This day, in 1485, saw the Battle of Bosworth, in which Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, lost his country (and life) to the invading Henry Tudor.
It’s one of the two ‘big’ dates for Ricardians, the second being his birthday, 2nd October, and given that my timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet? featured the lead-up to the battle, releasing it in October seemed the obvious choice!
Given today’s anniversary then, I thought I’d share some of the book with you, and whet your appetite…
2nd July 2011, Nottingham Castle
The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal. Of all the things flying through Kate’s mind as she gazed around the chaos that was the medieval kitchen, that was the one that stood out.
It was meant to be just an ordinary Saturday. A blissful day, enjoying the pounding of hooves cantering around the grounds of Nottingham Castle. Kate had relaxed for once, watching a re-enactment of the Wars of the Roses, celebrating the town’s part in King Richard III’s fateful final few weeks, as he travelled to Leicester to meet Henry Tudor, and his fate at Bosworth. As an avid fan of the period, it was Kate’s perfect Saturday, watching the actors in their armour or fine costumes. She meandered between the stalls, ate her fill of food from the time, and absorbed the atmosphere, enjoying a break from the drudgery of real life. Now, full of roasted chicken and mulled wine, even in the middle of summer, Kate was casually forgetting the accounts she knew she had to settle when she returned to the office on Monday morning. So few of the re-enactments Kate had watched featured Richard III as the hero of their piece, and yet, here he was, taking centre stage, just where he belonged in Kate’s opinion. Too many documentaries, plays and other works cast him as an evil, power-grabbing, child-murdering maniac; today, he was just as she had always pictured him – a man doing his best, no worse than any other medieval monarch, who fell foul of Tudor propaganda. Kate had always supported the underdog, she thought as she wandered around the tents, and Richard was certainly that.
But then the rain started. A summer storm, Kate decided, ignoring the gathering clouds for as long as she could, but once the heavens opened, they refused to close, drenching everyone to the skin as they ran for cover. Ducking inside, Kate found herself standing in front of the former kitchen’s grand fireplace, flickering away with fake, LED flames, fake meat roasting on fake spits. A clap of thunder made Kate jump, causing her bag to slide off her shoulder and in amongst the ‘burning’ logs; she leant in to retrieve it, just at the moment the first bolt of lightning struck. In a heartbeat, the world went black.