Pain in the arse?


It’s January 28, the anniversary of the death of Henry VIII!  Time to get the party started!  Everyone ready to play pin the tale on Henry’s butt?


The Illustrated King


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Preview Snippet from “Six of One”, by JoAnn Spears  Now available on Amazon in Paperback!

From Chapter Twenty-Nine, “Dolly Learns a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

“Who was it?” I asked.

“Scrots,” Anne replied.

“I beg your pardon?”


The word sounded to me like one of those audacious Old English exclamations, like the ones Shakespeare made up. I hazarded a guess that it was a variation on the Latin for “balls,” and asked Anne if I had said anything to offend her.

Really, Dolly!” Anne scolded. “I meant Scrots the artistWilliam Scrots.”

I remembered now who William Scrots was. He had replaced Hans Holbein as Henry VIII’s court painter after Holbein died. Scrots also painted a standard portrait of Prince Edward, completed when the boy was nine years of age. The overall impression of Scrots’ portrait of Edward, like Holbein’s, is undeniably Henrician. It shows Edward in exactly the same stance that Henry VIII assumed in his own prototype portrait: chest out, feet wide apart, right hand on hip, left hand on codpiece, kind of like a modern-day baseball player. I told Anne that I was familiar with the portrait.

“You may be ‘familiar with’ Scrots’s portrait of Edward, but how closely have you ever really looked at it, Dolly? You mentioned the boy’s Henrician stance. That is all you noticed about it. That’s all anyone notices.”

I chalked up the propensity to focus on the codpiece to human nature.

Edward VI by William Scrots

And now for something completely different…

Henry VIII Tattoo by Stephen F. Smalley, from the Diehl Art Gallery

Please don’t snicker if my candle should flicker.


My preview snippet from “Six of One” JS

“Six of One”, coming out in Fall, 2011!

From Chapter Thirty, “Two Heads Are Better Than One,” as Told by Jane Seymour

“Good God, no!” cried Jane. “Ours was strictly an ad hoc arrangement. The game of dipping the wick for its own sake is hardly worth the candle.”

“Pun intended?” I asked.

What pun?” asked Jane.

“Never mind,” I said, suppressing a smile. “Let’s move on.”

Jane on Jane