Book Corner: Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: A True Romance by Amy Licence

You expressed the way Amy writes exactly spot on…it is as if she’s in the room talking to you. This couple are fascinating and beguiling . Just got my copy and about to start reading it. Great revie Was!

History... the interesting bits!

51T3oNzwxuLTraditionally it happened on May Day, early in the morning … two women slipped away from the manor house … They were a mother and daughter … They hurried on foot across the Wydeville land, towards the edge of the estate …. There stood a small priory or hermitage, dedicated to St Mary and St Michael … Waiting inside was a tall, athletic and distinguished young man in rich clothes, a priest and a choir boy and two gentlewomen, to act as witnesses. There, before this tiny group, Elizabeth Wydeville was married without pomp or ceremony to the King of England.”

It is the stuff legends are made of – and fairy tales. The story of how a penniless widow rose to become the Queen of England. After examining the lives of many of the characters of the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor period, author and…

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Elizabeth Woodville & Edward IV – A true romance by Amy Licence.

Good review on this fascinating book by Amy Licence

Under the Tudor Rose

As Amy Licence points out in the beginning of the book, Edward IV is not the king inAmy English history that has gained the most attention, unless you have had a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses, that has come to fall on more notorious monarchs such as his younger brother Richard who would become Richard III and his own grandchild Henry VIII for example.

But Edward´s reign has many interesting stories to tell, and one of those is his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. The reason for this is that Edward did something which – in latter half of the 15th century – was considered outrageous, at least for the upper classes of society and most certainly for a monarch: he married for love.

In her latest book, Elizabeth Woodville & Edward IV – A true romance, Amy Licence allow her readers not only to meet the…

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Book Corner: Interview with historian Amy Licence

Really interesting article Amy is a terrific writer. Gives fresh eyes to history. Her drive is formidable

History... the interesting bits!

51T3oNzwxuLThis week I have had the good fortune to review a wonderful new joint biography of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville by author and historian Amy Licence.

Amy was also kind enough to answer a few questions for me; about her love of writing and history.

What made you become a writer?
I’ve always been a writer, since I could write, since I could formulate a narrative. I wrote my first story when I was three and I decided that was what I wanted to do when I was eight years old – that was after I rejected the possibility of being a ballerina, an actor, an architect and an interior designer. I sent off my first novel at sixteen – it was rejected, of course! Since then I’ve always written, it was just something I had to do, I don’t feel right it I’m not writing: if I’m breathing…

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Sickness worsening? Beware following DWP rules


Before Christmas I attended an emergency interim appointment with my psychotherapist, (I’m still waiting regular appointments 2 years after referral); this was due to my continuous depression and dissociation becoming dangerous, I was constantly fighting thoughts of suicide . Because the S word was used, my therapist was obliged to write to my GP, which then led to my carer being compelled to inform the DWP of a change in my circumstances; what amazed me was, this reported change resulted in me having to complete a new claim!

Why the DWP feel a deterioration in mental health would be helped by having to go through the process of a new claim I’ve no idea? Anyway my carer duly filled in the form, and on page 31, other information, he stated HE was both my full time carer and would be acting as my representative, this was then sent off along with the…

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The Aftermath of Suicide from a Sibling’s point of view

Over 25 years ago my brother committed suicude.

He had tried before and was ‘saved’ although I knew he didn’t really want to be.
He had always found life difficult . He felt he didn’t fit in. He was, if you like, what we call a ‘free spirit’. Didn’t like to be tied down by life. He was a lively kid but when he hit his teens he became more wild, would run away. My parents were kind loving people who did absolutely everything within their power to help him, support him

We were bought up the same way, but he was sent to Private School , I was not. Money I guess. But he loathed the atmosphere of it, the enclosed feeling he would tell me.

When he was old enough he got a motorbike, a good old Triumph Tigercub which he adapted to a magnificent noisy beast. He was in his element on that. Would go off for hours , which gradually became days, then months, then years. 

