Twelve Rules for Writing About the House of Lancaster: A Writer’s Guide

Lancaster TipsAs I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been looking at the search terms that people use to reach my website and blog. It’s becoming alarmingly clear that while authors of Wars of the Roses books and screenplays are fairly adept at creating Yorkist characters (keywords: noble, strong, beautiful, loyal), some are still a little shaky on how to manage Lancastrian ones. So here, without further ado, are some tips that can work not only for fiction, but for some nonfiction as well:

  1. If a Lancastrian character is tolerably good-looking, he or she must spoil the effect by sneering a lot.
  2. Ideally, all Lancastrian marriages should be consummated by rape, or something very near to it, but at the very least, the experience must be a miserable one for one or preferably both parties. Remember, there is no such thing as Good Lancastrian Sex, only Bad Lancastrian Sex. (Unless, of course, incest is involved. See below.)
  3. If a Lancastrian mother loves her son, she must also harbor a subconscious (or not so subconscious) desire to sleep with him.
  4. Young Yorkist men must work hard at mastering the knightly arts because they have lofty chivalric ideals and long to prove their courage. Young Lancastrian men must work hard at mastering the knightly arts because they are psychotics who want to kill and maim people.
  5. Yorkists must have big friendly dogs that follow them around worshipfully. Lancastrians must snap the necks of little birdies just for the fun of it.
  6. A devoutly religious Yorkist woman must be described as pious. A devoutly religious Lancastrian woman must be described as a fanatic.
  7. If a Yorkist should change sides (God forbid), it must be only for the purest of motives and must occur after agonizing soul-searching. If a Lancastrian must change sides, it’s because he’s a sneaky little rat.
  8. If something untoward happens to a Yorkist, the retaliation by his family must be treated as necessary to uphold the family honor and to exact justice. If something untoward happens to a Lancastrian, the retaliation by his family must be treated as an act of mindless vengeance by twisted people who just can’t let bygones be bygones.
  9. Any gossip about the sexual proclivities of a Lancastrian woman should not only be treated as unvarnished truth, but should be embroidered upon generously.
  10. Ideally, a Lancastrian baby should be illegitimate, but if not, he or she must be the product of Bad Lancastrian Sex.
  11. A Yorkist who marries a much younger woman must be treated as acting in accordance with the mores of his time. A Lancastrian who marries a much younger woman must be treated as a pedophile.
  12. Formidable Yorkist women must be portrayed as strong, courageous matriarchs. Formidable Lancastrian women must be portrayed as domineering harpies.
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27 Responses to Twelve Rules for Writing About the House of Lancaster: A Writer’s Guide

  1. Kathryn says:

    Brilliant! 🙂

  2. bluffkinghal says:

    haha, excellent!

  3. Julia says:

    “the experience must be a miserable one for one or preferably both parties.” I love it!

  4. Fiz says:

    Brilliant! My husband descends from the Beauforts and he regularly beats me up, sends our daughters out into the snow and all our animals are terrified of him. That’s why both cats are squabbling to sit on his knee and the Labrador wants him to play with her!

  5. Celia Parker says:

    I love Bad Lancastrian Sex! Perhaps I should rephrase that.

    Might I also suggest that if you’re a Yorkist it’s OK to wipe out the competing dynasty- hard cheese, Edward of Lancaster, that’s what happens in routs; oh dear, who broke the sad news so abruptly to saintly King Henry, now he’s died of sheer displeasure; heave ho, over the side with Henry Holland- must have been a slippery deck. But if you’re a Lancastrian, even if only sort of, on your mother’s side, well you’re just an evil tyrant for disposing of pesky Yorkists. And let’s not even consider all those excuses for disappearing your nephews.

  6. Kathy Hestand says:

    We have to remember that #7 is true unless you’re George Duke of Clarence, and that #11 should say a Lancastrian is a pedophile rapist, just to be clear. After all, we know all about that Edmund Tudor guy.

  7. Helen Cox says:

    oh, susan, you so make me laugh – excellent post! 😀

  8. Joan Byford says:

    Love it!!

  9. Edward Tudor says:

    1 Must get the mirror out to practice my sneering.
    2 Must ask my wife about whether she enjoys our Bad Lancastrian Sex.
    3 Why are you insulting my mother? She was a very nice lady.
    4 Of course I want to kill and maim people. Those people who make stupid comments about my family.
    5 I only break chickens necks when I’m about to cook them.
    6 Yes, I would call my sister a fanatic, but that’s another story.
    7 OK, I served in the Honourable Artillery Company, but both my father and grandfather served in the artillery as well. I suppose you could call me a traitor but Wales doesn’t have any artillery regiments. Ah! I forgot we’re all British now so it’s OK.
    8 Love the idea of some mindless vengeance, but the only one I can think I would like to take vengeance on is Gordon Brown for stealing my pension.
    9 Have to ask the wife about our sexual proclivities and how we embroider them. She’s the one with the sewing machine. One of the best investments I ever made.
    10 Sorry, I have my parents marriage certificate. It took three years for me to arrive, I hope they enjoyed that Bad Lancastrian Sex.
    11 OK my wife is younger than me.
    12 I’m not telling my sister she’s a domineering harpy. Well maybe!

    And the name on my birth certificate really is Edward Tudor.

  10. Too funny Susan! Thanks for an excellent laugh this morning. Are you just a little ticked off by that show?

  11. Hans./. says:

    Having read this, I decided to go sneering more and start practising at maiming, mindless vengeance, and being twisted!
    I bet I get more fun out of that, than my ancestors ever got out of being Yorkists! LoL

  12. mick says:

    As a Lancastrian, at first I was quite shocked but as I read on I was overcome by a certain perverted pride. Remenber that this whole subject is infiltrated and pushed by the Richard III Society who filter out the good things posted about things Lancastrian on their website and promote those very 12 observations.

  13. Anerje says:

    Very funny! Gave me a good laugh! Lancaster forever!

  14. Susan, my admiration for you grows by the day! I love this! It is SO true.

  15. This is brilliant (and true, of course!) Thanks for making us laugh!

  16. Edith says:

    Well said and funny to boot!

    I’ve also noticed that within certain forums Edward IV is becoming more a villain than ever. Soon there will be only one Yorkist worthy of the House.

  17. Mary R says:

    This was wonderful; but I really have to stop reading your humor posts in the middle of the night! I tend to wake everyone up:)

  18. BJ says:

    LOL! You made me laugh so hard that I almost forgot another Rule;

    Yorkist men are always so handsome, charismatic and sexy that women are willing to do anything to sleep with them, even their own nieces, sisters, sisters-in-law, etc. Lancastrian men, on the other hand, are all sadistic, evil toads who would always rather rape a woman than make love to her, even if the victim in question is his wife or sweetheart.

  19. Esther says:

    Histerical! Just out of curiosity … did Henry VII’s gender dictate that they had bad Lancastrian sex. or, given Elizabeth’s blood line, could they have had good Yorkist sex? Also, do you think that one of the problems between Henry VIII and his first wife was bad Lancastrian sex, due to her descent from John of Gaunt, through his second wife, Constance of Castile?

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