By Anne O'Brien
A baby born in the plague yr of 1348, abandoned and raised in the oppressive partitions of a convent, Alice Perrers refused to take the veil, confident higher future awaited her. Ambitious and quickly witted, she rose above her vague beginnings to develop into the infamous mistress of Edward III. yet continually, basically, she used to be alone...
Early in Alice’s existence, an opportunity assembly with royalty alterations every little thing: Kindly Queen Philippa, deeply in love together with her husband yet gravely sick, chooses Alice as a lady-in-waiting. Under the queen’s watchful eye, Alice dares to talk her mind. She calls for to be taken seriously. She even flirts with the dynamic, a lot older king. But she is torn whilst her brilliant spirit captures his interest...and leads her to a betrayal she by no means intended.
In Edward’s deepest chambers, Alice discovers the pleasures and paradoxes of her position. She is the queen’s confidante and the king’s lover, but she will count purely on herself. It is a divided position she used to be destined to play, and she or he vows to play it until eventually the sour end. Even as she is swept up in Edward’s lavish and sumptuous courtroom, collecting wealth and impact for herself, turning into an enemy of his power-hungry son John of Gaunt, and a sparring companion to imaginative diplomat William de Windsor, she anticipates the day whilst the political winds will flip opposed to her. For whilst her detractors voice their hatred,and accusations of treason swirl round her,threatening to wreck every little thing she has completed, who will stand by way of Alice then?
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Extra info for The King's Concubine: A Novel of Alice Perrers
I demanded, whilst his kisses stopped. I knew how I regarded. I stored no kingdom right here. Clad in my oldest dress, my skirts tucked up, my sleeves rolled to my elbow, even my hair used to be exposed. ‘Disgraceful! ’ he responded briskly. ‘Like a penniless state wench. ’ ‘I am a rustic wench. ’ ‘And this is often your son. ’ liberating his grip on me, he lifted the kid from my hands. ‘And yours too. i've got known as him John,’ I stated. ‘A strong identify. I couldn’t think about larger. A perfect identify for therefore small and helpless a creature. He’s no higher than one in every of my alaunts’ puppies. ’ He held him excessive, in order that John’s fussing turned gurgles of astonished pleasure. ‘He has the Plantagenet nostril, I see. ’ ‘I can’t see it. ’ ‘Then you want to glance extra heavily! ’ Edward reduced the baby, putting him lightly in his basket at my toes. He tilted his chin. ‘And what’s biting you, Mistress Alice? You’re as undesirable tempered as a squirrel in a seize. ’ ‘Nothing’s biting me. ’ i wouldn't permit his excitement at seeing his son win me over. The King checked out me, contemplating his subsequent flow. He brushed a tendril of hair from my brow and some crumbs of earth from my sleeve. And he grinned. ‘Don’t smile at me. ’ ‘Why now not? ’ yet he grew to become sober. ‘I understand what burr’s acquired below your saddle, mistress. You inspiration I must have come to determine you prior to now. And that’s the reality of it,’ he further whilst I opened my mouth to disclaim such infantile petulance. So I agreed. ‘Yes. what percentage months is it, Edward? ’ ‘Too many. yet pay attention. examine me. ’ He shook my sleeve to get my recognition. ‘You need to settle for that you're not continuously my first precedence. I knew you have been secure. I knew you have been good cared for. I knew that you just and your son have been in well-being and lacked for not anything. ’ ‘Why did you no longer come? ’ He pulled me to a financial institution of grass, the place we sat. ‘Chiefly as the King of France is lifeless. ’ Edward leaned ahead, his forearms braced opposed to his thighs, watching the grass among his toes. I knew anything of this from my courtroom days: King John of France, defeated in conflict and a prisoner in England until eventually his ransom used to be paid by means of his penurious state. He were a guy of honour who had waited out his days with reliable humour. ‘He fell ailing in March,’ Edward defined. ‘A month later he used to be useless. I lower back his physique to France. His son—King Charles the 5th now—is reluctant to maintain the truce of Bretigny among us. in order that potential warfare, God aid us. I’m negotiating an alliance with King Pedro of Castile—I imagine we’ll want him. No struggle but however the hurricane clouds are looming and that i don’t…’ His phrases light. And it got here to me that I had by no means noticeable him so missing in insurance. His forehead furrowed. Then he grew to become his head and appeared up at me. ‘I am King, Alice. I can’t positioned you sooner than my tasks. i need to preserve England secure. yet i'm right here now, simply because i wanted to work out you and will placed it off now not. ’ My chilly anger melted. right here used to be no apology yet an evidence that i'll comprehend. a proof from a guy who was once King, who truthfully didn't have to clarify. And but he had. I positioned my hand on his arm. ‘Will you remain?