Queen, Jewel, Mistress


Ruth Stacey

Listen to the voices of the Queens of England and Britain, from the Anglo- Saxon era to the modern age, as each one is evoked through poetry. Some poems are instantly recognisable as they mimic a familiar form; others are free verse or epistle. Each poem captures a distinct personality and gives the reader the experience of moving through different poetic styles as well as observing the changing role of a queen/consort.



Ruth Stacey studied English & Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and recently completed a distinction level MA in Literature: Politics and Identity at Worcester University. Her pamphlet Fox Boy was published by Dancing Girl Press, July 2014. She lives in Worcestershire.

Ruth Stacey’s poems are exceptional. They evoke voices long silenced, and the very essence of these past lives and the ages in which they were lived. There is so much food for thought here – every line is a joy! — Alison Weir

Ruth Stacey’s Queen Jewel Mistress is as beautiful and dreamlike as its title suggests. But this astonishing debut is also a brilliant tour of British history, and a series of virtuoso inventions in which our many queens – rulers and their spouses – are brought to life, each in the music and language of her time. Funny and moving, accomplished and surprising, part dressing-up box and part cabinet of curiosities, this is a collection of lyric verse of the highest quality. — Fiona Sampson


To be with him at any cost
because I am small
and he is vast.

I long for indigo shadows
beneath trees,
wet grass,
freezing water from the ground.

Shimmer of heat distorting
the rocks on the horizon
into a cross.
All eyes swing to it.

Undulating dull-orange sands.
Dust beneath my fingernails.

In every crease, fabric, veiled mouth
dry – we do not speak.

The noise of tents
creaking, the sudden flap.
When a breeze touches my cheek
I turn to it like a lover.

Holy War, men are dying,
as I bring forth my female child.

The heat evaporates my screams,
my blood dries quickly.
Her eyes are the blue
I was seeking.

Related Items