book review

The Betrayed

Every time Irina Shapiro releases a new book, I wonder if it’ll have a happy ending. Will the couple who left only bones behind actually end up together? Will Quinn unlock her own past, which seems more unlikely with each page? In a collection of books that never get old, I’m always left with questions that never have easy answers.

Introducing The Betrayed, Echoes From the Past book seven by Irina Shapiro.

As always, I will try to avoid spoilers, but since this is the 7th book in the series, some things will slip through the cracks. Want to avoid that? Start with book one today, The Lovers. Trust me.

  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️
  • Genre: Historical and Contemporary Fiction
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

In 2005, Dr. Quinn Allenby unearthed a crucified skeleton in Ireland. Among the bones and dirt is a hamsa charm, a protective amulet often often used by Muslims. She can’t figure out how a Muslim would have found his way to Ireland and what led to the crucifixion.

In 1588, the Spanish Armada ship Rafael de Silva was sailing on crashes on the rocky coasts of Ireland. With limited English, a hidden hamsa, and wounded comrades, he’s trapped in hostile territory with no way home. And as the Protestant English forces progress into Catholic Ireland, protecting his identity becomes more vital than ever.

While trying to learn more about Rafael, Quinn is mired in mysteries in the present day as well. Her long lost sister isn’t lost anymore, not physically at least. But as Quinn pushes to get closer to Jo, Jo begins to run before her own past catches up to her. The secrets never end for poor Quinn, although she’ll do anything to set things right.

As always, I need a breather after each of Shapiro’s books. Not since Outlander has a series so completely set the bar for what a good book is. Each installment is so deliciously dark, but still makes you hope for just once, things won’t be as bad as Quinn’s skeletons make them out to be.

Quinn is completely lovable. Kind, selfless, and always eager to see the best in people, she’s never prepared for those close to her to betray her. Every book, I root for things in her life to go east on her, just once, and things always seem to just fall apart in both the past and present.

Overall, I suggest this book in ebook and audio format to all book lovers.

audiobook, book review, history, New Book, Writing

Precious Bones

Irina Shapiro has captivated me since the first book in her Echoes from the Past series. When she told me about her book Precious Bones, I knew I was in for yet another fantastic ride. And, as always, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.

  • Genre: Historical/Contemporary Romantic Mystery/Thriller
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️
  • Story Rating; 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

When a body is found in an old Tudor house in London, successful author Cassandra is stunned at her reaction to the skeletal remains. She’s brought to tears by the news report, although the death would have taken place hundreds of years before. Her boyfriend doesn’t understand her fascination with the story, and as she begins to write a tale based on the Tudor house she buys impulsively, she unravels a tale that’s almost too close to home.

Constance is a Catholic in the time of Queen Elizabeth II, making her very religion dangerous to publicly claim. While her brother prepares to marry and her little sister flirts with a highborn man, she’s left wondering what her role is in a world where women don’t have many choices. A brief encounter with a spy leaves her rattled and she embarks on a journey of secret letters, arrests, and a marriage to the man she least expects.

While Cassandra reveals more of Constance’s life through her writing, her own life spirals out of control. She begins to question her own sanity and the realness of her haunting visions.

As in her Echoes from the Past series, she blends the past and present to perfection in a way I didn’t expect. Both time frames hold enough drama, intrigue, and romance to be books in their own right. I was hooked from the first page and the non-stop twists left me on the edge of my seat. Waiting to see how the lives of such different women turned out was nearly torture!

I enjoyed the parallel timelines. The fantasy aspects weren’t overdone and I felt as if everything that happened in Cassandra’s story was completely believable. Her emotions were real and her reactions to things were easy to relate to. I hope there’s more of her story one day.

I’ve never listened to anything narrated by Verity Burns, but I thoroughly enjoyed her work with this book. She had different inflections when reading for Constance and Cassandra, making it clear what time period the story was in. She’s very talented and I know this won’t be the last of her work I’ll listen to.

