In one article I read today by a noted historian, she spent two pages outlining and quoting from a late-90s romance novel set in the Elizabethan court. Here’s a taste (I love the editorial elipsis right before “instantly”):
“My God, though Elizabeth, how beautiful he is! She wished for nothing more than to fly into Robin’s strong embracing arms . . . . ‘You are welcome back to Court, my Lord,’ she said . . . . With these words Robin . . . instantly pulled Elizabeth into an embrace which she resisted for less than a moment before returning it in kind . . . . [He] kissed her hungrily on the mouth. She yielded to the kiss and moaned with the familiar pleasure of his touch . . . . Then in Robin Dudley’s kingly bed, he made long awaited and passionate love to the Queen of England.”
–from The Queen’s Bastard by Robin Maxwell. Quoted in Carole Levin, “All the Queen’s Children: Elizabeth I and the Meanings of Motherhood,” Explorations in Renaissance Culture 30.1 (Summer 2004): 57-76, p. 65.
Somehow it’s hard for me to imagine Elizabeth Regina as the heroine of a standard romance novel, all sweaty in tangled sheets.
What research gems have you come across recently?