by Brodi Ashton
I loved writing the character of Gifford Dudley. (Call him G!).
There are a few things that make G very unique for the time period. First off, he is a horse. But only during the day, so stop complaining, Jane. (Also, no horse jokes, please.)
And, where most men of the day were interested in swords and duels, G is more interested in… late night poetry jams. He’s too embarrassed to admit it, so he allows his friends and family to believe he is participating in late night dalliances. With the opposite sex. Which is how he gets his lady’s man rep. Even though he couldn’t be farther from a ladies man.
Through Gifford’s poems, we tip our hat to our favorite Bard… um, the Bard.
For instance, on page 336, G recalls his first time trying to recite poetry. He got as far as, “All the world’s a… blah.” And then his mind went blank. Extreme embarrassment ensued. [From As You Like It]
Or when Edward remarks how his sister (later known as ‘Bloody Mary’) is rather too fond of saying, “Off with her head.” Page 311. [From King Richard III]
And, of course, there are some tender moments, like on page 81 where G compares kissing Jane’s lips to ‘kissing cherries.’ [From A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream] And when their foes laugh at Jane’s show of might, and G backed her up, thinking, “Though his wife was little, she was fierce.” [From A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream]
And then, during their darkest time, when G wondered if he would ever see Jane again, and he says, “If I may but see you again, my dearest, I will wear my heart upon my sleeve…” [From Othello]
I’ll let you, dear reader, discover the many more instances, but one of my favorite moments is on page 233, when G is stranded in hostile territory, and he bursts into a tavern and says, “A horse! A horse! My wife’s kingdom for a horse!” (For, his wife was queen at the time.) [From King Richard III]
See if you can spot all the nods to Shakespeare! We hope you enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed writing it!