Jane Seymour’s Revenge?

“That Kiss is Her Destiny and Her Fortune”

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 my story, 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. Through Jane’s maternal grandfather, she was a descendant of King Edward III of England.

Hans Holbien & Jane mural, located at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Hans Holbien & Jane mural, located at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

 

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? The concept for my upcoming story, Phoenix Rising, was beginning to take root. Then, when I discovered that Jane was presented at court by none other than Sir Francis Bryan, the story began to reveal itself to me.

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, Edward VI. This was the real reason women were important at that point in time, right?

Victorian depiction of Jane Seymour

Victorian depiction of Jane Seymour

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 family intrigue, Jane was known to be ‘haughty’. Is it that difficult to imagine he felt her station above that of Anne Boleyn? A bit of encouragement from her family and Sir Francis Bryan and she became a force to be reckoned with? Would she stop at nothing less than becoming Henry’s wife through schemes and power plays?

Jane

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.

JS+Signature

Do we know for certain this signature is by her hand?

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Phoenix Rising

The last hour of Anne Boleyn’s life…

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny’s stage.

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Château Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment… the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

“Compelling, captivating and moving.”
Claire Ridgway, author of The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Phoenix-Rising

Released via MadeGlobal Publishing on May 19, 2015. Order now at getBook.at/phoenix_rising

Sources:

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.

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About the Author:

I am a writer. Originally from Tennessee, I now live in Atlanta, GA. History, travel, and international culture are my specialties. Look for my fictional stories, written as Hunter S. Jones. If you love Tudor England, check out PHOENIX RISING a story of magic, secrets, betrayal and revenge based on the last hour of Anne Boleyn's life. Now on Amazon and in a bookstore near you.
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