An Introduction to King Gregory

A man was walking through a field. It was sunset, and the tall weeds were waving in the breeze, except where the man had trampled them. He was rather squat, and was making a lot of wheezy noises as he walked, his big rucksack weighing heavily on his back and sweat dripping into his eyes.

The field seemed to whisper around him as he walked, and his movements became increasingly twitchy as the darkness increased. He jumped at small sounds that ended up being crows landing in the field, and he gave an audible gasp when a fox ran past him.

When night had truly fallen, he still had another couple miles of field yet to cross. He seemed, however, to decide against walking in the dark, and settled, with much grunting and swearing, in a space that had been cleared by previous campers in the field.

Another hour later, and the man had succeeded, if rather pitifully, in preparing some form of edible dinner. He sat by the small fire he had managed to coax into being and ate the heated broth he had made with some old bread. He looked deeply unsatisfied and disgruntled, as if not quite used to living like this.

He was, in fact, very used to living this way, as he had been on the run for over two cycles of the moon. The only real reason he was so displeased on this night of all nights was because he had gotten some news, a few hours before entering the field. He had passed a small village, one of those places where everyone was related and Auntie Shay was somehow everyone’s aunt, and while purchasing some well needed supplies at their tiny inn, he had learned that a rider had come four days previously to the town to announce that a new king had risen: King Gregory was killed and his brother, Malcolm, had sorrowfully needed to assume the throne.

Gregory, sitting in a field with some moldy bread and lukewarm broth, was still seething at this unjustified and most disgusting lie.

Royals and Celebrities

I am currently reading “The Constant Princess” by Philippa Gregory. I also read her book that was made into a movie, “The Other Boleyn Girl” and loved it, which is why, when I was last in a proper bookstore, I picked up a couple more books by her. Her novels are historical fiction, many focusing around the lineage of the Tudor family, one of the more scandalous and dramatic royal lines in England apparently, as there is such an obsession surrounding them – there’s even a mini-series which I’m dying to see called “The Tudors.”

This got me thinking though. First of all, what parts of Gregory’s books are based on actual fact? Oh, who married who and what they named their children is obviously true, but what about the smaller events? I assume there are historical diaries and letters and such from the period that hold gossip and information about what was going on in the royal court, but obviously all the feelings and thoughts of the characters in the book are fictional and speculative. Unless there are diaries of Catalina, Infanta of Spain and eventually Katherine, Queen of England herself then Gregory merely uses her imagination to write her feelings and thoughts over the hardships she endured and ambitions she harbored.

This got me to thinking something else. Look at this fascination so many people, myself included apparently, have with royals, with these celebrities of centuries past. Will people still be fascinated with such celebrities in, say, three hundred years time? Will there be novels written about people like George Bush or will it be novels about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Or will humanity finally realize that celebrities, whether in power or not, are still just people and stop obsessing over their lives?