Kings And Queens Kings And Queens discussion


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Historical dramas and present day

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Geoffrey West Do you like factual things that happened in the past being recreated in a modern setting? Terry Tyler's new book, Kings and Queens, takes the life of Henry V111 and moves it into the present day, and I found it a very exciting and novel treatment, almost a new genre of fiction. What does anyone else think?


message 2: by Terry (last edited May 05, 2014 03:43AM) (new)

Terry Tyler Thanks, Geoff!

I got the idea when I was watching The Tudors, and thought, hmmm, this is a wonderful story....! The characters, the intrigue; I just love it. I have to admit that I am not the first; Susan Howatch's Cashelmara and The Wheel of Fortune are based on periods during the era of the Plantagenets, though far less literally than mine. Marvellous books!

I plan to do more; I have another two in the 'to-write' bank, starting with the sequel to Kings and Queens which will, of course, feature Edward VI, Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth 1 (Erin Lanchester in my book!)


message 3: by Terry (new)

Terry Tyler .... the other thing I meant to say, above, is that it is not as easy as I had first thought, either, as it has to be feasible. For instance, what would I do about the arranged marriage for political reasons, between Henry and Anne of Cleves? My sister suggested internet dating, but a man like Harry Lanchester would never have gone in for that. In the end I decided to make it not a marriage, as the original hardly was. The other main difficulty was the beheadings, of course, but I found ways around all of them eventually.


Geoffrey West It also highlights a broader question: do people ever fundamentally change in the ways they think and behave? We think ourselves civilised, but the motivations and greed people have is just as it was 500 years ago, despite supposed civilisation. Maybe not. Maybe people have become kinder to others, but somehow I doubt it.


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry Tyler That's one of the things that made me want to write the story, and something I wanted to illustrate - the fact that human nature doesn't change, no matter what the circumstances.


Wendy Janes Yes, it's fascinating how human nature doesn't change. We might have the trappings of modern life such as television and mobile phones, which some say have changed us, but I think our essential motivations are unchanged. I really enjoyed how you took the history and updated it. Not only in the plotting but in the language you used as well. Those little reminders about people behaving like kings and queens. Also, part of the anticipation before and during reading was wondering how you were going to manage things like the beheadings. Highlights for me were the dissolution of the monasteries and the invasion of France! Knowing a little of the history adds an extra dimension to the reading of this type of book.


message 7: by Terry (new)

Terry Tyler Wendy wrote: "Yes, it's fascinating how human nature doesn't change. We might have the trappings of modern life such as television and mobile phones, which some say have changed us, but I think our essential mot..."

Aha, Wendy, I'm so glad you appreciated the aspect of the 'little reminders' - thank you! I liked the one where Harry remarked that instead of having 'Chairman', or whatever, on his office door, he was just going to have 'King' ~ but also, yes, others were less obvious! I just read everything you wrote again and liked it all again, too - it's so lovely when someone really 'gets' what you've done!

Making this conversation more general - it's a bit like when modern films take classic literature and translate it into the present, too - like 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) and Clueless (Emma). I love this sort of thing!


Wendy Janes Oh yes! My favourite is West Side Story. I guess that takes things further by adding the music and dance. I wonder whether anyone would dare to update West Side Story? Or have they and I've missed it? Again, it's the themes and the characters that are timeless.


message 9: by Terry (new)

Terry Tyler Of course, I'd forgotten that one! And isn't The Godfather Hamlet, or something?!


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