Friday, June 4, 2010

Queen for a Day

Today, the 4th of June, is the official launch of my debut novel, so I feel entitled to be Queen of my own backyard just for today, and to celebrate the achievement with champagne and cake! ( And I hope you had a good celebration too Lindsay, for your publication day.)

But on this date, the 4th of June, 474 years ago Jane Seymour was enthroned Queen of England after a whirlwind engagement and speedy marriage to Henry VIII. Ann Boleyn was beheaded on the 19th May, and Henry wasted no time - he set off straight away in his barge to see Jane Seymour, and their engagement was announced the next day. Ten days later they were married and she took up her official position of Queen on this day. It has to be one of the quickest romances in history - just over one month between the two Queens.

Whilst I sip my champagne and tuck into cake, Queen Jane may have celebrated becoming Queen with the tudor equivalent of champagne and cake  - "Court Sops," a sort of bread and butter pudding made with bread and ale:

Take ale and sugar and nutmeg and boile it together, and then have manchet cut like tostes and then put them in the ale one by another,then boile it till the sops bee dry, straw some butter and sugar and nutmeg on it, and so serve it when it is somewhat cold.

Hmm. Think I'll give that one a miss.

Queen Jane's reign was short, as she died after childbirth only a year later and she was swiftly followed by three more wives. She had only a brief moment in the spotlight, and likewise I am snatching my brief moment of fame, before other historical belles and beaus take my place with their exciting news and new releases.

My book, The Lady's Slipper , set not in the reign of Queen Jane, but in rural England just after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, is available now. It is a love story featuring early Quakers, a rare wild flower, and a murder! Curious? You can find out more about it on the Macmillan New Writers website. UK readers - for a chance to win a copy click here.

Cheers everyone!

9 comments:

Daphne said...

Best wishes for your book. My copy arrived the other day - I"m looking forward to reading it!

MAGGI said...

I would have been very nervous had I been Henry's bride. Congratulations! I wish you great success with your new release.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Congratulations!

Anne Whitfield - author said...

I'm very keen to read your book, Deb. Congratulations on your release!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Congratulations, Deb, on your release! Wishing you many sales!

Deborah Swift said...

Thank you everyone, hic!

Jen Black said...

I wonder if Jane ever worried about the future? Or if her child would be a girl...

Freda Lightfoot said...

I rather fancy Lady's Slipper but will wait for the paperback. Lived in the Lakes myself for years and am aware of the strong Quaker influence. I look forward to reading it and hope it does well for you.

Freda Lightfoot said...

I rather fancy Lady's Slipper. Having lived in the Lakes myself for years and know the strong Quaker influence. I look forward to reading it when it comes in paperback. Hope it goes well for you.