Between Two Queens is the story of Anne (Nan) Bassett, who came to court in 1537 as a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour. Jane, however, promptly died in childbirth, leaving all her maids of honor in limbo until Henry VIII married again. Between the two queens, Jane Seymour and Anna of Cleves, Nan herself receives considerable attention from King Henry. Was she his mistress? Historians can't say for certain. That's what makes writing a novel such fun!
The title comes from the time period between Queen Jane and Queen Anna, but also from the in-between times that followed. Nan Bassett resumed her career as a maid of honor under Anna of Cleves and transferred to Catherine Howard's household when the marriage to Anna was annulled. Between Catherine Howard and Kathryn Parr, Nan once again attracted King Henry's attention. The Spanish ambassador thought she might end up as wife number six. Why didn't she? Once again, writing fiction gave me the chance to answer that question.
Along the way, of course, Nan has other adventures. In 1540, her mother and stepfather were arrested on suspicion of plotting against the Crown. How this affected her, and how involved she and her sisters might have been in treason are other areas I was able to explore in the novel.
History records that Nan was a pretty girl, so there were other men besides the king who were interested in her. Why did she wait until the reign of Mary Tudor to marry? That's another question I tried to answer in the novel, and it provided a way to link Nan to the treason plot.
Here's What Reviewers Have to Say
"As in her
first Tudor novel, Emerson skillfully crafts a strong heroine who maintains
careful command of her sexuality and her independence. Nan's behavior is as
brave as it is scandalous for the time, and Emerson makes readers appreciate
the consequences of Nan's choices."
sharp eye for court nuances, intrigues and passion thrusts readers straight
into Nan's life, and the swift pace will sweep you along."