Lovers Across Time (w/t)
While holidaying in London, history graduate JOANNA LANDON, finds herself plunged back to l600, the time of Elizabeth the First, the Essex Rebellion and William Shakespeare.
Mistaken for a boy, she assumes the persona of Joe, is befriended by Mags, the pie-seller, and her 7 years old granddaughter, Daisy, but is exploited by Mags' repellent step-son, Charlie Parrot, thief and general no-good. Forced to flee her lodgings in their squalid home behind St. Paul's, Jo joins William Shakespeare's troupe at the Globe Theatre, where the actors are rehearsing the Bards 'Romeo & Juliet'.
The Players' patron, the arrogant Richard, Earl of Sutton, reluctantly finds himself attracted to the young actor.
Elizabethan London is a far cry from the London of today. Streets Jo had strolled as a US tourist are no more then muddy tracks with filth and garbage running in the gutters. The hustle and bustle of modern traffic is replaced by yells and cries from street-vendors and constant clip-clop of horse hooves and wooden wagon wheels cluttering over cobblestones.
Sutton’s patronage, The Players are invited to perform for the Queen at
Nonsuch Palace. While sheltering in a barn from a sudden downpour, Jo
disturbs Sutton in a compromising situation. He gives chase and struggles
with her, becoming very much aware of her femininity.
Later, she overhears plans of a plot to release the Earl of Essex from York House, where he is being held prisoner. Sutton captures her, accusing her of spying for the Queen's Secretary, Robert Cecil.
Joanna pleads with the Earl not to involve himself in any plot because Essex is doomed to die. But how can she confide in him: "I know what happens to Essex because I come from 2004 and the Essex Rebellion is one of history's greatest debacles"
Suddenly, Joanna knows why she has been sent back in time. She must save Richard. For what purpose she has no idea. But save him she must. He indeed believes her insane, an escapee from the lunatic asylum, Bedlam. But she is not to die - yet. Richard lets slip that Joe is really a girl and Lady Penelope, the earl of Essex’s sister, relishes the scandalous news with gusto. The girl's strange outspokeness and defiance reminds the Lady of her own early years. Joanna will brighten the gloom at Essex House while at the same time, the Lady Penelope will be able to keep an eye on her.
Anxious to find Mags, a healer and clairvoyant, Joanna learns instead that she has been arrested on a charge of witchcraft.
Falling downstairs, she is knocked unconscious, drifting between her own time and l600, and dreams that Richard is beheaded at the Tower.
Meantime Richard has discovered Joanna's bag and after looking through her belongings; a newspaper, dated Sept 2 2004, a tourist-guidebook with reproductions of portraits and brief histories, as well as recent photographs, he has to seriously consider her sensational claims.
In the early hours, she is woken up. Wounded and dripping blood, Sutton warns her to expect unwelcome visitors, explaining how he had been attacked, almost killed. When the visitors arrive, Sir Edward Coke, the Queen's Attorney General, accuses Sutton of being injured while taking part in a duel, which is forbidden by order of the Queen. Instead they find him in bed with Joanna, where, seemingly, he has been all night.
Next morning, his friend and fellow courtier, Sir Walter Ralegh, warns Richard that the Court is aware of the Essex Plot and any friend of Essex is under suspicion. Ralegh urges Richard to distance himself from that particular faction, advising him to go into hiding.
February, l601: The Rebellion is a failure - Essex and his associates are beaten by the Queen's army. Richard is seen in conversation with Essex on the balcony of Essex House and is arrested. Distraught with fear, Joanna comes up with a dangerous plan of her own to free him.
Richard is unexpectedly released but attempts on Joanna's life follow and she is kidnapped and knocked unconscious - drifting back to her own time.
Double crossing Robert Cecil, the kidnapper takes her lifeless body to Richard. He confesses his love, thus waking her from the coma.
But they are not safe in London.
Sir Walter Ralegh has a settlement in Virginia, so named for the Virgin Queen, in America and suggests they sail on his ship ‘Ralegh’s Star’ which is berthed at Bristol, making ready for the next voyage.
Having agreed to marry Richard, she knows they must go to Virginia. There they will start their own dynasty ... Joanna will become her own ancestor!
But first they have to reach the safety of Bristol and ‘Ralegh’s Star ...
© All Stories and Content Copyright of Bruna Zanelli - all rights Reserved. Redistribution without prior consent is punishable by law.