Overall, I’m thrilled with my latest Irina Shapiro book. I highly recommend it to all book lovers, no matter their favorite genre.

history, outlander

Scottish Sorcery

Scotland has had some problems with witchcraft for years! All those pesky sorceresses have been poisoning the wells, killing off the livestock, and spreading the plague since the beginning of time! But when did witches and the devil’s brides really come to light in Scotland? When did the downfall of women like Geillis Duncan begin? Gather ’round, fellow Sassenachs and I’ll tell you the story of witchcraft in Scotland…and it doesn’t begin with ancient druids…

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Picture it, Scotland, 1563. The crops are failing, the animals are sick, and the children are all being born weak. Things aren’t looking too good and they can’t figure out why. They’ve been to church, pay their taxes, and try to be good people. So, obviously, it must be the work of the devil. And the historic tools of the devil’s work? Wayward women, who are often swayed by promises of beauty, wealth, and the power sorcery can provide.   That gave birth to the Witchcraft Act of 1563, which was based on several others put into action in England. It made witchcraft and associating with witches a capital offense. Sound familiar?

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There were a few witchcraft trials here and there in Scotland, but the North Berwick trials from 1590 to 1592 put them all to shame. They involved nobles, various countries, and 70 victims who were put to death…one such person was named…Geillis Duncan.

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I know this might not be a shocker if you like to dabble in history, ever gave Geillis a google search, or read one of our previous Outlander posts about the real history mentioned in the books. But Geillis was a real, flesh and blood, woman whom the book character was based on. First, let’s talk about how these trials first started and then get into how Geillis got roped in.

The real trials began with King James of Scotland, who had been very nonchalant about earlier talks of witchcraft in Scotland. But rough sailing in 1589 changed all that. There were so many violent storms during his way to pickup his new wife Anne of Denmark, and on his way home, that he thought it would only be the work of witches. In his mind, no one else would dare mess up his blessed nuptials.

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I mean, as anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows, it’s stressful enough without witches ruining your big day. And since James had the pleasure of seeing a few witch trials in Denmark and learning how their tried their witches, he knew he needed to clean up his country. So he dipped back to the Witchcraft Act of 1563 and pushed it to those in power, giving way to the North Berwick trials, which James couldn’t help but attend.

With the green light from the king, there were arrests left and right. The charges, beside overall sorcery, were things like poison, trying to sink the king’s ship, killing a neighbor, and overthrowing the monarchy with help from the devil. Getting someone arrested for witchcraft was as easy as a pointed finger and a bad word. Hmm…reminds me of someone…

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Anyways, once someone in North Berwick was accused of dancing with the devil, the torture would begin. I’m not going to be graphic, but in evolved poking, pricking, beating, drawing, and many other violent ways where the victim would be basically forced to not only confess to witchcraft, but also name the other members in their “coven”. This created a domino effect that ended up with even more people being tried.

Geillis Duncan was nothing but a lowly maid in Tranent when she was arrested. Her employer accused her of having magical healing powers and generally sneaking around to do the devil’s bidding. What followed were weeks of torture, the finding of a so-called “Witches Mark”, and her naming more than 7 fellow witches, who were also tried and put to death by hanging.

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Geillis Duncan’s confession

Then there were the Great Scottish Witch Hunts of 1597, 1628, 1649, and 1661. Each time, hundreds of accused witches would be arrested, tried for their supposed crimes, and then put to death. Torture was throughout, and the loose tongues brought on by hot pokers and pliers resulted in more “confessions” and accusations. In 1597 almost 400 people were put in trial throughout Scotland with around 200 being executed. In the last hunt, in 1661, nearly 700 people were tried in a 16 month period.

By the time of the last witch trial in 1727, between 4,000 and 6,000 people were tried with around 2,000 actually being executed. It declined mainly for two reasons, the first being that a larger portion of the population was getting educated. The second was when Scotland became a commonwealth to England in 1652, which largely took the power of the smaller Scottish courts…not that it really made much of a huge difference at first. The hysteria over witchcraft really came to an official end in 1763 when the British government repealed the original Witchcraft act of 1573, making the whole “death to witches” thing legally impossible. Good news, right, Claire?

