Today the spotlight shines on....................................................Marget and Lytham
Acclaimed author and a very lovely lady, Siri Mitchell, addresses the lengths women went to for the sake of so called beauty in Elizabethan England in her latest novel, A Constant Heart.
Siri's Chateau of Echoes is one of my all time favourite books, along with Kissing Adrien, so I can't wait to read A Constant Heart which is next in my TBR.
Enjoy Siri's thoughts on:~
MARGET – As the novel opens, she’s 17 years old, small and delicate with ‘the face of an angel’. She has blue eyes and dark hair, although she ends up bleaching it during the course of the story. Her hands are particularly fine.
I pictured her to look like one of the pre-Raphaelite models (after she bleached her hair). Alight with innocence and goodness. (Yes, I know that most of those models were not the ‘angels’ that they seemed, but they did a good job looking like they were, didn’t they?)
LYTHAM – As the novel opens, he’s in his mid-30s, tall dark and ‘dashing’ in the most old-fashioned sense of the word. He has a closely clipped beard and moustache. A perfect specimen of a 16th century courtier, he excels in ‘leaping’ and hunting and dancing.
I pictured him as a young Jeremy Irons. Dark-haired and soulful.
Strengths and weaknesses
MARGET – She’s extremely loyal and in spite of many reasons not to remain so, she stays faithful to her husband. Hers is the constant heart of which the title speaks. But she’s too trusting. And much too willing to believe anything that she’s told will help her to further her goals.
LYTHAM – He’s a man of honor. And he writes poetry! But he’s so worried about how to gain influence with the queen and how to accrue more power than he nearly trades away everything of worth.
Quirk (if any)
MARGET – She actually likes to attend the theater instead of simply buying the plays in portfolio form. Can you imagine!
LYTHAM – Like most courtiers of the time, Lytham practiced singing, and dancing, and leaping almost obsessively in hopes that when the time came to actually perform, he could do so with apparent effortless ease.
Your inspiration for the characters
MARGET – When I read that the cosmetics Elizabethan women used gave them lead poisoning, I wanted to know what would have prompted a woman to use them.
LYTHAM – I was interested in discovering what a ‘man in tights’ would really have been like. And eager to explore what was considered ‘manly’ back then. Writing poetry? Dancing? Playing the treble viol?
As I was writing the book, the song Beautiful One by Jeremy Camp kept playing in my mind.
Background to the story
Marget is a knight’s daughter who has the good fortune to marry an earl. Lytham is an earl who has the good fortune to marry a knight’s daughter with a very nice dowry.
When Lytham reacts unexpectedly to Marget’s best assets (her looks, her accomplishments, her kind heart) and when Queen Elizabeth takes offense at the girl, Marget endeavors to please no matter what the cost…and it might just end up costing her everything she has.
In the court of Queen Elizabeth beauty is a curse, friendship is bought and sold, and true love is the unpardonable sin.
Thanks Siri - fascinating reading :) Appreciate you sharing with us.
Be sure to check out Siri's other titles by clicking on the links below in Relz Reviewz Extras. And please don't forget to comment to encourage Siri :)
Come back on Thursday for my spotlight on Christy Barritt's Gabby St Clair, a special post in conjunction with Deena's Author of the Month feature at A Peek at my Bookshelf