from Mia Marlowe…
I’m the first to admit it. The porcupine and I have not exactly bonded.
I know, I know. Jaunty is our mascot and he’s been with the JQs much longer than me. I should show some respect.
But from the very beginning, I just wasn’t feeling the love. For one thing, I wasn’t expecting the high-handed (Excuse me, ought I to say “high-pawed?”) interview with the porcupine to which I had to submit when I first joined the group. Also, I’m not used to egotistical rodents who demand offerings of pine nuts. Or whine (Sorry, Jaunty, but you do sometimes get a “tone” going, you know!) that we ought to put him in our stories.
But the DH and I were in Rouen, France recently and I saw something there that made me think Jaunty just might have reason to have such a high opinion of himself.
Yep, that’s a porcupine with a golden crown on its pointed little head. (Hey! Don’t take offense, Jaunty. A porcupine is arguably covered with nothing but points!) Anyway, the crowned porcupine is the emblem associated with Louis XII of France who ruled from 1498-1515. He reformed the French legal system, lowered taxes and was adept at handling his nobles. Popular with his subjects, Louis was known as “The Father of his People.” He didn’t even run up the deficit, unlike previous and subsequent monarchs.
But lest our Jaunty get too puffed up, King Louis XII’s dealings with the ladies was nothing to write home about. He was forced to marry a distant relative when he was quite young. How young no one could be certain since there were no accurate records of his birth, but he argued that he had been under the age of consent, which was 14 at the time. Once he unexpectedly became king, he had the marriage annulled, but he didn’t claim he and Queen Joan were too closely related or that he’d been too young to have consented to the marriage. Louis testified that his wife was deformed and he couldn’t consummate the marriage because of it.
Needless to say, the lady was horrified and fought the charges with vehemence. However, the Pope had political reasons for supporting Louis, so the annulment was granted. (Joan entered a convent and was later canonized as a saint in 1950. After a husband like Louis, she deserved it!)
He then married Anne of Brittany and sired 4 stillborn sons and two live daughters. Louis was desperate to beget a male heir for France, so when Anne died in 1514, he lost no time in marrying Mary Tudor, sister of England’s Henry VIII. Three months later he died, reputedly from exhaustion from his exertions in the royal bedchamber, still without a male heir.
Who’s deformed now, Louis?
Anyway, I thought Jaunty might enjoy seeing his royal roots and how his illustrious many-times great-grandfather was commemorated in France. Does this make up for the lack of pine nuts?
Mia’s newest release One Night with a Rake is based on the very real historical race for the English crown. When Princess Charlotte died in 1817, the unmarried sons of King George III realized that if they could present their royal father with a legitimate grandchild, that child might one day sit on the throne. But not everyone wants to see the House of Hanover continue, so Lord Nathaniel plans to seduce Lady Georgette out of royal consideration, one delicious sin at a time…
Sourcebooks is offering a print copy of Waking Up with a Rake (Book 1 in the Royal Rake series) to one random commenter. US/Canada only. Here’s a question to get the discussion started:
History is often stranger than fiction. Honestly, I could not make some of this stuff up! How much actual history do you like in your historical romance?