Hello readers! Today is my stop during the blog tour for Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Please check out the book details and snippet in this post.
Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes
Publication Date: 28th May 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
At the heart of our present are the stories of our past. In ages gone by, many monarchs died while they were still young. There were battles and diseases and many were simply overthrown. But the days of regal engagement in hand-to-hand combat are over and the line of succession has a good ageing prospect these days.
One of the most famous monarchs in history is Queen Victoria and her passing brought an end to an amazing era. She could be demanding, rude and she frequently fled public duties for the solitude of Scotland. But she loved fiercely, and her people loved her fiercely in return. Under her reign, England achieved greatness it had never known before.
‘VICTORIA TO VIKINGS – The Circle of Blood’ spans from this great queen to another one: Queen Elizabeth II. Ours is the era of the longest living monarch in history and her ancestry is incredible. But walking two steps behind her, stalwart and loyal, stands Prince Philip, the strawberry to her champagne, and with him comes his own amazing Viking heritage.
ANCESTRY OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY
I wonder if 13-year-old Elizabeth realised how utterly correct she was when she spoke to her cousin Margaret Rhodes about her visit to Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. After meeting an 18-year-old cadet by the name of Philip, she told her cousin that he seemed like “a Viking God.” On that day, Cupid’s arrow found Elizabeth’s heart and in the near future, the royal families of England and Denmark would be entwined once again.
Without a doubt, there are loads of ingredients in the spicy stew we call history. But for me, British monarchs usually fall into four categories: the Mad, the Bad, the Hopeful and the Resourceful. The Hopeful financed the building of churches, ships, castles and custom-made masses of altarpieces and jewellery in a never-ending attempt to nurture their souls. Then there were the Resourceful who were opportunists who tread upon the backs of others to get what they wanted. The Mad were self-explanatory and they have dotted history for two thousand years. The Bad were less easy to identify and are much more subjective.
For example, let’s take a look at King John. Not that I condone his dreadful behaviour, but perhaps there were extenuating circumstances when you look at his spendthrift elder brother, Richard 1, who used England as a cash cow to fund his crusades. And then there was Richard III who has been branded ‘evil incarnate’ by many. The jury is still out on Richard because his reputation may have been muddied by William Shakespeare, a loyal (and I should imagine somewhat nervous) supporter of the Tudors. Shakespeare depended on the Tudors ‘benevolence’ for funding and as such, he would have felt obliged to paint Richard in the worst possible light. Later on, we have the romantic story of Edward VIII and his spectacular abdication from the British throne in order to follow his heart and marry the twice-divorced commoner, Wallis Simpson. The romance disappears when we see photos of the happy pair smiling widely and shaking hands with Adolf Hitler at a military parade in Berlin during World War II while his country, and his family, scurried to bunkers in a state of terrified panic to escape German aircraft homing in on London. For 57 days and nights, everyday life became penetrated with wailing sirens and screaming people as 400 bombers and 600 fighters paralysed the city, turning the skies a brilliant red. During it all, the pair were wined and dined in utmost luxury by Hitler.
We all know that Queen Elizabeth can trace her ancestry back to Viking days, with a few shaky bits in between. But did you know that Prince Philip’s ancestry is just as impeccable? And that both the British and Danish families have been entwined more than three times throughout history?
As we know, in Medieval times, the sole purpose of life for a king’s daughter was to cement alliances by making good marriages and this is where Margaret of Denmark, the only daughter of Christian I of Denmark, steps in to the picture. For years, the Scotland and Denmark were feuding over the annual taxation of the Hebrides and Isle of Man; a debt Scotland owed to Denmark. In July 1469, 15-year-old Margaret married 20-year-old James III and on that day, all Scottish debt was cancelled and Orkney and the Shetland islands became Scottish possessions.
Unlike her parent’s marriage, the relationship between Margaret and James III was not a happy one. She was a popular queen by all accounts, described as beautiful, gentle and sensible, and later historians regarded her as far better qualified to rule than her spouse. She was just not very fond of James. It would be four years later that the first of three sons was born and named James. Seeing a definite bonus in keeping the English on their good side, a marriage alliance was agreed upon between Edward IV of England and James III by which his son James, the future James IV of Scotland, would marry Edward’s daughter, Princess Cecily of York. At the time, James was 1 year old and Cecily was 4.
Five years later, while James and Cecily were busy growing up and the War of the Roses was raging furiously as English kings battled and butchered each other, the alliance collapsed. Instead James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, Henry VII’s eldest daughter and the Stuart line continued through their son James V to Mary Queen of Scots. It was her son, James VI of Scotland who became James I of England and who would marry Anne of Denmark, the daughter of the current King of Denmark, King Frederick II, the ancestor of Prince Philip. It would be the second link between Britain and Denmark.
The most recent connection was Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward VII, who married King Christian IX of Denmark’s daughter Alexandra, who could trace her ancestry back through the centuries to 1013AD. Alexandra’s ancestor was King Sweyn II of Denmark, grandson of Sweyn Forkbeard King of Denmark and nephew of King Canute the Great, the first Viking King of England who stole the throne of England in a series of bloody battles with King Edmund I, King Ethelred II the Unready and Edmund’s son King Edwig. Through Sweyn Forkbeard’s daughter Estrid, the Viking line has continued through centuries in the Danish line – Alexandra’s family – until the present day. This Alexandra was the sister of Philip’s grandfather.
When Elizabeth married Phillip, and delivered their first son Charles, something amazing happened. When Charles inherits the British throne, he will be the first king who can trace his ancestry back through the male line, through Prince Philip, to the first Danish Vikings who ransacked England in 1016AD.
The stories of British Monarchs are ones of lust, betrayal, heroism, murder, cruelty and are full of mysteries. Yet this group shares one thing in common. In their own lifetimes, they were the most powerful individuals in the land.
Author Bio –
I am an Australian author born in Brisbane, Queensland now living in Hong Kong. My writing career began 18 years ago with my best-selling autobiography ‘Daughters of Nazareth’ published by Pan MacMillan Australia. Over the past 8 years, I have been researching and writing a historical fiction trilogy based on British Monarchy throughout the ages beginning with the Vikings. Originally meant to be a single book, as facts accumulated the material gradually filled three books. I call this series my V2V trilogy.
Social Media Links –
Facebook: Trisha Hughes Author
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Linkedin: Trisha Hughes
What do you think about the book? Have you read it already? Are you going to add it to TBR?
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