“That Kiss is Her Destiny and Her Fortune”
by Hunter S. Jones
Last year, I began thinking of what I could write about the Tudor era. I wanted to write a story unlike anything I had ever read before. The artistic seed was there, but what would trigger the growth of a concept which led to Phoenix Rising?
Let’s examine Jane Seymour. What do we know of Jane Seymour, really know of her? She was the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentword. Jane was the oldest daughter of ten children, six of whom lived to adulthood. In that era, six surviving children was no small feat.
Was Jane Seymour born at Wulfhull or Wolf Hall as it is now known, in Wiltshire, England, the family seat? We do not know. What we do know is that the Seymour’s were an old family, tracing their roots to one of William the Conqueror’s men. We also know that through Jane’s maternal grandfather, she was a descendant of King Edward III of England.
Due to Jane’s pedigree, Jane and King Henry VIII were fifth cousins. Sinister enough, but get this…Jane was a second cousin to none other than Anne Boleyn. That’s when the story of Jane took a turn for me. What type of female, now or five hundred years ago, is fitted for her wedding dress at the very hour her cousin is to be executed by beheading — then marries the widower? The concept for my upcoming story, Phoenix Rising, was beginning to take root. When I discovered that Jane was presented at court by none other than Sir Francis Bryan, the story began to reveal itself to me.
Painted over 200 years after their deaths, we know that this picture is not accurate. Or is it?
We read about ‘Plain Jane ‘or how fair she was, so we perceive her as homely. True, her pictures do not translate well into our millennium, but let’s look at the time period and the concept of feminine beauty in the Tudor era. The archaic meaning of fair is a beautiful woman, as in “Who’s the fairest of them all?” Jane motto was ‘Bound to Obey and Serve.’ She was the epitome of the Tudor female. She even had Henry VIII’s longed for male heir. This was the real reason women were important at that point in time, right?
There is so little known about Jane Seymour. The research for Phoenix Rising was fertile territory for an historical fiction story. My imagination was enabled to fill the gaps left unknown to us by history. The story of women vying for the attention of a powerful man is timeless. Add in a dash of family intrigue, plus Jane was known to be ‘haughty’. Is it that difficult to imagine she felt her
station above that of Anne Boleyn? Did a bit of encouragement from her family and Sir Francis Bryan lead her to became a force to be reckoned with? Would she stop at nothing less than becoming Henry’s wife through schemes and power plays?
Jane served Katherine of Aragon and openly supported Princess Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII and Queen Katherine, even before Queen Anne was beheaded. Was Jane out for revenge? Once Katherine was deceased, did she truly believe that Henry was free to marry and love again and that she was a better choice for England than her cousin Anne?
The mystery of Jane Seymour is even more enigmatic than that of her glamorous relative, Anne Boleyn. She is a true chimera.
Do we know for certain this is written by her hand?
Phoenix Rising reveals the last hour of Queen Anne Boleyn and the rise of Lady Jane Seymour. It is based on the star map — astrology chart — provided to King Henry VIII by his Welsh physician, Milady Bliant. It depicts the thoughts and motives behind the main players on the Tudor stage at that one moment in time. The name is from the royal badge chosen by Jane Seymour, that of a phoenix rising from a castle with Tudor roses.
The novella will be released via MadeGlobal Publishing on May 19, 2015. Look for the cover reveal very soon via the Tudor Society. (https://www.tudorsociety.com)
The Tudors: King Takes Queen, Michael Hirst, Elizabeth Massie.
The Six Wives of Henry VII, Antonia Fraser.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons and Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Deb Hunter writes fiction as Hunter S. Jones. Her best-selling poetic romance novel September Ends won awards for Best Independently Published Novel and Best Romance, based on its unique blending of poetry and prose. Her story The Fortune Series received best-selling status on Amazon in the Cultural Heritage and Historical Fiction categories. She has been published by H3O Eco mag, LuxeCrush, Chattanooga Times-Free Press, and is now a freelance contributor for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She has recently been accepted into the prestigious Rivendell Writers Colony. Her arts, music and culture blogs on ExpatsPost.com are filled with eclectic stories regarding music, writing, the arts and climate awareness. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband. Her undergrad degree is from a private university in Nashville, Tennessee where she graduated without honors but with a degree in History of the English Renaissance and Reformation.