Kindred Spirits by Jennifer Wilson

Hi Ailsa, and thank you for hosting me today.

In Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, I’ve taken a couple of liberties… In my world, Richard III made his way to London, and the Tower, shortly after his death at Bosworth in 1485, to be near the centre of power once again, and try to work out what had happened to his nephews, the Princes in the Tower. His body though, remained firmly in Leicester, sadly to be lost to us after a couple of centuries.

And of course, after his burial in March 2015 (although he doesn’t mention it in my account!), he probably felt like visiting his new grave site. According to several reports back in September 2015, that’s exactly what he did do. Several reports1 showed the photos of his face appearing in the slabs of Leicester Cathedral’s floor. It just shows that these spirits can make their way around their own worlds, and potentially beyond.

KS-ToL-HighResCoverAnne Boleyn has also made appearances elsewhere. After all, she travelled with her husband, Henry VIII, on plenty of occasions, visiting his major palaces, and key cities when on progress. Her spirit has been spotted at her birthplace, Hever Castle in Kent, at Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, and other houses associated with her youth. Mostly, these feature a headless lady, feelings of cold, or sightings of a lady in grand court dress. Given that she certainly made an impact in life, why shouldn’t she continue to do so in death?

She’s not the only Tudor queen who has left her mark elsewhere. Although excavation work has shown that the corridor Katherine Howard supposedly ran down to try and reach Henry just before she was taken away cannot have existed, I’ve been in the connecting passage in Hampton Court Palace that she apparently haunts, and there is definitely an atmosphere. So that’s both of Henry’s queens who entered the Tower via the less-celebrated route of Traitors’ Gate, keen to stick around…

The royal palaces all have such a strong sense of history about them, it’s impossible not to get the feeling you’re surrounded by characters, whether noble or peasant.

Kindred Spirits: Tower of London:

A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…

In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Tudor Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.

Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.

With so many characters haunting the Tower of London, will they all find the calm they crave? But foremost – will the young Plantagenet Princes join them?

About Jennifer:JCW in Leicester Cathedral

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.

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