Posts Tagged ‘Henry VIII’



   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

Barbara Gaskell Denvil. No surprise there for New South Wales Branch members and visitors to our website. Barbara’s imaginative and beautifully written books, Satin Cinnabar and Sumerford’s Autumn, and her well-researched features are much appreciated.

Her latest achievement is winning a copy of a young person’s novel The Disappearing Rose, by Canadian writer Renee Duke who, keen to promote her latest work, organised a competition on Lynne Murray’s blog to find out who people thought were responsible for the disappearance of the two Princes. Good idea – until she was alarmed to discover that Richard was winning!

An emergency email for help arrived in Julia’s inbox and, naturally, Julia sent a plea to all New South Wales members and friends to show that loyalty binds them and to save Richard from this undesirable fate!

And so they did. Renee reports that 34% of the votes and comments were from Australia which in a world-wide competition is pretty terrific – and Barbara’s comment was the winner. The overall results were:

First: Margaret Beaufort

Second: Henry VII and Richard III (tie)

Third: Henry, Duke of Buckingham and Elizabeth of York (another tie)

Fourth: Sir Thomas More

Fifth: two write-ins:  No one (’cos they survived) and Henry VIII (he time-travelled)

Barbara’s winning comment was different again. She says,“I basically explained – very briefly – why I thought the princes actually survived.”

And that seems much more logical than the suggestion of the sainted More; his tender age when the princes disappeared makes it unlikely that he could have organised the event!

So, what of the book The Disappearing Rose? It is for young people, especially those who love time travel, history, mystery and adventure.

“No one knows what happened to the little Princes of the Tower. That’s what Dane, Paige, and Jack are told when they start working on a medieval documentary for Dane and Paige’s filmmaker father. But then an ancient medallion transports them back to the fifteenth century and gives them a chance to discover the truth about the mysterious disappearance of young King Edward the Fifth and his brother Richard, Duke of York. But they’d better be careful. The princes are definitely in danger, and the person responsible for their disappearance just might decide that their new friends should disappear as well.”

Sounds like good reading for tweens, teens and those over 21 too. The good news is it is the first in The Time Rose series. It is an e-book and more information can be found on

Renee Duke, the author, grew up in England and says she has been interested in the princes ever since she read about them in a text book of the Uncle-Richard-did-it variety that still prevails. She’s hoping that the time travel approach will lure high tech fantasy obsessed children of today into considering other possible culprits.

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   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

I just received the advance notice of Simon & Schuster’s June releases.  Almost top of the list is:

Sumerford’s Autumn, by Barbara Gaskell.

Described as:  “Four sons, and four very different personalities, children of the Sumerford Castle and estates, and their father the earl watches their varied interests with misgiving.”

Barbara is a valued member of our branch and we are very happy that her enjoyable books will finally be available in print format, making them accessible to a much wider audience than her self-published ebooks.

You can find Dorothea’s review here.

(Please note, the above was the cover design of the ebook,  The cover of the print book has not been published yet.)

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50 Great Ghost Stories

   Posted by: Lynne Foley    in Bookworm

50 Great Ghost Stories, ed. John Canning, Odham’s Books, reprinted 1968. (No ISBN)

Occasionally, one finds matters Ricardian unlikely sources.  50 Great Ghost Stories, edited by John Canning, has two stories by Vida Derry and Frank Usher.

In Derry’s ‘Child Ghosts’, she mentions the Princes in the Tower. She does not accuse Richard, but relates the story that Tyrell was responsible for arranging their deaths according to the narrative of Thomas More. She does not say that More’s work is ‘gospel’ as far as Richard is concerned.

She finds it worth noting that the examination of the bones in 1933 was completed in five days whereas the examination of the remains of Anne Mowbray were still at work three months after they were found, despite protests by Lord Mowbray.

In Usher’s ‘Hauntings Royal’, the first paragraph names Henry VIII, according to popular opinion, as one of the arch-villains of history.  He deals at length with the alleged hauntings by Anne Boleyn, mention the elusive ghosts of Jane Seymour, Sybil Penn (Edward VI’s nurse) and Catherine Howard.  He refers to Henry as “the professional widower” and mentions more than once that unlike his victims, Henry rests peacefully in his grave. The following pages detail more executions and Henry is referred to as the “arch-villain of all these beheadings.”

When discussing the execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, he states “she had a better title to the throne than Henry himself, as his father Henry VII having usurped the throne from its lawful inheritors.”

Ectoplasmic manifestations aside, the book contains many well-known and not so well known ghost stories, and although not a believer, I would still prefer to have a strong light on, and my chair against the wall when reading The Brown Lady of Raynham.

50 Great Ghost Stories, ed. John Canning, Odham’s Books, reprinted 1968. (No ISBN)

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