Just this weekend, The Cardinal's Whores is being offered at a low introductory price of $2.99!
Here's a little snippet from the book:
As soon as the door was closed, the almoner put down his pheasant, and rubbed the grease off his hands with some cloth. "You seek honesty and openness. Very well, Mistress Larke, let me do you the courtesy of speaking plain. I would have you as my mistress. My situation in life, as you know, makes it impossible for me to offer you marriage. But I assure you, I have the means to set you and your brother up very well. You would both be very well taken care of. And any children you might have by me will receive not only the best education, but will undoubtedly be advanced by my connections at court."
His bluntness took her by surprise. She stared at the woodcock before her, and found it impossible to raise her eyes from the table.
"I have struck you dumb?"
"No, no. I'm just momentarily at a loss for words."
"My offer does not repel you?"
Yes. And no. Oh, sweet Lord, how am I to respond to such a question? "Sir. Do you think so ill of me as to use me thus? You must think me no better than a common— I can hardly say the name. Whore?"
"Quite the reverse," said Wolsey. "Since meeting you that first time, I have made a number of inquiries. I know you to be a virtuous, honest woman. I cannot pretend to offer you matrimony, for it is beyond my gift to do so. But I can offer you protection. And love."
"Love. How easily you speak the word. Yet you hardly know me."
"I know what I must. Mistress Larke, when we talk of good opinion, do you think so lowly that I would choose to lie with any woman? I, Thomas Wolsey, who have sworn myself to chastity? Believe me, madam, it has not been without careful consideration that I offer myself thus to you. My dignity demands that I consider pairing myself with a woman of the gentle classes. To mate with any other would be untenable."
She sneered. "And you talk of love."
"Love will come. Mine is a constant nature. Give yourself to me and I will prove this to you."
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