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Finally, what made someone a prime target to be tried as the devil’s mistress in those days? Certainly not just a rocking’ bod and a soul you’re willing to bargain for. A witches’ mark  was one of the first things the captors searched for. Now these weren’t all forms of birthmarks, but if there was a raised feature on your body like a mole, wart, or even ac actual third nipple, they would claim it was the teat from which you fed your familiar, the personal helper of the accused. Usually, these perfectly normal marks would be pricked to check for bleeding, since everyone knows that black cats and crows only drink blood.

And not just birthmarks were in the spotlight, your ability to say certain prayers would be tested as well as your ability to handle holy items like crucifixes and the sacraments. They would also take a look at your livestock. If you had a shifty looking rooster or an owl roosted in the barn that couldn’t say The Lord’s Prayer, they were probably in league with the devil, thus helping you in your evil schemes. And if you had the misfortune to have a spouse die? Obviously that would be a sign that you’ve killed them off. And finally, after all the torture and seeing if you died when thrown in a river or hung from a tree, they would ask again the most important question…

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That’s all for this week! I hope you liked reading a bit more about the witch trials in Scotland and you come back soon to see what else we have cooking for season three. If you want to read our other posts, or even take our Outlander witch quiz, click HERE!

 

And did you see our product review this morning? This great shop Fangirl Pixie Jar is selling Outlander, and other fandom, necklaces for only $12.35 and that’s without the 15% discount that comes only from us! To see more, click HERE!

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My blog partner Sarah’s latest book just came out and it’s my fav of her college romance series. So if you like steamy stories, bad boys with hearts of gold, street racing, true love, and some action, click HERE to preorder Third Wheel now!

Finally, I personally have two romance novels out that are set in Scotland! The third book will be out soon, but the first two are all set for your reading pleasure. Queen of Emeralds is available HERE and The Amethyst Bride can be picked up HERE!

 

book review, history, New Book, outlander, review

Droughtlander Reading List

Outlander is almost back and soon we’ll be able to watch, take in, dissect, and discuss each episode as they come. But there’s still a month before that and what if your kindle is a little light and your bookshelves are growing bare? I know that feeling and I’m here to help with some more of my favorite novels that Outlander fans might enjoy. To pick up any of these books, just click on the title to take you to their Amazon pages.

London by Edward Rutherfurd

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This is for fans who miss stories that span the decades. This book follows London’s history from the ice age to the present day in the steps of several families. It’s great for history buffs who want some sex, action, and mystery in their reading. It’s a bit of a hefty undertaking, but my trusty paperback copy has been re-read so many times, I think it deserves top slot.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

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This is an author you’ve probably already heard about and one that Gabaldon actually likes as well. The Winter Sea is a novel about an author named Carrie who goes to Scotland to write a book about the Jacobites and finds out that she’s writing a true story, one that her ancestors lived, without even knowing it at first, in the form of waking dreams. There’s time travel of sorts, a touch of romance, a lot of history, and even more fun.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

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In 1792 a woman named Elizabeth finds herself unmarried at the age of 20 (gasp!) and moves from her comfortable estate to join her father in the mountains of New York. There she meets a man who lives among the Mohawk people and although her father tries to marry her off to a local doctor, Elizabeth is too headstrong to just sold off like a cow. Soon, she ends up at odds with the local slave owners, her family, and finds herself torn between the live she has the life she wants. Sounds a bit like Claire, doesn’t it?

A Rip in the Veil by Anna Belfrage

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Somehow, a woman named Alex is thrown from 2002 to 1658 and into the path of a Scottish outlaw named Matthew. Both are confused by the occurrence, but when both of you are basically on the run, it’s easy to take up together. While Alex grieves the lost of coffee, showers, and cars, Matthew begins to grow on her, especially when they begin to try and find out how she ended up back in time. This one is a hit or miss for Outlander fans, who may not enjoy the “younger” voice of the heroine and compare it a bit too much to Gabaldon’s rousing series. But it’s a good read that I think deserves a shot.

