, Newburyport, MA


May 1, 2014

A 'Rich, Royal and Powerful' return

Newburyport authors featured in Tannery Series program

The Tannery Series is back in Newburyport tonight with “Rich, Royal and Powerful,” exploring the lives of kings, lovers and ordinary people with powerful missions.

Newburyport authors Rhina Espaillat and Anne Easter Smith will join Massachusetts native Susan Rich at Jabberwocky Bookshop for readings, discussions and a question-and-answer session.

Rich, a prominent poet and human rights activist based in Seattle, will introduce her latest book, “Cloud Pharmacy,” which deals with love and belonging to another.

Following the theme of “Rich, Royal and Powerful,” Smith will read an excerpt from her fourth book, “Queen by Right,” part of a five-book series on the Wars of the Roses. Focused on the real-life series of civil wars between two 15th-century noble houses, Smith’s novels are works of fiction that track the inner lives of their historical subjects.

Smith is enthralled by the figure of Richard III, whose throne was taken by his enemy, Henry Tudor, at the conclusion of the wars. Richard III has been portrayed by history books, written accounts and even Shakespeare as a deformed and murderous king, but modern scholars believe that his barbarity was largely Tudor propaganda. Smith hoped to show the king’s more human face.

“In my early 20s, I discovered that Richard might not have been responsible for some of the murders that he supposedly had done,” she said. “I’ve made a study of him for the last 40 years. I eventually went on to want to write my own historical novel about the real Richard; the one I discovered was not the hunchback that Shakespeare made.”

Smith hinted that her excerpt would concern Richard III’s mother, Cecily Neville, using the power of faith to perform a “brave act” under “extremely dangerous conditions.” Neville is part of a long line of female protagonists in Smith’s books.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Special Features