News, Personalities, and Entertainment from the Science Fiction Universe of Don Sakers.
Empress Mary Tattersall
b. 12 October 390 d. 6 July 419
401 - 419: Empress of the Terran Empire
Mary Tattersall was the result of a political marriage between Denise Löwenger and Edward Tattersall. At the time, Idara Tattersall controlled a bloc of about 25 votes in the Imperial Council, votes which were desperately needed by the unraveling Carroll Coalition. The Tattersall allies, who generally steered a middle course between the Throne and its chief opponents, agreed to support Joseph Löwenger and, later, Denise, against the Elendan-led opposition which wished to make peace with the Patalanian Union.
In 390 the Imperial Council passed an Act of Succession which named Mary as Denise's Heir. The same Act also, as a matter of routine, named Edward Tattersall as Regent in case Mary was too young to take the Throne.
Denise had little interest in her daughter or her spouse; she left Mary to be raised by Edward under the vague supervision of other Carroll elders.
Idara Tattersall won its gamble in 401 when Denise died while Mary was only 11. Under the terms of the Act of Succession, Edward took on the mantle of Regent, while at the same time he moved Mary firmly away from the influence of the Carrolls. Edward's Regency lasted until 406, when Mary passed her adulthood tests and took on the Crown. (Edward remained Mary's most trusted advisor until his own premature death in 411.)
Edward's Regency was a time of quiet anticipation and political suspense, as Edward worked to balance the two factions -- Carroll and Opposition -- against one another. By skillfully adjusting appropriations, Edward was able to beef up the local Navy forces of Borshall, New Sardinia, Credix, and Geled -- the Provinces which adjoined the Patalanian Union, and the sites of the heaviest fighting. At the same time, he allowed the Provincial Dukes to increase their control over Navy forces in their Provinces, thus satisfying those of the Dukes who wanted more autonomy. Edward began a strategy of "defense only" -- under his rule (and, subsequently, for the rest of Mary's reign), the Empire ceased attacking Union worlds and did not intrude into Union space.
In TE 406, days before she turned 16, Mary took and passed her adulthood tests; she formally ascended to the Throne on her sixteenth birthday (although, thanks to her rigorous training and daily stints under the Memory Crown, she appeared to onlookers like a woman of thirty.)
Mary continued Edward's policy of political neutrality, balancing one party against the other while all the time trying to keep the Empire together and defend it against the Union.
In order to placate Opposition forces, who still formally called for peace with the Union, Mary agreed to an Act of Succession which named her cousin Charles Castiligoni as Imperial Heir. (The same Act, as a major concession to Carroll forces, named Thomas Carroll as Heir's Heir.)
In all her dealings, Mary tried to steer a middle course. Personally, she was a calm and diginified person, and after the juvenile excesses of Denise's reign, she brought a sense of style and decorum back to the Throne. During Mary's reign, a new restrained style of fashion and furniture swept the Empire; it is referred to by historians as Regency or Tattersall Style.
By force of personality and skillful politics, Mary Tattersall soothed the Imperial Council and the Dukes, and restrained the growing power of the Idara. Beginning in TE 412, she held an annual summit meeting between Galactic leaders -- she and Union President Pola Masilek were the chief attendees, but the summits also included the Archdukes of Elendan, Odonia, Sedante, and Teleskany. Largely as a result of these summits, hostilities between Union and Empire slowed down.
Mary's reign, which had begun in a hostile atmosphere with all sides waiting for the other shoe to drop, turned out to be a period of relative peace and quiet -- just what the Empire needed.
In 419, at the chronological age of 38 and the biological age of 100, Mary Tattersall passed the Crown to her Heir, Charles Castiligoni, then closed her eyes and died peacefully. She was mourned throughout the Galaxy; even in the Patalanian Union flags were lowered and the President declared a tenday of mourning.