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

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In the midst of the Civil War, midwife Mary isn’t okay with staying home in safety as the menfolk fight. She joins the wounded, using her skills to help where she can and learning the realities of war as she goes. She is refused traditional medical schooling, but that doesn’t stop her from getting the guidance of two trained surgeons. This is a story of heartbreak, the horrors of war, and the will to live and succeed when others want you to fail.

Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi Gage

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Melanie is single, pregnant by a guy who ran away, and working in a museum when she daydreams about a hunky, kilted hero to save the day (don’t we all?). Then she’s pulled back in time and thrown into 16th century Scotland where people obviously thinks she a witch. Enter Darcy Keith, who finds himself drawn to the woman his people were about to try. Will Melanie long to return back to her own time, or be happy her wish literally came true?

The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

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Emma of Normandy is trapped in a loveless marriage to the King of England in 1002 and finds out that her husband is a terrible ruler. When the Vikings threaten their shores, Emma ends up having to take charge and defend her new home from invasion. But when her husband dies and the Viking king claims everything, Emma had a whole new world to battle with. This author marries the true accounts of Emma of Normandy with the touches of fiction that makes it a great read.

Waterfall by Lisa T Bergren

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Along with her sister, Gabi spends every supper being shlepped around archeological sites with her parents. They’re at a dig in Tuscany when she places her hand on a hand print in an ancient tomb. Then, you guessed it, Gabi is thrown back in time and into the arms of handsome Italian knight Marcello. But Gabi’s sister Lia was also pushed back to Marcello’s time and it then lost. Now Gabi must try to survive in the past, fight through her feelings to a man she can never be with, find her sister, and a way home. Now, this is technically a teen book, but it makes for a nice, light read.

A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland

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Modern day Elizabeth is a failed romance author who has been suffering from writers block. But then dreams come to her of a kilted hero who can save her from herself. She takes a walk in the park, falls asleep by accident, and wakes up in the 1300s. She finds herself in the presence of a feared Scottish lord who has never shown any interest in  women…until her. This is a traditional romance with a bit of action.

Transcendence by Shay Savage

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Here’s one you didn’t expect…caveman romance! That’s right. A caveman is checking his traps one day and comes upon a woman wearing odd clothing and making noises he couldn’t understand. Yes, that woman was sent to the past and instead of a Scottie hottie, she got a caveman. But there’s still a love story and an ending readers all love.

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That’s all for this list, but there’s more to see over on our Outlander page HERE!

And if you like all my Outlander posts, you’ll probably love my historical romance series. Set in Victorian England and Scotland and featuring two kilted men and the British woman who try to stay away, you can get Queen of Emeralds HERE and The Amethyst Bride HERE!

~GIVEAWAY~

Have you ever heard of the WeeBox? It’s a subscription box from Scotland that’s filled with perfectly cultivated items to give you a taste of the Highlands. Well, they’ve gives us a special wee box to give to one of you! Click HERE for all the super easy and free ways to enter.

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book review

Mask of Duplicity

I recently learned about a Scottish historical author named Julia Brannan when she asked for authors to participate in her release party for book five in her Jacobite Chronicles series. She’s basically a self-publishing master, with flawless editing, cover design, and has won numerous awards. Now, I just finished book one in this series, Mask of Duplicity and I have a lot of thoughts…

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Overall Rating:♥♥♥♥♥

Genre: Historical Fiction

When sassy Beth Cunningham’s father dies, she’s left in the care of her estranged half-brother Richard, who isn’t exactly the kind of brother one would be pleased to have. This becomes clear when he finds that the family’s funds are tied up in Beth’s sizable dowry. Beth is strong, smart, and quite unlike the soft women that are held in high regard. And if Richard has his way, half-Scottish Beth’s wild ways would be squashed and he would be in complete control of the estates. But our heroine isn’t vanquished so easily.

