England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector. They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?
I was born within sight of Pembroke Castle and often visit the small room where the thirteen-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort gave birth to the future king, Henry Tudor. I also recently stood on the remote beach at Mill Bay near Milford Haven, imagining how Jasper Tudor would have felt as he approached with Henry and his mercenary army to ride to Bosworth - and change the history of Britain.
All I knew about Owen Tudor was that he was a Welsh servant who somehow married the beautiful young widow of King Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois, and began this fascinating dynasty. Inspired to write a historical fiction trilogy about them, I was amazed to discover that, although there are plenty of references to Owen, Jasper and Henry in novels, there were none that fully explored their lives.
I wanted to research their stories in as much detail as possible and to sort out the many myths from the facts. There are, of course, huge gaps in the historical records, which only historical fiction can help to fill. For example, there is no record of the marriage between Owen and the Dowager Queen Catherine, although I have also not been able to find evidence of the legitimacy of his decedents, particularly Henry VII, ever being challenged.
Another advantage I have is that my previous two historical fiction novels, The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham, and WARWICK ~ The Man Behind The Wars of The Roses are also set in the fifteenth century, so my considerable library of books and papers on the period are invaluable in cross checking dates and events.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my many readers around the world for helping to make the first book of The Tudor Trilogy, OWEN, an Amazon best-seller in the UK and US, and my best-selling book in Australia, where I have a rapidly growing readership.
Owen was an adventurer, a risk-taker, a man who lived his life to the full and made his mark on the world through his descendants. Jasper Tudor made it possible for his nephew Henry to become King of England and bring a lasting peace to the country. I am now helping to campaign for a statue of Henry Tudor to be erected outside Pembroke Castle so that their legacy is not forgotten.