Showing posts from April, 2009

Lady Penelope Deveraux

Oh those Boleyn Girls! Students of history know all about Mary Boleyn, mistress of Henry VIII, thanks to Philippa Gregory and her bestselling novel who refashioned Mary from a good-time girl who graced the beds of several men before landing in Henry's to some kind of feminist heroine. Like her great-granddaughter, Mary then defiantly married a man she loved after her husband Will Carey died, pissing off her sister Anne, who didn't think Will Stafford was aristocratic enough to marry a Boleyn. We also know plenty about her sister Anne Boleyn who replaced Mary in Henry's bed. But what about the descendents of these remarkable women? Painting of Penelope on the right and her sister Dorothy Well, everyone knows that Anne's daughter Elizabeth became Elizabeth I, Gloriana, one of the greatest monarchs ever in English history. Celebrated in films, television, fiction, and opera. But Anne's sister Mary descendants lives were completely entwined in the life of her sister'

And the winner is

The winner of a brand new copy of The King's Rose is Avon Lady Jerrica! Please email me off line at with your mailing address and I will pop it in the mail to you.

Welcome Guest Blogger Alisa M. Libby, author of The King's Rose

I came across Catherine’s story when I was nearly done with my first book, The Blood Confession – a historical fantasy inspired by the legend of Countess Bathory, who believed that bathing in the blood of virgins would preserve her youth and beauty for eternity. I had been working on this book for a while and I was feeling a little lost at the thought of being finished. I started casting around for some other wayward girl in history that I could write about, and that’s when I found Catherine Howard. Catherine was a teenager when she first arrived at court, to be a part of the new queen’s household. While Henry was disappointed with his new bride, Anne of Cleves, he “cast a fantasy” to Catherine from the moment he saw her. She was young, pretty, petite, and vivacious—just Henry’s type. Less than a year after her arrival at court she was married to the King of England and awaiting her own coronation as queen. After over a year of marriage, she was accused of having an affair while marrie

Coming Soon: Alisa M. Libby, Author of The King's Rose

Tomorrow, Alisa M. Libby will be blogging about her new historical young adult novel, The King's Rose about Henry VIII's fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Here's a sneak peek at the book: Appointed to the queen’s household at the age of fourteen, Catherine Howard is not long at court before she catches the eye of King Henry VIII. The king is as enchanted with Catherine as he is disappointed with his newest wife — the German princess Anne of Cleves. Less than a year from her arrival at court, Catherine becomes the fifth wife of the overwhelmingly powerful, if aging, King of England. Caught up in a dazzling whirl of elaborate celebrations, rich gowns and royal jewels, young Catherine is dizzied by the absolute power that the king wields over his subjects. But does becoming the king’s wife make her safe above all others, or put her in more danger? Catherine must navigate the conspiracies, the silent enemies, the king’s unpredictable rages, as well as contend with the ghosts

Nancy Astor

In 1919 Nancy Astor took her seat in the House of Commons as the first woman to serve as an MP. In the 90 years since then, many more women have entered the hallowed walls of the Houses of Parliament, there's even been a woman Prime Minister, following in the footsteps of this remarkable woman. But not many people today know her name or her achievements. So here are a few facts about Nancy Astor. 1. Nancy Langhorne came into the world on May 19, 1879 in Danville Virginia, one of 11 children born to Chillie and Nanaire Langhorne. The Langhornes were not rich; the growing family lived in near poverty in a four room house in Danville. Chillie worked as an auctioneer and later with the railroads. By the time Nancy was 11, Chillie had enough money to move his family to Richmond to a grand house called Mirador. 2. Nancy wasn't the only Langhorne to make her mark on the world. Her oldest sister Irene was the first southerner to open the Patriarchs Ball in New York since the Civil War.

Scandalous Movie Review: Grey Gardens

"My mother gave me a completely priceless life." -- "Little Edie" Beale, 1917-2002 Last night I was lucky enough to get see a screening of the new HBO film Grey Gardens starring Jessie Lange as 'Big' Edie Bouvier Beale and Drew Barrymore as 'Little' Edie. Since I don't have HBO, this was the only way that I was going to see the film until it came out on DVD. As a native New Yorker, I was aware vaguely of the story of Jacqueline Onassis' relatives out on Long Island, and the documentary that was made about them, but I had never actually seen the film until two years ago after I had seen the Broadway musical of their live starring Christine Ebersole. After seeing the documentary and the musical, I wasn't sure that the world needed another depiction of their lives unless it was in book form (so far there has been no real biography written about these two women apart from a book by the Mayles and reminiscences from people who worked for the

Scandalous Book of the Month: Mistress of the Sun

I'm very pleased to be featuring Sandra Gulland's latest novel Mistress of the Sun, as the book on the month here on Scandalous Women. Sandra is well known for her trilogy about the Empress Josephine, but Mistress of the Sun tells the story of Louis XIV's first official mistress, Louise de la Valliere. I've always been fascinated by Louis XIV ever since I read the Angelique series as a teenager. There's something about the Sun King and life at Versailles that is just so delicious. Sandra Gulland's book did not disappoint me. If you love historical fiction, then you must pick up a copy of this book. The book opens when Louise, called Petite, is four years old, and precocious beyond her years, already reading, and obsessed with animals. She sees a wild white horse that she names Diablo, that she convinces her fahter to buy. Petite wants to tame him but she uses measures that are forbidden by the Church. Although Diablo is successfully tamed, bad things happen, s

Upcoming in April

Some exciting things coming up this month on Scandalous Women Guest blog by historical author, Alisa M. Libby, author of The King's Rose, a new novel of Katherine Howard. Review of Sandra Gulland's Mistress of the Sun 15 Facts about Nancy Astor Review of the new HBO Film Grey Gardens Penelope Deveraux Belle da Costa Greene

Another cool Award

I just received this awesome award from Amy at Passages to the Past. "The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..." So I've now passing this awesome award to some other deserving bloggers: Kwana at Kwana Writes Megan Frampton Leanna Renee Heiber Hope Tarr's Sort of Blog Eliza Knight's wonderfully informative blog History Undressed . I also want to thank Herr Mozart and Mrs. Woffington for the awards that they gave me. I'm so sorry I've been behind