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By the time Beth launches into proper society, Richard has shown his dreadful, creepy, true colors, but Beth soldiers on, even meeting a charming man who may be her perfect match. But this isn’t just a book where an English Rose gets the ring and rides off into the sunset. Beth is thrown into a world where everyone has secrets, hidden loyalties, and ways to get what they all truly want; power.When marriage is the only escape and war is on the horizon, can Beth ever find a way to be free?

Even before you reach chapter one, Brannan has set the scene by giving you timelines, character lists, and a promise to keep things as historically accurate around her fictional characters as she can. She certainly delivers on this promise, and I’m reminded of the way Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, weaves real events around her characters easily, making you almost wonder if the characters are really only a figment of the author’s imagination. As someone with a history degree and an interest in that time period, I found it highly entertaining.

It’s a heavy read that you will will want to really pay attention to and not something you can half take in while on the beach. You need to remember political issues, the motives of the characters, and all the name. But there’s also some guides in the front of the book to make this a bit easier. Overall, I enjoyed this book and the next is on my “to read” list!

history, New Book, New SHow, outlander, television

The History Behind ‘Voyager’ pt2

You guys really liked my first History Behind Voyager post (that you can read HERE) so I thought I’d keep the Voyager party going with a new little installment. Now, if you’re strictly a show watcher, or haven’t read Voyager yet, then this post will contain some spoilers!

You have been warned. This is the spoiler zone. Happy reading!

Chinese Immigrants in Scotland

Yi Tien Cho, or Mr. Willoughby as we know him, has been quite the controversial figure recently, with some saying that he was akin to a racial caricature. But as with many characters in Diana Gabaldon’s books, there’s still a bit of history tucked away in Mr. Willoughby, regardless of his fondness for feet and training birds.

The British began their regular trading with China in the 1600s. While the increase of tea and silk imports helped the Chinese economy, it also kept the ships sailing in regular intervals. But, not every Chinese sailor went home. They settled around the docks, often sending for their wives and families once they raised enough money for their expensive passage. But the population didn’t explode overnight, it was more of a slow trickle with only a few dozen Chinese immigrants officially living in Great Britain in the early 1800s. That explains why old Mr. Willoughby was all by his lonesome in his new country…well that and he had been on the run!

Turtle Soup

Once on their transatlantic voyage, Claire gets her first taste of turtle soup, complete with a generous amount of sherry. While the dish was popular in Singapore and in the US due to a large snapping turtle population, the savory stew holds a special place in England’s history. It was considered the meal of England’s nobility, but it didn’t stop the common man from buying the meat at the local butcher shop or trying to catch their own in the local waters.

Historically, sailors would catch green sea turtles in the West Indies and keep them aboard ship for a constant supply of food. But by the 1750s, the mass hunting left the population a little skimpy, making it an even more sought after dish. Luckily, there was still a nice little population around Bermuda, giving sailors like Jamie and Claire the ability to catch some for the famous turtle soup. If you’re interested in getting a bowl, it’s not like it was in the olden days when it was readily available for a pretty penny in all the finest tea shops. But if you can find some turtle meat of your own, HERE is a recipe!

The Voyage

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Claire and Jamie spent some time in ships cabins during their trip, but what were luxury accommodations on regular passenger ships really like? Well, if there were 8 foot ceilings and walls, as well as a straw stuffed mattress, it was considered basically 1st class. I mean, even the captains on most passenger ships only had a small room with the basics to call their own. Having a small writing desk was also something that only passengers with private quarters and some sway would obtain. But no matter the class you were in, you can bet your petticoats it was going to stink. With fresh water being carefully rationed for the journey, cleanliness took a backseat. The scent of unwashed bodies, vomit and other bodily fluids, and possibly living livestock would be pretty overwhelming.

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BTW this is a replica crew cabin of a ship (1768-1771ish), but it’s close to the passenger quarters the common man would be in.

Meals were usually served in the common areas of each class, the food being directly brought up from the galley…unless you had to bring your own food for the journey as many boats stipulated. But for meals provided by the ship, there would be ale, salted meats, tack cakes, and fresh meats and vegetables in the beginning. And of course there would be turtle soup, if they could catch it.

