Queen of Hearts maybe?

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH in the Suffolk Town of Long Melford is a grand perpendicular gothic affair built in the 15th century when the town was prospering because of the then thriving wool trade. Fortunately for us today, several of the original stained glass windows have survived in reasonably good condition.

On one of these mediaeval windows, which survived the iconoclastic behaviour instigated by Henry VIII, depicts Elizabeth Talbot, the Duchess of Norfolk, who was born in about 1442. Her daughter was married as a child to Richard, one of the two princes murdered in the Tower of London in about 1483.

It has been suggested that John Tenniel, the Victorian illustrator of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, might possibly have visited Long Melford, seen the portrait of Elizabeth Talbot, and then modelled his illustration of the Queen of Hearts on that image on the window. Whether this was actually the case or just pure coincidence is up to the viewer to decide. I remain undecided.

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