Acclaimed historical fiction author, Carol has brought the shadowy figure of Elizabeth Cromwell to life in a wonderful new book. Yes, we all know about the Machiavellian figure of Thomas Cromwell, advisor to Henry VIII, but the life of his wife (who died too young) is less well known and largely left to conjecture. Before her marriage to Cromwell, Elizabeth was a respected business woman in her own right. Let's bring this woman out of the shadows!
As I do with all my guests, I asked Carol to share a snippet of her research into the book...
Thomas Cromwell had his secrets...
The interesting fun fact that I discovered whilst researching was that Thomas Cromwell possibly was father to a love child, born whilst he was married happily to Elizabeth. Jane Cromwell, the child, is mentioned in his will and Historians, such as Tracy Borman, have worked out that she was probably born in 1520. Jane Cromwell was married in due course to a man who worked for Thomas Cromwell and she grew up on Merseyside, not London. Since Thomas Cromwell is regarded as a family man and never remarried after Elizabeth’s death in 1528, I found this fact curious. I used it in the story and, in the excerpt from The Woman in the Shadows below, he is about to be exposed through Elizabeth’s discovery of a little book in his cloak pocket. Read the novel to find out more and the consequences of this startling discovery.
The Woman in the Shadows
Read an excerpt...
Bessie arrived, glanced at my choice of gown and appraised it.
‘Very fine, Mistress Elizabeth. You will look a treat in that gown.’
She helped me into it and found me a pair of contrasting sleeves.
‘Hurry, Bessie,’ I said with impatience. ‘We will miss the sword-fighting, and I promised Gregory.’
‘Here, you’re done, Mistress Elizabeth.’ She tied the last ribbon and stood back to inspect me.
In my haste to dress, I left my linen work cap lying on top of the book. I changed my slippers for stouter shoes and set the slippers on the chest beside it.
Meet Carol McGrath
Visit her website www.carolcmcgrath.co.uk