Author’s Note. At heart I am a historian. Before I begin writing a #classi#historical#omance I research the background. I hope you will enjoy this month’s insider blog based on my notes.
Anne was pretty with plump features, red-brown hair, and her mother’s elegant hands, which she was immensely proud of. A shy, easily ignored child she was aware of her short-comings – her poor education did nothing to boost her confidence. Sarah said years later: Your Majesty has had the misfortune to be misinformed in general things even from twelve years old. There was no reason to provide Anne and her sister with better education because it was probable the Queen would bear an heir to the throne. During Anne’s life few women could read and write. Little more than dancing, drawing, French, and music were required to prepare Anne for life at court. Her general education was neglected but her religious education was rigorous and laid the foundation for her lifelong adherence to the Anglican faith.
Anne and Mary lived apart from the court at Whitehall, their indulgent Roman Catholic father and stepmother. Expected to be virtuous, the sisters must have been aware of the licentiousness at their uncle’s court and their uncle, the king, and their father acknowledged illegitimate children.
King Charles II was interested in Anne, who would be one of the best guitar players at court. Her voice was pleasing so he ordered the actress, Mrs Barry, to give his nieces elocution lessons. They benefitted Anne when she took part in masques and plays popular at court and, as queen, when she addressed parliament.
Anne and Mary grew up in the company of clerics and women, secluded from Whitehall with little to entertain them. They suffered boring conversations, stifling small rooms, and endless card games. Sarah declared: I wished myself out of Court as much as I had desired to come into it before I knew what it was. Despite tedium and whatever storms lay ahead, Anne loved her sister. So much that when Mary married her Dutch cousin, William of Orange, in 1677, while Anne had smallpox, her father ordered that she should not be told her sister had departed for the Continent.
While Anne’s tutor fretted in case her fanatical Roman Catholic nurse influenced her when Anne was ill, she recovered, Anne had to cope with the death of her governess. Fortunately, she still had Sarah’s companionship and they enjoyed the vast grounds of Richmond Palace, leased by the king for his nieces. This tranquillity. It is reasonable to suppose her mind was occupied with thoughts of who she would marry.
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Rosemary Morris’ #classic#historical#romance novels set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign – 1702-1714
Far Beyond Rubies
The Captain and The Countess
The Viscount and The Orphan