Ship’s Doctor

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No matter where Claire is, she’ll end up nursing a doctoring men and women from all walks of life. So it wasn’t a surprise when Claire had to crack open her medicine box aboard the ship. Historically, she would actually be much more qualified to be a ship doctor than most men, and it wasn’t just because she was a literal doctor from the future.

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Unless they were working for the Royal Navy, the ship’s doctors rarely had any formal medical training at all. They usually learned their trade on the job from the older “surgeons” and learned how to generally keep the sailors and passengers alive. The most common things they would have to deal with was venereal disease, minor lacerations, and rope burn. There was also usually a dedicated sickbay on board that was well ventilated for the doctor’s use. The floor of this room would also be sprinkled with sand to keep people from slipping on the blood that would accumulate. Safety first!

British Fashion in Jam

Jamaica became a British colony in 1655 and the white population was bolstered by the English sending Irish and Scottish indentured servants or prisoners to the island. By the 1700s, the sugar plantations were in full swing and the money was flowing…to the British plantation owners at least.

Anyways, the climate in Jamaica was obviously vastly different than that in England. But the heat didn’t stop modesty or the use of fine imported fabrics. Silk and satin were still the fabrics of choice for well-bred ladies and gentlemen in the evening hours when dressing for dinner or attending a grand event, as well as a powdered wig. Usually, a touch of powder on the face and a beauty mark would complete the look. During the day, ladies would wear dresses of thin muslin in pale colors and carry umbrellas to ward off the sun.

In season 3, I expect to see very few kilts, plenty of old-school breeches, powdered wigs, men in heels, and the fabulous silk violet gown that Claire famously wears as Mrs. Malcolm! But overall, much of what we’ll see will be like a toned down version of the costumes from France, just a little less plaid.

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The Maroons

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The Maroons have a long history that goes back to the first slaves in the Americas. Basically, the Maroons are escaped slaves that built independent communities away from their past captors. The would try to form safe towns where they would maintain their heritage, plant crops, and try to stay alive. But it wasn’t easy, as they were constantly at risk of being forced off their lands, captured, or even killed,

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In Jamaica, the Maroons were constantly at odds with the colonists that took over more and more land to plant crops, pushing the Maroons out of each small town they created. But the Maroons began to fight back and demanded lands for their own colonization. After the First Maroon Wars that ended around 1738, the British government granted them land and safety. So, surely that was the end of their oppression? Wrong.

The Maroons in Jamaica had to fight the British government several more times until finally gaining peace in the 1800s. Today, there are still 11 Maroon settlements that maintain their own cultures and identities that they managed to maintain since the 1730s. Their rich heritage was formed from combining all the different backgrounds of the escaped slaves. They formed their own religion, spirituality, and way of life. It’ll be interesting to see how the show brings their history to life!

Mayer Rothschild

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We recognize this historical figure as Mayer Red-Shield, the coin peddler who connects the Duke of Sandringham with some Jacobite gold. The real Mayer is just as interesting, as his legacy created the famous Rothschild banking dynasty.

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Born into a large, poor, Jewish family in Frankfurt, Mayer really had to work his way to the top of the banking world. He started as an apprentice and after a time, became a dealer of rare coins. He amassed such a collection, he gained the patronage of princes all over Europe. By the time his sons were of age, he had expanded his banking business into London and France where he invested in such things as textile production. The gangly boy with the bag of coins we meet in Voyager would grow up to build one of the most powerful financial dynasties in history.

That’s it for my mini history chat! For more Outlander fun, check out our Outlander page HERE! And if you like my articles, you’ll probably love my books!

Queen of Emeralds is a thrilling historical Scottish romance that takes you on a journey through London, deep into the Highlands, and into the arms of a laird. You can order it HERE! The Non-Disclosure Agreement shows what happens when a small town girl and a hot shot billionaire mix business and pleasure. This book is available HERE!

book review, history, New Book, New SHow

The History Behind The White Princess

You guys were so into my last post about The White Queen (which you can read HERE) that I thought it was time to do The White Princess! If you haven’t read the books, or know a lot about the history, this might “spoil” the show. Enjoy!

