Selections from The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper, specifically for Elyssa. Because I love her, obviously.
Also, in the very near future, I will be posting in entry in which I compare and contrast The Last Boleyn to The Other Boleyn Girl. I was doing it in the shower, in my head, this morning. I’m very excited, so you should be too. Wee.
The summer weeks flitted by on butterfly wings for Mary Carey at King Henry’s busy court—and in his massive bed. Will Carey’s honeymoon with her had lasted but a week; this one, with the loud and laughing king, went on and on. They hunted, they rode bedecked barges up and down the Thames, they laughed and danced and sported and held hands. For Mary, it was truly the first courtship she had ever had, and she was wholly in love with being loved, if not with the effusive lover himself.
He turned to her and pulled her gently away from the willow tree. ‘But the difference, my Mary, is that I love you, and I believe you truly love me. Do you deny it?’
‘No,’ she drawled slowly as memories mingled with the griefs she had felt without him at Plashy and the joys she had felt so often with him. ‘I think I do love you, Staff, but you see…well, my life has been so confused, and I have been so unhappy with Will and His Grace and so, maybe I…’
He gave her a rough shake and she stopped speaking. ‘I asked you once if you loved Will and you said ‘I think I do.’ I told you then that if you think you do, you do not. Do you remember? I do not want you to ‘think’ you love me. I will have you and your love, lass, and you will know it is love or I might just as well marry at the king’s whim or bed some court lady who catches my moment’s fancy.’
Tears came to her eyes, and the tiny hurt grew that always came when he spoke of bedding others. The grip of his hard hands hurt her arms. She smothered the desire to tell him how much she loved him.
His arms went strong and sure around her. ‘I love you, my golden Mary. I have always loved you.’ His voice faltered. ‘Yet I am not certain saying ‘love’ is strong enough to tell it all—all of how deeply I have felt for you over the years…’
Well, that’s it for now. I did actually enjoy the book, however much it reminded me of Philippa. I can’t wait to show you all the differences between the two author’s portrayals of the same amazing, invisible historical figure.