Amy Robsart and Elizabeth I loved the same man. But one died early, and her
death is shrowded in mystery. Brandy Purdy stopped by to give us an exclusive
look into her upcoming release The Queen's Pleasure, which is Amy's story.
How did others view Amy?
There isn't much evidence from the time to suggest that Amy had an friends.
Gossip about Robert's relationship with Elizabeth often mentioned that he
had a "beautiful wife." But she was without doubt seen as the one great
obstacle in the path of her husband's ambition to be King. One of the
reasons I was drawn to Amy's story is that so little is actually know about
her. When I first discovered her story in a book of unsolved mysteries I read
as a child and then went on to read more about the Tudor era it always
frustrated me that Amy often seemed little more than a name on the page, a
person who only mattered because of the mysterious and--to her husband
and the Queen--inconvenient way she died. Explain her reluctance to go to court. Was she really a recluse?
I think she didn't go because Robert didn't want her to, and she lacked
the kind of forceful personality to make it happen anyway. Perhaps she felt
out of her depth or intimidated? Perhaps Robert played on this using her own
natural nervousness at a lifestyle she was unaccustomed to as a weapon against
her, to keep her away because he didn't want her there. But I don't think she
was a recluse in the sense of hiding in the house, afraid to go out as the use of
the word "agoraphobic" on the back cover of the British edition of my book
might suggest. The Amy of my novel grows up on a large country estate, that is
her world, and unlike many girls of the period she never harbors dreams of going
to London and serving at court, she is content in her world, while it lasts, and
mourns its loss after the life she knew is gone. Did Amy regret her marriage?
Well I can't speak for the real historical Amy becuase enough simply isn't known
about her, she didn't leave anything behind that offers us a window into her soul.
But in my novel Amy is a very conflicted woman, she loves Robert even when
she knows she shouldn't, her head and her heart are constantly at war upon this
subject. Did Amy fear Robert?
I think she did. With all the rumors swirling around that Robert wanted to get
rid of her to be free to marry Elizabeth, and there was even talk of Amy taking
precautions against being poisoned. And, in my novel, this only adds to her
anguish, loving a man she also fears. Who did Robert really love?
Himself for certain. I think not knowing is part of what makes Robert Dudley
fascinating to this day. Would he have still loved Elizabeth even if she had been
a milkmaid or a squire's daughter like Amy was instead of a princess then
Queen of England? I'm sure that was a question that ocasionally crossed
Elizabeth's mind in her day and it still remains without a definite answer.
The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy will be released in the USA on June
26, 2012 and on August 2, 2012 in the UK as A Court Affair by Emily Purdy.
You can pre-order the book here.