The Second Jezebel – Peter Mowbray
The wedding between the Princess Marguerite de Valois and Henri King of Navarre was intended to be a celebration that would at last bring peace to the warring Catholics and Huguenots in France.
Instead, it was a precursor for the infamous Massacre of Saint Bartholomew.
By the time the bloodshed had abated, none was seen as guiltier of creating the horrors of that night than the Queen Mother – Catherine de Medici.
Seventeen years later, as Catherine’s life hangs in the balance, the mob threatens to drag her body through the streets.
To them she is no longer Queen Mother, merely the second Jezebel in history to be thrown to the dogs.
It did not take many hands to hold her down, as the woman was old and frail, her muscles weak against the strong arms of her assailants.
Someone pulled roughly at the black skullcap on her head, exposing the thinning auburn streaks. Some spat at her, the warm phlegm trickled towards her eye, but she had no free hand to wipe it away. All around her noise, shouting and screaming and a red haze of fire. She looked through the smoke and her eyes focussed on the frightful images in front of her.
People everywhere were running around, their swords and daggers seemed to appear from nowhere, but their swift work created so much blood; it was splattered onto cobbled streets, streams of it clung to her shabby gown, her hands dripped with it as though it was pouring from her own body.
All around her, corpses began to pile up, slowly at first and then so many that they fell closer and closer to her but she could not move to pull away. All manner of severed limbs and headless cadavers reeked of the foul stench of death and seemed ready to swallow her up.
Then, suddenly she was staring at a figure clad in a long dark cowl, without image save for bony, white hands that gripped a dagger, the tip of which was pressed lightly against her throat, its point just piercing her skin. The figure spoke in a deep, hateful snarl “Welcome lady to your own Saint Bartholomew’s night.”
The last thing she heard was the crackling noise as the dagger was pushed straight into her throat…
About the Author
Even as a young child, Peter Mowbray had a passion for history. He admits to being fascinated by one particular character from sixteenth century European history – Catherine de Medici, who became a Queen of France.
From what he read and learned, Peter decided to put together his own interpretation of Catherine’s story and, after studying for and gaining a diploma in historical writing, wrote his first novel, The Serpent of the Valois, which he published in 2013.
The second part of this work, The Second Jezebel, has just been published and concludes his story of this enigmatic woman.
Apart from his writing, Peter also works as an Office Administrator for a conference and event production company.
He lives with his wife Sally in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, UK and has two grown up sons – Oli and Ross.
Praise for The Serpent of the Valois
“If you are unsure what book to read this year get this one, it is a brilliant page turning read I just cannot wait for the next one it is so good. Well Done to this new author for this superb first novel.” – Dawn