My guest today is Rosemary Morris, author of the historical romance novel, Tangled Love. It takes place during a fascinating period of British history, when issues of politics and religion were making the monarchy a very complicated institution indeed. Rosemary is here to explain it to us!
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While reading about the Stuart kings and queens I became interested in James II.
As I wrote in my Author’s Notes at the beginning of Tangled Love: - “When the outwardly Protestant Charles II died in 1685, he left a country torn by religious controversy but no legitimate children. The throne passed to his Catholic brother James.
“It was an anxious time for the people, whose fears increased when Roman Catholic James II became so unpopular that he was forced into exile. In 1688 James Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, became the new king and queen of England.
“Some English Protestants, who had sworn allegiance to James II, refused to take a new oath of allegiance to William and Mary and joined him in France.
“When James’ younger daughter, Anne, inherited the throne in 1702, many Protestant exiles returned to England. Others declared themselves Jacobites, supporters of James II’s son, James III, by his second wife, Mary of Modena, and stayed abroad. They believed James III should be king.”
Having assembled these facts I wondered what would happen to children whose parents supported James II. I imagined a little girl left in England with her mother when her Protestant father’s honour demanded he did not swear allegiance to William and Mary during James II’s lifetime. I also imagined a boy who accompanied his father to France for the same reason, and decided to set most of my novel in 1706 in Queen Anne’s reign by which time the children were adults.
Queen Anne reigned from 1702 to 1714. During her reign the Duke of Marlborough won the war of Spanish Succession. If he had not a French prince would have ascended the Spanish throne and France, in the reign of the Sun King, Louis IV, would have been the most powerful country in the world.
The more I read the more interested I became in Queen Anne’s reign, a period in which international trade increased, which is not often the setting for historical novels.
For many years the Duke of Marlborough’s wife, Sarah Churchill, was Princess Anne’s favourite before and after she became Queen. However, this was the period when political parties began to evolve; political conflict coupled with Sarah’s arrogance ruined her relationship with the queen.
After studying the political and economic background to the era I studied the social history. Amongst other things I wanted to know about the architecture, furniture, coffee houses, what people ate, what they wore, and how they behaved.
The more I researched the more fascinated I became. The result is Tangled Love, and another novel Tangled Lives, which I am revising.
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So excited that there's going to be a sequel, Rosemary!
You can purchase Tangled Love here or on Amazon, BN, Smashwords, and elsewhere.