When you hear the name Queen Elizabeth I, you think sumptuous dresses, red hair, and jewels. You think Virgin Queen and Golden Age.
(The Armada Portrait, attributed to George Gower, c. 1588. Link.)
But no one knew any of that when Elizabeth was a thirteen-year-old girl—declared illegitimate by Parliament, called bastard and whore by everyone else, and on her fourth stepmother.
(Portrait by William Scrots, date unknown but suspected 1546-1548. Link.)
BASTARD PRINCESS is a YA historical novel about Elizabeth Tudor from age 13 to 15. After Henry VIII dies, and Elizabeth’s nine-year-old brother becomes king, Elizabeth moves in with her last stepmother, Katherine Parr. The orphaned and bookish Elizabeth is thrilled to be under the care of the erudite Katherine who encourages her education. But when Katherine Parr hastily marries the social climbing Thomas Seymour and becomes pregnant, Seymour begins making predatory sexual advances on the fourteen-year-old Elizabeth. Denial turns deadly as the actions of the adults around her cast suspicion of treason on Elizabeth. She has to summon every ounce of her education to help her survive, and she learns some powerful lessons in the process.