it must have been like for the commoners.
Parliament was formed and the rudiments of the secret service were instituted. Henry started the Royal Navy in response to the rebel-rousing Scots and threats from France. He heavily taxed his people and conscripted them into his army and navy.
For me, Henry VIII is the most interesting Tudor monarch. Henry broke away from the power of the Vatican and effectively made himself pope of a church that he created. He dissolved the monasteries and pocketed the sale of their considerable valuables. That takes a massive ego.
And Henry certainly had one. He stood 6’2” in a country where the average height of a man was 5’7”. Ascending the throne in his youth, he was adored by his people. He was handsome, athletic, generous, and fun-loving. But by the end of his reign in 1547, he was arguably the most hated and feared of monarchs. More than 72,000 people were sent to their death under Henry. No other British monarch executed more people.
So, if you haven’t considered reading a book set in Tudor England, give it a try. You might discover a whole ‘new’ world of fascinating characters. There is someone for everyone in Tudor England.
If you could step back in time to Tudor England, which would you most want to see?
1. A feast with Henry VIII
2. A joust
3. Elizabeth I at court
4. A play at the Globe theatre by Shakespeare
5. A stroll through the town of London
Or maybe you'd rather experience something else in the Tudor period. Please share in comments!
Mary Lawrence is a Hoosier living in Maine. Besides writing the Bianca Goddard Mysteries, she runs a small berry farm, drinks too much coffee, and tries to make her deadlines.
Contact Mary Lawrence: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Buy links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Labels: Death of an Alchemist, Henry VIII, Historical Mystery, Jillian Stone, Mary Lawrence, Tudor Period
Author of contemporary and historical thrillers: The national award winning Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series as well as the Phaeton Black, Moonstone Investigations series. Jillian is currently working on the first book in a new Scotland Yard spin-off: Codename: Dragon. Visit her website: jillianstone.com