Margaret Beaufort

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Margaret was the only child of the Duke of Somerset and upon his death, she inherited his fortune. But King Henry VI gave some of her lands to the Duke of Suffolk, whose son later married Margaret and became husband #1. But since she was still a toddler at this time and the pair were too closely related, the marriage wasn’t recognized. Still a wealthy lady, Henry VI called dibs on her and gave her to his half brother Edmund Tudor.

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Their marriage was a short one and Edmund died of the plague after being taken captives by the York forces, leaving her a widowed and pregnant 13-year-old. Taking shelter with her brother-in-law Jasper Tudor, she gave birth to Henry VII, the only child she would ever have. But the pair didn’t have much time together, as he was sent to live in exile for his safety and they could only communicate through letters.

Husband #3 came along, Henry Stafford, and the got along well enough and had a happy marriage. Until he also died when she was 28. Not a good track record for Margaret, who married Thomas Stanly as husband #4 after that. They married strictly to benefit both, as Thomas had political power and Margaret had wealth. They largely lived apart and she even took a vow of chastity, but the arrangement worked well for them. Together, they helped to put Henry VII on the throne.

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She was completely devoted to her son and was basically the royal version of a monster-in-law. She would wear dresses that basically matched Elizabeth’s and tried taking over all the usual tasks that would be given to the queen, like the naming of children and other duties. She was like Regina George’s mom in Mean Girls, only super pious and sour.

Henry Tudor

Henry was the last English monarch that won his throne through battle, taking the crown when his forces defeated Richard III. By marrying Elizabeth of York, he was able to solidify his right to the throne, as he assumed was his all along due to his mother’s constant pushing. In fact, his ties to the crown were distant, being related to King Edward III through the child of a mistress. Still, it was enough to get him an army.

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Once he married Elizabeth, he began a peaceful reign with any real threat to his crown. Together, they had eight children, with two daughters and two sons surviving childhood. From him came King Henry VIII and his infamous wives. But Henry VIII didn’t learn much from his father, who was notably faithful to Elizabeth throughout their marriage. When she died in childbirth, he was so saddened, he never brought himself to remarry, although he only had three living children left at that point and was still young enough to beget more heirs.

Elizabeth of York

This blonde beauty was the daughter, sister, niece, mother, and grandmother of kings. But it was a rocky road. After her father’s death and her brother’s confinement to the Tower of London, she was welcomed out of sanctuary and back to the court of the new King Richard III, her uncle. While this is under historical debate, it is possible that she and her uncle were having an affair while his sickly wife Anne Neville lay upon her death bed. It was true that the pair were often seen together, but there is no definite proof they were in a relationship, or that they planned to wed when Anne died. But it’s not like the pair would carry on their romance in public if it were true.

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By the time Henry Tudor defeated Richard to take the crown, it was accepted that he would marry Elizabeth. As the eldest York daughter, and the woman who could have been queen in her own right had she been born in a different time, their union would solidify his claim to the throne. So he had her parent’s marriage legitimized again and went to join the Yorks and the Tudors. But Henry wasn’t one to share power, so he had himself crowned king before he even married Elizabeth and didn’t have her crowned queen until after she had birthed a son.

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But the marriage may not have been completely loveless as many have thought. Henry was notoriously faithful to his wife, not even remarrying after her death at the age of 37 when he could have easily snatched up a fertile princess. He was even said to mourn her terribly. Far cry from the marriage seen so far in The White Princess, but it’s not like Elizabeth could have divorced him or flat out refused to marry him, so we’ll never know for sure went on behind closed doors.

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The Curse

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In The White Queen we saw Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter Elizabeth of York summoning the power of Melusina to curse the killer of lil’Edward and lil’ Richard. They said that whoever killed the boys would lose their own son young and their grandson as well and have their line end. As fun as that is, it’s a story created by Philipa Gregory to further history, as it’s a fun twist in her series that Henry VII lost both his first son (Arthur) and his first grandson (Edward).

