Finding Meg Catesby at home | Inspiration for my new book

My recent trip to GB felt like the Whacky Races – I drove 2848 miles (thanks Avis!) in 17 days as I zig-zagged across the island, hugging every family member, enjoying late night chats and long country walks with dear friends, and meeting a couple of fifteenth-century relatives who appear in my new book, The Godmother’s Secret. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more, but here’s a glimpse of one day spent in the hallowed quiet of a country church, and an exploration of the adjacent manor house. Home to the Catesby family for centuries, at Ashby Manor I found Margaret de la Zouche – Meg in my new novel – along with her husband William Catesby, Richard III’s loyal Chancellor. Both Meg and Will were part of the unfolding drama of the succession of Edward V to the throne in the summer of 1483, and the subsequent disappearance of Edward and his younger brother Richard – the “Princes in the Tower.” Meg’s stepmother, Elysabeth St.John, is my ancestress and, as the godmother to Edward V, brings her own story to the mystery…

The Godmother’s Secret is a medieval historical fiction about the lost Princes in the Tower. Were they murdered by Richard III? Did Margaret Beaufort play a role in their disappearance? Elysabeth St.John is the godmother to Edward, the oldest prince, and Margaret’s sister. Of anyone at the Royal Court, Elysabeth has the most to lose, and the most to gain, by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.

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