by Eliza Redgold
Who is this Legendary Lady?
We know a famous folk song about this Legendary Lady. Its haunting tune has been hummed for centuries, while its evocative lyrics continue to captivate.
Many versions of the song exist. It’s been recorded by folksingers and pop artists, its tune is the basis of a Christmas carol, classical composer Vaughan Williams created a Fantasia on it, Shakespeare referred to it, and it was reputed to be John F. Kennedy’s favorite love song.
Historical facts about the song are few. Its authorship is mysterious, though it’s believed to be written in Tudor times, or earlier. A version of the ballad was registered in September in the year 1580, but strangely, there were three other competing registrations of the song in that month, including two on the same day. It’s been suggested that the song was composed by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn, although many historians dispute this idea. A number of songs were wrongly claimed by Henry VIII (and who would deny vengeful King Henry VIII?)
The song has an older, secret history. It’s associated with Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and more deeply with the greenwoods - the traditional bowery home of lovers. Woodland merry-making, love rituals, feasts and festivals are part of the story … and there’s much, much more to the tale.
Who is the Lady?
Comment below to let us know who you think she is – and you’ll receive a copy of NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva plus an advance copy of the next Lady of Legend novel pre-release!
Eliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. Eliza has also written two upcoming Victorian historical romances for Harlequin Historical. Look out for ‘Enticing Benedict Cole’ in November 2015.
“NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva” was released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in July 2015.
Connect with Eliza: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Eliza's Newest Release: NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva
We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.
Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks