Tag Archives: Tudor

A Baby’s Bones by Rebecca Alexander

Titan Books | 2018 (1 May) | 473p | Review copy | Buy the bookA Baby's Bones by Rebecca Alexander

When County Archaeologist Sage Westfield is called in to excavate a well discovered during a house expansion on the Isle of Wight, it’s a shock to her and to her small team when the bones of a woman and a tiny baby are discovered deep within the well. Marks on the bones tell of violent deaths while strange carvings on the stones inside the well hint at something else just as sinister. Soon the whole village of Banstock becomes caught up in the mystery of the bones in the well. It’s time for the past to be laid to rest.

But Banstock is a troubled village. The cottage, in the grounds of which lies the well, is believed haunted and the deep unhappiness felt by its current owners appears to reflect a much older sadness. The local vicar is fascinated by the mystery of the bones, a welcome distraction from the hate calls that he’s receiving almost daily. And the interest deepens when records are uncovered relating to the village’s manor house, which once owned the cottage. The household records date from 1580 and they tell a tale that enthralls Sage. But Sage has good reason to feel such care for this poor dead baby and the woman buried with it – she is heavily pregnant and, more than anything else in her life, she knows the obsessive and certain need to keep one’s child safe. But death walks through this historic village.

A Baby’s Bones is an engrossing and moving mystery but what surprised me – in a good way – is that its focus is very much on the people of Tudor and present-day Banstock rather than on a hunt for a murderer. In fact the murder takes a considerable time to take place. Instead we have been drawn into the story of Sage, her complicated feelings for her baby’s father, and her developing connection to the inhabitants of this village which has such a sad history.

Sage is the heart of the novel and I warmed to her very much. There is a growing tension through the book, intensified by our worry for her condition. The baby’s bones are a warning indeed. Scattered throughout the narrative are the extracts from the Tudor period and they tell another story of love, hatred, suspicion and motherhood. There’s such a menace to these sections which highlight the vulnerable position of some women in society and the power that men held over them.

My background is in archaeology and so I did have some thoughts about the novel’s archaeological scenario – human remains in wells aren’t uncommon and such extensive investigation of their historical context is a luxury few archaeologists would be able to enjoy. But this is fiction and very enjoyable fiction at that. Although I think this could have been 100 pages shorter, it was nevertheless compelling and I enjoyed its chill which contrasted well with the novel’s comforting feel – pretty villages, vicars and old houses. I love novels that bring a community to life, exploring its origins and finding a continuity in the stories of its people. A Baby’s Bones is a beautifully written novel, full of atmosphere, sadness and menace as well as love – between mother and daughter, between friends and between mother and child.

I’m delighted to post this review as part of the blog tour. For other stops on the tour, do take a look at the poster below.

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Six Tudor Queens III: Jane Seymour – The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir

Headline Review | 2018 (3 May) | 544p | Review copy | Buy the book

Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen by Alison WeirAlison Weir’s fictional retelling of the lives and fortunes of Henry VIII’s six wives is one of the most enjoyable historical series that I’ve read in quite a while. Just when you think that you’re completely Tudored out and that there’s nothing more of interest to be wrung from Henry’s notorious marriage record, it’s wonderful to be proved so wrong. The third novel in the series tells the tale of one of the most overshadowed of Henry’s Queens, Jane Seymour. We’ve had tantalising hints of Jane in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall books (a series named after the Seymour home) and these have made me keener than ever to read a novel dedicated to Jane, particularly one written by as fine a historian as Alison Weir. Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen is the book of the series that I have looked forward to the most and I wasn’t at all surprised to find it excellent.

The King’s Great Matter – Henry’s annulment of his long marriage to Katherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn, with all that this entailed, such as the break from Rome – features heavily in all three of the books that comprise the first half of Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series. And what makes this retelling so successful is that we are presented with it from the three very different perspectives of these three Queens. Jane was a maid of honour to both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and her sympathies most certainly lay with Katherine and the Old Religion. Jane’s perspective on Henry’s affair with Anne and his divorce from Katherine is that of an observer, as someone who is deeply disturbed by what she is seeing. She is only in a position to catch glimpses of what’s going on and the court is alive with whispers of gossip and worried secrets. Alison Weir brings this stricken court to life while also revelling in its luxurious splendour and ceremonies.

My favourite half of the novel, though, is the second in which Jane must deal with the repercussions of Anne Boleyn’s fall from grace and death as well as her own progress to become Henry’s wife and Queen in what was seen as indecent haste. Alison Weir’s focus is now almost solely on Jane and Henry as a couple and this is a very different Henry from the one that Katherine and then Anne knew. This means that Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen has a different atmosphere and mood – here’s a Henry who’s now getting on in years, has sores on his legs and is after the quiet life while seeing conspiracies around every corner. There’s a danger that you might end up even liking this Henry, which is novel! The title also suggests how Jane is dealing with replacing another wife who has been executed by her husband.

Jane isn’t particularly easy to like and I think this is largely because, as a mere knight’s daughter, she didn’t know how to behave as Queen. She does come across as grasping, materialistic and proud. She’s also very traditional in her beliefs and faith. But she does display moments of strength and courage which are fascinating to read about. I also really enjoyed the sections on Jane and her family – the opening to the novel in the Seymour home is especially compelling and descriptive.

There’s much in Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen that gave me food for thought – about Jane, Anne Boleyn and Henry. I enjoyed so much getting to know the Tudor Queen I perhaps know the least about. These middle years of the 1530s were extraordinary years in English history, with Cromwell’s power at its height, the Pilgrimage of Grace, bouts of plague and sweating sickness, and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which must have affected almost everybody in the land. Jane is thrown into a position of influence almost out of the blue and has to deal with people looking to her to control the King’s capricious and paranoid nature. Perhaps most fascinating of all is that here we are shown a young bride who, in this interpretation at least, loved her husband. This mix of intimate affection and royal power is portrayed so well in this novel.

Henry’s wives are in safe hands with Alison Weir and Jane Seymour has at last been given a voice. I can’t wait for the three more novels to come, particularly the next. In that we will see the legacy of Jane Seymour on Henry VIII. Watching his character and nature alter and change through the years (and the wives) is one of the highlights of this series. It makes it unmissable.

Other reviews
Six Tudor Queens I: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen
Six Tudor Queens II: Anne Boleyn – A King’s Obsession

Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley

Bloomsbury Children’s Books | 2018 (5 April) | 384p | Review copy | Buy the book

Lady Mary by Lucy WorsleyMary is just a child when her father and mother separate. But this is no normal family break up – Mary’s mother is Catherine of Aragon and her father is Henry VIII. After years of marriage Henry wants Anne Boleyn and there is nothing he won’t do to win her, even if that means declaring his daughter Mary illegitimate and sending her off to Hatfield where she must serve as a maid to her new little half-sister Elizabeth. Removed from her mother, friends and possessions, Mary suffers everyday due to her resolution that she will never wait on Elizabeth, she will never deny her own title of Princess and she will never betray her mother who remains, in her eyes, Queen of England. There is little comfort for Mary as she grows to adulthood alone, frightened and uncared for. But Mary has the knack of finding friends in the most unlikely of places.

Lady Mary tells the story of Mary from when she is 9 years old, and happy, until she is a young woman of 21. During these years Mary is transformed, first by the appearance of Anne Boleyn in their lives and secondly by the King’s marriage to Jane Seymour. This is the story of Mary’s trials as a princess and royal figure but it is also, and more importantly, the tale of Mary’s suffering as a young person missing her parents and not quite understanding what is happening. She looks for friendship and sometimes finds it but she must also learn about dishonesty and betrayal.

This is a children’s book and I think, just like the earlier Eliza Rose, it will greatly appeal and hopefully spark an interest in this most fascinating and colourful of periods. As an older reader, there were certain parts of Lady Mary that I really enjoyed. I did like the depiction of life at Hatfield. It’s all very visual and full of little details, all reflecting Lucy Worsley’s knowledge as a curator of the royal palaces. There is also something very appealing about this portrayal of Mary. It’s so easy to warm to her and I didn’t want to put the novel down, I was so caught up in her story.

However, my biggest issue with the novel was also in this portrayal of Mary. Her religious fervour is removed and so, although I could believe in her gentleness and kindness as presented here, as a whole this depiction didn’t ring true for me. We’re given little glimpses of a possible romance, alongside quite upsetting scenes showing her brutal treatment as a prisoner, but, although she ages by over ten years through the book, her voice doesn’t change. It’s hard with hindsight to escape Mary’s legacy, that of Bloody Mary, but there isn’t a sign of any of that Catholic belief that dominated her life.

Henry VIII is equally unbelievable, in my opinion. He comes across as a bit of a fool. Some of the other characterisation isn’t subtle – Anne Boleyn is a horrifying ogress while Thomas Cromwell is as slimey as he is dangerous. Jane Seymour, by contrast, is a gentle angel. I did, though, really enjoy the scenes between Jane and Mary, and what they show about life at court. I did question the point at which the novel ended – with the birth of Edward VI. I would have loved it to have finished with Mary’s destiny – her accession to the throne.

Depth is missing from Lady Mary but in its place is an accessible and pleasing introduction to the Tudor court for young readers, and I found it much more successful than its predecessor My Name is Victoria. I certainly found Lady Mary very hard to put down, enjoying its Tudor richness and colour.

Other reviews
Eliza Rose
My Name is Victoria

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

Macmillan | 2017 (21 September) | 768p | Review copy | Buy the book

A Column of Fire by Ken FollettWhen Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge from the Continent in a snowstorm in 1558, it seems as if medieval feudalism is alive and well in this prosperous market city. His mother Alice might be one of the more successful and influential merchants in the city but his hopes of marrying Margery Fitzgerald, the daughter of gentry, are as doomed as ever. Margery is betrothed instead to Bart, a Viscount and son of Swithin, the Earl of Shiring, a man as cruel and despotic as his forefathers. To compound matters, the Willards are Protestant while the Shiring family is Catholic and Bloody Mary sits securely on the throne, thanks to her husband, King Phillip of Spain. But, even though the Shirings have the power to destroy the Willards and persecute and even burn all challengers, using church authorities to help them, Ned knows that Kingsbridge, England, and even Europe are about to change – Elizabeth Tudor waits in the wings. Ned will serve her, becoming her most trusted spy, and the future will be theirs.

France may be securely Catholic but to some not enough. The tolerant policies of Catherine de Medici, the French royal matriarch, challenge the ambitions of the mighty family of Guise, who exist just a hair’s breadth from the French throne, exerting their influence through the marriage of one of their own, little Mary Queen of Scots, to the French heir and future King. Pierre Aumande has little, living off his wits in the gambling dens and bars of Paris’s poorest streets but he has a dream. He believes that he is the illegitimate son of a Guise and he is determined to become recognised in that family. To achieve that he is prepared to do absolutely anything they ask – anything. And if that means infiltrating and informing on Paris’s growing Protestant population, pushing them onto flaming pyres, then so be it.

These are tumultuous times, not just for England and France, but also for Scotland, Spain, the Netherlands, the rest of Europe and even further afield to the New World. Men and women travel across borders and seas, often fleeing persecution, taking new technologies with them and carrying new ideas. There will be murder, judicial or otherwise, and there will be wars. Very little will be the same as the world moves into the 17th century.

