Queen, Jewel, Mistress is a collection of poems that journeys from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Every famous queen and many forgotten ones get a moment to speak with the reader. In the back of the book is a brief history of all the queens. To win an illustrated copy of my book just comment on this post and share with your history loving friends.
The queens in the sketches are Anne Boleyn and Ælfthryth, wife of King Edgar. Plus, a songbird for Eleanor of Provence…you will have to read the poem to know why!
I will choose a winner on 30th April. Good luck!
Getty Images: I love this imagined idea of Anne Boleyn
King Henry VIII attracted to Catherine Howard
Anne and Henry are the couple on the left.
The book launch for Queen, Jewel, Mistress is on Wednesday at 7.45pm. Do come along if you can make it. The venue is Bugage Hall, Ledbury and it is part of the Ledbury Poetry festival. Tickets can be brought from the box office or the festival website.
Trying to select which queen poems to read is quite hard. They all want to be read (clamouring for attention) and trying to choose is proving difficult this morning. Should it be a sequence from one period of history or a mix through different houses? Should I read my favourites or well-known queens to please the audience? Perhaps all the Anglo-Saxon queens deserve a time to shine. I just feel lucky I am sat here with my book, flicking through the pages, deciding on an order for the night. I have some more readings arranged for the next few months so I can read all the queens at different events. It will be so much fun.
David Starkey and Bendor Grovesnor have argued the case ( here ) for the night gown sketch being Anne. If the woman in the nightgown is Anne, then so is the woman in the hood when you compare them side by side.
Medal reconstruction by Lucy Churchill (website here)
Holbein colouring to look like the NPG portrait by Nieve (Anne Boleyn Files)
“Lute strings vibrate to silence as I watch Caesar with my velvet eyes.”
A line from my Anne Boleyn poem in the book Queen, Jewel, Mistress. I loved writing about all those fascinating women, but Anne Boleyn was always my favourite.
“Ruth Stacey’s poems are exceptional. They evoke voices long silenced, and the very essence of these past lives and the ages in which they were lived. There is so much food for thought here – every line is a joy!”
– Alison Weir