my-lady-the-king's-mother

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‘There is a wonderful roughness on the skin, and I put my hand down and pull up my nightgown to see both knees, and they are the same: roughened and red. Saints’ knees, praise God, I have saints’ knees, I have prayed so much, and on such hard floors, that the skin of my knees is becoming hard, like the callus on the finger of an English longbowman. I am not yet ten years old, but I have saints’ knees. This has got to count for something, whatever my old lady governess may say to my mother about excessive and theatrical devotion. I have saints’ knees. I have scuffed the skin of my knees by continual prayer; these are my stigmata: saints’ knees. Pray God I can meet their challenge and have a saint’s end too.’

-10 year old Margaret Beaufort, “The Red Queen,” by Philippa Gregory