We never knew where he was. Then he would turn up out of the blue starving scared and in a terrible mental state. We loved him dearly took him home and tried to help. But after a while he got ‘fidgety’ and would disappear. My parents were heartbroken. They were as I say kind loving people who bent over backwards to help their kids. Sometimes to my shame I felt left out as so much time was spent rescuing him. Sorting out the mess he often made on his ‘disappearing’ trips. 

He did talk to me though. I listened . From the age of 8 or 9 he would tell me of his fear of getting old. It was more phobia than fear I know now. He would say to me ‘ I plan to die by 30’. He began to self harm.

My parents and I tried everything to help.

He grew into a man, married had kids ,and ,hideously true to his word, died at 30 by his own hand. Yes that’s an old fashioned phrase but the pain of someone you love with all your heart doing this, makes it hard often to find words that can be said or written.

It goes without saying my parents were destroyed by this as was his wife and family. The situation had become complicated but this blog is not about that.

Today is his birthday. He would be in his fifties now. His kids are in their thirties.

The point I guess I’m trying to make is that when you are a sibling in this situation ,you do a lot of supporting. You have to. Your loyalties when  in a family can be complicated, I was very young with a small child. I tried my best. I watched my mother unable to move or speak for weeks, my father wandering, wandering in circles in the garden incoherent. I tried to comfort them. But nothing could.

As a parent myself I cannot imagine the indescribable grief of losing a child. But I can try to put myself there as I know what parent love feels like. You would hurl yourself under a bus if it meant rescuing your child.

As a sibling it is tough. I’m not being whiny . It’s true. It’s tough. Everyone tells you to look after everyone else. You put on the ‘good child nothing will happen to me ‘ face to restore hope. You try to mend fences that are  damaged beyond repair. You completely empathasise with your parents, your brothers family but inside you are splintering into a million pieces.

The ripples of a suicide never ever stop. They say time heals. It doesn’t. You just learn to cope as best you can. No one says ‘how are you?’ ‘Are you coping /ok’ . They say oh god your poor parents, brothers family.

Of course this goes without saying.

But going from being a sibling to an only child is a bloody hard shift. My brother and I were very close as kids. There are a lot of memories….happy as well as sad.

When it’s a suicide though it’s still a taboo to  some. People don’t know what to say, so they say nothing.

So you just soldier on as best you can. But he died 5 minutes drive away in his car from me, and I have to go down that road every day. I call it ‘The Valley of Death’ that road.

My father got ill with Ahlzeimers. I’m convinced the shock triggered it as he was in his 60’s. He’s gone now. My mother is not well and frightened and doesn’t remember things . It’s getting worse. Every day. I feel her slipping away.

I’m the only one left who remembers  him as a kid. Free…mostly happy. 

Sometimes I’m ashamed to say I get angry with him . I need his back up. But realistically know it probably wouldn’t have happened if he was  alive today.

I’m in very poor physical health so it makes helping mum hard. Selfish? Maybe.

But I had a brother . He existed. I have stories to tell. No one  seems to want to hear. So it feels like he never existed some days.

That’s all. I will never forget him until the day I die in my ‘sibling’ way.

Remember siblings needs support too.

Thank you if you read this and if you are in a similar position I hope this helps you .

A spot of Dr bashing

Doctor bashing …the difficulties of being a constant patient

Two Rooms Plus Utilities

I suppose that it comes with no surprise that those of us who live with chronic illness, aren’t immune to the odd spell of “Doctor Bashing”. Let me point out here, that the word “Bashing” is being used in the verbal connotation, not the physical one. It’s not that we don’t appreciate, the things they do to makes us feel better, or that all of us, blame them directly, for either our health or for the fact they can’t fix it. No, I believe that it’s far more complex than that. Without a doubt, the majority of patients, that any family doctor sees in one day, will be those who are living with one chronic illness, or another. We are the people who fill their waiting rooms, mainly quite justifiable. Of course, take a cross-section of the public, and you will find some needy people, as many of them, as…

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