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Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the oldest and most frightening fortresses still standing in England.  The building was originally started in 1066 on the order of William the Conquerer, who built castles and fortresses all along the English coast to defend against invaders.  The Tower was the first of them and stands on the river Thames to protect London itself.
Over the years it has been added to and used for various things, mostly as a prison for traitors.  Even today someone convicted of high treason could be imprisoned in the Tower, though that has not happened for a very long time.  But a new monarch always stayed in the Tower until the coronation, probably as a defence against rivals trying to usurp the throne.
It is famous for the executions of many titled people, including Queen Anne Boleyn, and it was where the first zoo was set up by one of the early Kings who had a fancy for exotic animals.  When they became too numerous, they were moved to Regents' Park, where they still reside as London Zoo.
When Queen Mary I died, her half sister, Elizabeth, pardoned all the prisoners awaiting execution on her orders.  That is how my hero, Richard Summerville, escaped and arrived home just in time.
Having replaced his wife with his mistress at court, having raped her and imprisoned her to live as a peasant in a freezing cottage, he believed that she must now hate him.  Her arrival at the Tower of London, risking her own safety to say goodbye to him, gave him hope that she may still care for him after all.
But her betrayal and his treatment of her were difficult sins to overcome;  would their love be strong enough?  Or would the past keep rearing up to ruin every chance of happiness?
A happy ever after ending was not enough for the Judas Pledge.  There was too much bitterness between these two for them to simply ride off into the sunset;  their sins had to be explained and put carefully behind them.
Thus Transgressions' Ghosts was born, the ghosts of all those sins re-appearing and trying to ruin things.
Then there is Anthony, the cousin who Richard had raised since the age of twelve, a devout catholic who believes that his cousin should never have forgiven his wife.
This story is about their battle to build a future, about the birth of their children, about their struggle to keep on the right side of Queen Elizabeth in the face of Anthony's treachery.

Extract from Transgressions' Ghosts

I would never have expected I would end that day by coming face to face with that mistress, that breathtakingly beautiful woman who I had seen the day my sister died.  I had watched her riding in the park, in the Summerville carriage, using her considerable charm on my husband, stealing his love away bit by bit while I could do nothing but watch, helpless and desolate.

Now should we leave it there, or should we go on to discover the lives of those children, to see how their future was affected by some of the past sins of their parents?
I couldn't bear to leave it there.  The stories of those children had to be told, thus Summerville Secrets was born.


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