Read Royal Mistress Online

Authors: Anne Easter Smith

Tags: #Richard III, #King Richard III, #Shakespeare, #Edward IV, #King of England, #historical, #historical fiction, #Jane Shore, #Mistress, #Princess in the tower, #romance, #historical romance, #British, #genre fiction, #biographical

Royal Mistress

BOOK: Royal Mistress
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C
ONTENTS

The House of York in 1475

Acknowledgments

Dramatis Personae

Part One: 1475–1476

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Part Two: 1476–1478

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Part Three: 1482–1483

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Part Four: 1483–1484

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Epilogue

Author’s Note

Glossary

Reading Group Guide

About Anne Easter Smith

For my dear friend Reniera, who has seen me through thick and thin for more than forty years

T
HE
H
OUSE OF
Y
ORK IN
1475
A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS

Jane Shore was a mercer’s daughter and wife of another mercer, and thus the first place I needed to have access to was the archive belonging to the Mercers’ Company or guild in London. You cannot merely walk into the Mercers’ Hall and ask to poke about in their basement. You have to have an introduction. Thank goodness for my sister, Jill Phillips. If she doesn’t know the right person to contact, then she has a friend who does. It was through her good friends Sue and Tim Powell that I was put in touch with David Vermont, a past Master of the Mercers’ Company. David kindly set up the introduction with Archivist Jane Ruddell and her assistant Donna Marshall, who spent hours helping me ferret out what I could about Jane’s father, John Lambert, as well as Jane’s first husband, William Shore. It was a fascinating day at a fascinating place in the heart of the city. (The mercers have had a guild or mysterie since 1304.) Many thanks to them all for their invaluable help. As always, Jill was my host during my research in London, and I cannot say enough about her generosity.

Thanks also to the Eton College staffer who sent me a copy of the important article by Nicholas Barker about Jane that appeared in a 1972 edition of
Etonia,
the school’s scholarly magazine. This is the most comprehensive account of Jane Shore’s life, including new research that revealed Jane was not the only daughter of a Thomas Wainstead, as previously thought, but one of several children born to John Lambert and his wife, Amy. I was grateful to Anne Coward, Visits Office Assistant at Eton College, who took me on a private tour of that famous boys’ school. My old flatmate
from Gloucester Road in the Swinging Sixties, Patricia Triggs Atherton, was kind enough to host me in Henley and drive me to Eton for the day.

Also due thanks is my friend and nurse midwife, Maryann Long, who from her home in Australia talked me through Jane’s complicated birth scene.

Sadly in 2010, before
Royal Mistress
was conceived, I lost my former agent, Kirsten Manges, to motherly duties. However, I gained a new champion in Jennifer Weltz of the Jean V. Naggar Literacy Agency, and she has been very helpful during another difficult transition in the life of an author: a change of editor. The wonderful Trish Todd originally signed me to write
Royal Mistress
for her, but she has moved on and up in Simon & Schuster, and I am now in the delightful hands of Heather Lazare. I hope to continue this new relationship for at least as long as I did with Trish. Heather was brave enough to take me on midway into this project and has gently seen me through.

Once again, I must thank my husband, Scott, who gets as excited as I do at each new book and cheers me on until it is completed. Finally, without my unflagging and eagle-eyed “reader,” Catherine Thibedeau, this book would not be the book it is. Apparently, I am the master of the dangling modifier, and yet she never complains.

D
RAMATIS
P
ERSONAE

Historical characters

Elizabeth (Jane) Lambert

John Lambert,
her father, a mercer of London

Amy Lambert,
her mother

Isabel (Bella) Lambert,
her sister

Edward IV,
first Yorkist king of England

Elizabeth Woodville (Bessie),
Edward’s queen

Thomas Grey (Tom), marquess of Dorset,
her son by her first husband, John Grey

Sir Richard Grey,
his brother

Edward (Ned) and Richard (Dickon),
Edward and Elizabeth’s sons

Elizabeth of York (Bess),
Edward and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter

William, Lord Hastings (Will),
Edward’s lord chamberlain, Tom’s stepfather-in-law

Katherine Neville Hastings,
his second wife, Tom’s mother-in-law

George, duke of Clarence,
Edward’s younger brother

Richard, duke of Gloucester,
Edward’s youngest brother

Anne Neville, duchess of Gloucester,
his wife

John (Jack), Lord Howard and later duke of Norfolk,
a councilor

Margaret Howard,
his second wife

Thomas Howard, later earl of Surrey,
John Howard’s son

Elizabeth Howard,
his wife

Henry Stafford (Harry), duke of Buckingham,
Edward’s second cousin

William Shore,
a mercer of London

Thomas Lyneham,
Richard of Gloucester’s solicitor

Sir John Norrys,
one of Edward’s esquires of the body

Sir Walter Hungerford,
another esquire of the body

Sir Francis Lovell,
Richard of Gloucester’s friend

William Catesby,
a lawyer

Roger Ree,
Edward’s deputy chamberlain

John Etwelle,
a mercer and former apprentice of John Lambert

Dean Reynking,
dean of Arches at St. Mary-le-Bow

Dr. John Argentine,
Ned’s physician

Dr. Domenico de Serigo,
Queen Elizabeth’s physician

Isabel Thomson,
servant to Thomas Lyneham

Jehan LeSage,
Edward’s jester

Fictional characters

Sophia Vandersand,
a silkwoman and Jane’s friend

Jehan Vandersand,
a weaver and Sophie’s husband

Janneke Vandersand,
a silkwoman and their daughter

Pieter Vandersand,
their son

Ankarette Tyler,
Jane’s maidservant

Matthew,
John Lambert’s apprentice

Wat,
William Shore’s apprentice

Martin,
Jane’s steward

Kate Haute,
Richard of Gloucester’s former mistress

Betty, Master Davies, and Anne,
fellow inmates of Jane’s in Ludgate gaol

PART ONE

1475–1476

Of noble blood I cannot boast my birth,

For I was made out of the meanest mould,

Mine heritage but seven foot of the earth,

Fortune ne’er gave to me the gifts of gold,

But I could brag of nature if I would,

Who filled my face with favour fresh and fair

Whose beauty shone like Phoebus in the air.

Thomas Churchyard, “Shore’s Wife,” 1562

ONE

L
ONDON
, W
INTER
1475

W
rapped in warm woolen cloaks, their faces and animated conversation hidden in the folds of capacious hoods, Jane and Sophia rounded the corner of Soper Lane and the Chepe and collided with a man equally cocooned against the bitter January wind.

“God’s teeth, look where you are treading, sirrah!” Tom Grey barked, his hand on his dagger. But upon realizing he had almost been knocked down by two young women, he immediately bowed. “My pardon, ladies. It was I, Tom Grey, who was at fault,” he apologized. His practiced eyes roved from one face to the other and settled without hesitation on the prettier of the two. “Are you hurt?”

Jane Lambert met his admiring stare with the certainty of one used to attracting male attention and was struck by his youthful good looks. While Sophia bent to pick up the silks that had fallen from her basket, Jane was left to assure the young man the fault was entirely theirs. “I am afraid our chatter was too lively,” she said, hoping he had not heard her describing her latest conquest as a puling brat. “We were not paying attention. However, Master Grey, if we have done you no hurt, we must go on our way to the cordwainer.”

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