Jean Plaidy - For a Queens Love: The Stories of the Royal Wives of Philip II

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Jean Plaidy - For a Queens Love: The Stories of the Royal Wives of Philip II
Название: For a Queens Love: The Stories of the Royal Wives of Philip II
Автор: Jean Plaidy
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John was silent and Sir Richard continued: “Just for ourselves we will see Sir Edmund Dudley as the son of a farmer, himself a lawyer, yet such a master of his profession that the King sought his aid and through him and his friend Empson, ruled England.”

The boy’s eyes had begun to shine. “The son of a farmer merely—and he one of those who ruled England!”

“What should that teach you? Just this: No matter how lowly you may be, there is no limit—no limit—to the heights to which you may climb. Think of the King. Dare he look too far back? Is it not true that his Tudor ancestor was the son of a groom, and a bastard? Think, boy, think! This is treason and I’ll whisper it. Dudley or Tudor? Is one better than the other? Remember it. Always remember it. Your father had great ambition. It may be now that he looks down from Heaven on you … his eldest son. It may be that he asks himself: What will my son do in this world? Will he rise as I did? Will he learn from my mistakes? Has he the fire within him which will make him a great man? John, I doubt not that your father looks down from Heaven upon you and prays and hopes.”

John did not forget those words. He was determined to be as great a man as his father.

In the games he played, he was always the leader. Already he was Jane’s hero. Sir Richard was pleased as he watched the growing affection between John Dudley and Jane Guildford.

Sir Richard’s position at Court had brought him into contact with the King, who was as yet a careless boy in love with pleasure, yet a boy with an awakening conscience. Sir Richard thought that the King’s conscience might play its part in the future of his young protégé.

Henry still frowned at the name of Dudley. He was well aware that the execution of his father’s favorite and adviser had been carried out for the sake of his, Henry’s, popularity. Henry had not yet come to terms with his conscience. It could not yet persuade him, as it would later, that Dudley and Empson had deserved their fate, so the very mention of the name Dudley brought discomfort to him. But when Sir Richard subtly begged royal permission to ask the Parliament for the repeal of the attainder against the Dudleys, Henry was almost eager to give that permission.

Let the boy inherit his father’s wealth. The King did not want it; he had that vast accumulation of riches, which his own father had amassed through his thrifty reign, to squander. Yes, let the attainder be repealed. Let the son of Edmund Dudley have his father’s riches. The King could then feel happier when the names of Dudley and Empson were mentioned; he could put aside the thought that those two men had been executed to placate the people from whom much of his father’s wealth had been extorted.

The first step was therefore taken. John was no longer penniless. He was a rich parti for young Jane; although he could not yet go to Court.

Sir Richard came home full of excitement. “See what I have done for you, John!” he cried. “Now it will be your turn.”

“Yes, now it is my turn,” said the solemn boy.

Jane watched them gravely, wondering what this was all about. But there was no need to explain such matters to Jane. She was happy because her father was happy; and she saw in John that deep brooding concentration which she respected although she could not share it.

As they went out to the stables together she said: “Something good has happened, has it not?”

He nodded but he said no more then for he did not wish the grooms to hear.

As they rode across the clover-starred meadows, he said: “I am no longer without means. My father’s fortune is to be returned to my family.”

“John … does it mean you will go away?”

He smiled at the fear in her eyes. “If I went away, I should come back. You know, do you not, Jane, that when we are old enough we are to marry?”

“Yes, John,” she answered.

“You will be happy then, Jane. So shall I!”

He was sure of her contentment—as sure as he was that one day he would be a leader of men. It did not occur to her that this might be arrogance on his part; if he was arrogant, then, in her eyes, arrogance was a virtue.

As they cantered across the fields she was thinking of their future, of their marriage and the children they would have.

He too was thinking of the future, but not of his life with Jane. Jane’s love was something he took for granted. The thunder of horses’ hooves seemed to say to him “Dudley—Tudor!”

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 1954, 1971 by Jean Plaidy

Excerpt from A Favorite of the Queen, copyright © 1955 by Jean Plaidy.

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

www.crownpublishing.com

Three Rivers Press and the Tugboat design are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Originally published in hardcover in Great Britain as The Spanish Bridegroom by Robert Hale Limited, London, in 1954, and in hardcover in the United States by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, in 1971.

This book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming Three Rivers Press reprint of A Favorite of the Queen by Jean Plaidy, which was originally published as Gay Lord Robert by Robert Hale Limited, London, in 1955. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Plaidy, Jean, 1906–1993.

[Spanish bridegroom]

For a queen’s love: the stories of the royal wives of Philip II /

By Jean Plaidy. — 1st trade pbk. ed.

p. cm. — (A novel of the Tudors)

Originally published: The Spanish bridegroom: G. P. Putnam’s Sons,

1971.

1. Philip II, King of Spain, 1527–1598—Fiction. 2. Great Britain—

Kings and rulers—Fiction. I. Title.

PR6015.I3S63 2010

823′.912—dc22

2009022659

eISBN: 978-0-307-58958-3

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