Years ago, back in 1989 when it was first published, I read and fell in love with Pillars of the Earth, the first of the Kingsbridge series and followed years later in 2007 by World Without End. Nobody writes historical sagas quite like Ken Follett. He is a master of them, as shown once again and more recently in his epic Century trilogy. How fantastic it is to return once more to Kingsbridge, a city that we have seen grow and develop, suffer and endure, through centuries of history. Prior Phillip still rests in his tomb in Kingsbridge Cathedral, a reminder of those distant days when the ancestors of those who still live within the city walked its streets and built its walls and bridges. The battle between good and bad continues but now there is more to it than divides of influence, wealth and status – religion is now involved and, more than ever, individuals can break free of their bonds and rise to dominance, whether it’s through engineering, the civil service or captaining vessels.

A Column of Fire is an extraordinary achievement. As you’d expect and hope from a Ken Follett saga, it’s a mighty tome at 751 Pages (at least according to the proof). But every single one of these pages works its magic because we are taken through a whole world of stories, moving from place to place, picking up on people’s lives, following them through a period of over forty years. The novel’s heart lies in Kingsbridge but a great deal of time is spent elsewhere, predominantly in Paris, but also in the Netherlands, southern Spain, throughout England and Scotland and across the high seas to the Caribbean. The story involves people at all levels of society and the main characters aren’t just fictional, they’re also prominent historical figures, such as Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and the Dukes of Guise. Certain characters move among them, especially Ned and Pierre, bringing us into the centre of European political affairs during the Elizabethan Age, while also highlighting the intellectual, religious and literary achievements of these glorious European courts. But the suffering that religious persecution brought is made real by showing its effect on the men, women and children of this city in England that we have grown to love – Kingsbridge.

There is nothing about A Column of Fire that isn’t a joy to read. Huge ideas and swathes of history are covered, including the Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Day, the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Spanish Armada, but all in the most accessible yet immersive fashion. There are many characters but they all seem individual and each has a fascinating part to play in the bigger picture. As usual with Ken Follett’s novels, plenty of the character spend what time they can obsessing about sex, which you just have to put up with in these books, but it doesn’t interfere too much and it’s good to spend time with these people in those moments when they can escape the stress and danger of history. And there are always fabulous baddies to hate. There are some corkers here and I also particularly enjoyed the portraits of the Dukes of Guise with their scarred faces and scarred souls. These people were devious! They are perfect for historical fiction.

I read A Column of Fire in just two days and what a fantastic two days those were. I did not want it to end. I savoured it. Ultimately this is a novel about love and hate and trying to find the middle ground, the path of tolerance and peace. It isn’t easy to find and the characters here often fail but following Ned and Marjory through these years is a wonderful thing to do. These Kingsbridge novels don’t come along too often and when they do they’re very special indeed. Arguably, A Column of Fire is as fine an achievement as Pillars of the Earth, I certainly loved it as much.

Other reviews
Winter of the World
Edge of Eternity

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

Simon & Schuster | 2017 (8 August) | 519p | Review copy | Buy the book

The Last Tudor by Philippa GregoryPerhaps if Lady Jane Grey had denied her Protestant faith, her Catholic cousin, Queen Mary Tudor, might not have had Jane beheaded for stealing the Tudor crown for those nine infamous days in July 1553. But Jane steadfastly refused and so this 17-year-old girl went to the block, becoming one of the most well-known and pitied figures in English history. But Jane wasn’t the only member of the Grey family to fall foul of their more powerful cousins. Her younger sisters Katherine and Mary were Elizabeth I’s closest heirs, a constant reminder of how fragile her grip on the throne was, and, just like Jane, the target of men with ambition. But in the end their crime was very different from Jane’s. Both Katherine and Mary were prepared to risk everything for love.

Philippa Gregory’s latest novel about Tudor women is, she tells us, most likely her last and this, I think, explains much of its title. Beginning in the 1550s, it covers the reigns of Henry VIII’s three children but its early focus is on the events that forced Lady Jane Grey to the forefront of history. The novel is divided into three (unequal in length) parts, covering each of the three sisters’ stories in turn, with the larger middle part telling the tragic tale of Katherine Grey. Each section is told in the present tense by each sister in turn – Jane, Katherine and Mary – and the voice of Jane sets a striking opening note for The Last Tudor.

