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Windsor Castle, Book 2

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By: (1805-1882)

Book 2 - Herne the Hunter. The focus of the novels is on the events surrounding Henry VIII's replacing Catherine of Aragon with Anne Boleyn as his wife. During Henry's pursuit of Boleyn, the novel describes other couples, including the Earl of Surrey and Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a match Henry does not support. However, some of the individuals oppose Henry and his desires for Boleyn, including Thomas Wyat who wants her for himself and Cardinal Wolsey, who uses a maiden of mysterious birth, Mabel Lyndwood, to lure Henry away from Boleyn. [...] Intertwined with the Court is the story of Herne the Hunter, a spirit of Windsor Forest. He is an evil force that seeks to take the souls of various individuals, and Henry tries to stop him, but is never able to do so.

First Page:

WINDSOR CASTLE

By William H. Ainsworth

"About, about! Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out."

SHAKESPEARE, Merry Wives of Windsor

"There is an old tale goes, that Herne the hunter, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns; And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle, And makes milch kine yield blood, and shakes a chain In a most hideous and dreadful manner: You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle headed eld Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age, This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth." ibid

WINDSOR CASTLE

BOOK I. ANNE BOLEYN

I.

Of the Earl of Surrey's solitary Ramble in the Home Park Of the Vision beheld by him in the Haunted Dell And of his Meeting with Morgan Fenwolf, the Keeper, beneath Herne's Oak.

In the twentieth year of the reign of the right high and puissant King Henry the Eighth, namely, in 1529, on the 21st of April, and on one of the loveliest evenings that ever fell on the loveliest district in England, a fair youth, having somewhat the appearance of a page, was leaning over the terrace wall on the north side of Windsor Castle, and gazing at the magnificent scene before him... Continue reading book >>


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