It’s accepted that Richard III didn’t actually kill his nephews lil’Edward and lil’Richard in the tower, as by the time they disappeared, he was already on the throne. Besides, his own sickly son had died and having his nephews as heirs would have benefited him. So Richard get’s a historical pass in my book!

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You know who would have benefited from lil’Edward and lil’Richard’s deaths? Henry VII. Those boys had the greatest claim to the throne over him and if they had been alive and accessible, the Yorks may have rose again. It’s also true that he would have never legitimized Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV’s marriage if there was the slightest chance that the boys were alive and could come to claim what was rightfully theirs.

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There’s no saying how much/if we’ll see anything about Henry and Elizabeth’s kids, but let’s chat about them anyway…

King Henry VIII

This English monarch was the only surviving son of Henry VII and Elizabeth. Mostly known for his many marriages, he always craved sons. This may be partly due to his mother and grandmother being so fertile and maternal and the fact that the only sure way to hold the throne was to have a male heir. But, he was never lucky in love and fathered numerous children with wives and mistresses, only getting one legitimate son before dying gross and fat.

Katherine of Aragon

The young Spanish princess first came to England to be the bride of Henry’s older brother Arthur. But Arthur was weak and sickly and died soon after they wed. Since England still needed an alliance with Spain, the declared that Katherine and Arthur never did the dirty so she was allowed to marry Henry. At first, it seemed super awesome, but as Katherine continuously miscarried, with only one daughter surviving, Henry got antsy for a boy child. So, he did what any sane monarch would do…dump his wife of 20 years into a nunnery for his latest and most cunning mistress…

Anne Boleyn

Anne promised Henry the son he always wanted and he was all about that business. So the moment he had his new religion created, his marriage decreed invalid, and there was an opening in his busy schedule, he wifed her up. But, again, there were miscarriages and only one living daughter. Now, Henry felt pretty dumb. He ousted a beloved queen, married a mistress whose family was slowly taking over court, and still didn’t have a son. Apparently the only way to fix that was to accuse Anne of witchcraft and incest before chopping off her head.

Jane Seymour

Jane was Henry’s favorite wife. She was meek, obedient, turned the other cheek when Henry got a new mistress and finally gave him a son. But, she soon died of complications after childbirth and Henry was seriously torn up. She was the perfect wife and he honored her the only ways he knew how. He gave her a queen’s funeral, had family portraits painted throughout his life with her tucked in, and was later buried beside her, still his favorite long into his old age.

Anne of Cleves

This royal from modern-day Germany was the luckiest of the bunch, and you’ll see why. So, Henry needed a wife and Anne was rustled up from the list to be wife #4. Well, the moment Henry saw her, he declared her super ugly and swiftly had their marriage annulled, citing that she was so disgusting, the marriage couldn’t be consummated. But Henry then gave her an allowance, called her his sister, and the two generally enjoyed each other’s company in a platonic way for the rest of his life. Anne was even the last living wife, outliving everyone else.

Catherine Howard

This teenage bride lasted for 3 whole months. She first caught Henry’s eye as a lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves and the pair were almost immediately married once Anne was out of the picture. Catherine was young, impulsive, and really not a match for the sickly, portly, old king. Might be why she is said to have begun an affair with someone her old age…and why she was beheaded.

Catherine Parr

The final wife was probably a more appropriate choice for Henry. She was older, had already been married twice, and was no longer going to have children. She fit the kind, caring queen well and made for a nice enough helpmate to Henry in his final years. She even helped him reconcile with his daughters. And when he died, she went on to marry again, lucky to have dodged the bullet that took so many of Henry’s other queens.

That’s it for today, but if you’d like some more history fun, check out our Outlander page HERE!

And if you like my writing, I have two books out now. The first is a steamy contemporary romance titled The Non-Disclosure Agreement, which you can get HERE. But if historical romance is more your thing, my Scottish romance, Queen of Emeralds, is on sale HERE for 99cents this weekend!