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Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Gift from the Duke

Young Duke Richard of Gloucester has gone to his brother's court in London, as the rift between King Edward and the Earl of Warwick deepens. Daringly, Richard has presented his cousin Anne with a ring as a going-away present, but he's also left something for Rose...
"...It was several days before we were permitted to ride. As usual, True Thomas came to accompany us. He lifted Anne onto her Precious, and made certain the saddle was tight by surreptitiously punching the pony in the stomach. Precious coughed, stamped a back foot and glared, but she had a naughty trick of bloating her stomach, and this would let the saddle slip.

            I climbed from the mounting block onto the little strawberry pony, mine to ride with my mistress. Every time I did this, I wanted to pinch myself. Horseback was an experience a peasant rarely enjoyed. Horses were for the wealthy. Ox carts or "shanks mare" sufficed for my low kind.

            As I gathered up the reins and adjusted my seat, Thomas appeared at my side.

            "Gotten yourself up, have you?"

            Anne, in a hurry to escape the confines of Middleham bailey, had already started off.

            I began to say that I had been getting myself up for the last year, when I realized it was a ruse. Thomas had something in his hand, something he wanted me to take.

            "For you, Rosalba," he whispered softly, "from a young Lord who says he will miss you, too."

            I gazed in astonishment at an enameled white rose, a pendant strung on a fine strand of braided silver thread.

            "Thomas--" I began.

            "My Lord of Gloucester prays you will take special good care of Lady Anne," Thomas interjected. Then, with a wink and a knowing look, he added, "Further, the duke also says you are to understand that this is a gift and no wage."

For a "Downstairs" view of the romance of Richard of Gloucester and Anne Neville:
Amazon readers say:

..."If you are a fan of all things Richard III, as I am, don't pass this one up."
"...I loved the strength of this woman..."

"...Powerful Sense of Time and Place"

  "...Waldron certainly knows her history...Yet despite its accuracy ... Roan Rose is ultimately a book about character..." Meredith Whitford, Author of "Treason."

ROAN ROSE is available at:


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http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)