Jane’s story is well-known to history for a good reason – it’s as fascinating as it’s upsetting, but Philippa Gregory does a fine job of showing that there was more to her than the usual image of an innocent lamb led to the slaughter. This Jane is defiant and uncompromising, difficult to love and isolated. Her religion is more important than family. But we’re not allowed to forget that she is effectively a child and she has no control over her own destiny. The only thing she has power over is her faith and she will not give it up. But the Jane portrayed here might never have thought that Mary would actually kill her. Jane isn’t easy to like but she’s extremely easy to feel sorry for. The author demonstrates well that Jane’s death was such an enormous waste. This might be a familiar tale but it’s a powerful one and it doesn’t lose anything in the re-telling.

Jane’s two sisters Katherine and Mary are less well-known but their stories – Katherine’s in particular – are just as tragic. Mary is a fascinating character, not least because she would have stood out in court for being a ‘little person’ but this characteristic and useful ability to appear unseen didn’t always keep her safe from Elizabeth I. I really enjoyed Mary’s narrative during the novel’s final third. She presents an unusual perspective on the Tudor court and her resilience is extraordinary.

The larger part of the novel concerns the middle sister Katherine Grey and what a pitiful story it is. Perhaps it’s because this is the longest section but I soon tired of Katherine’s voice. Her naivety in embarking on a course of action that was bound to end in trouble made me less sympathetic than I should have been. I must admit that I just wanted it to end.

The figure that overshadows the whole novel is Elizabeth I and what a tyrant she is. Philippa Gregory always makes plain her feelings about historical figures and we can be in no doubt about her view of Elizabeth. This is all well and good (this is fiction after all) but I did have some trouble with the novel’s judgement of Elizabeth’s relationship with Thomas Seymour. The novel tells a gripping story but its characterisation is arguably quite flat or black and white with little freedom for development and few surprises.

Philippa Gregory is a prolific author and so it’s not surprising that I get on with some novels better than others. Some I absolutely adore, such as The Taming of the Queen, but others, including The Last Tudor, less so. Nevertheless, the history that fuels The Last Queen is absolutely fascinating and deserves a re-telling. What will stay in my mind most of all, though, is the opening voice of Lady Jane Grey as she heads resolutely towards her fate.

Other reviews
The Taming of the Queen
Three Sisters, Three Queens

Six Tudor Queens II: Anne Boleyn – A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir

Headline | 2017 (18 May) | 544p | Review copy | Buy the book

Anne Boleyn A King's Obsession by Alison Weir UKFrom her early years on the continent as a maid of honour to Regent Margaret of Austria and then to Queen Mary of France, Anne Boleyn was determined to retain her independence and reputation. Anne grew up witnessing the behaviour of lords and even kings to women at court, including women of the highest rank. Rape and assault were far from unknown and, later on, when Anne is a maid of honour in England to Queen Katherine of Aragon, she sees the way that Henry VIII pursues and captures her sister Mary, almost right under the eyes of his wife. Anne Boleyn will not be used in the same way.

The story of Anne Boleyn is a familiar one but Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession is a novel I have been longing to read since reading and thoroughly enjoying Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen, the first novel in Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series. That marvellous novel breathed new life into the ultimately tragic tale of this woman who refused to be beaten even when her daughter was taken from her and all she had left was her faith. Anne Boleyn is a less sympathetic figure to many, including me, and I did wonder how Alison Weir could make me engage with her. I needn’t have worried. I was riveted from the very beginning when we meet a young girl who manages to be both modern and belonging to her own time. Anne is presented as a wonderful observer of life, a witness to grandeur and intimacy, and increasingly she becomes a player in the world she has dissected.

Anne is fiercely intelligent and not a little intimidating. She is a contrast to her sister Mary, to the other Mary (Henry VIII’s sister and Queen of France) and to Queen Katherine. Katherine is bound to retain our sympathies, especially if you’ve read the previous novel. And it’s pitiable watching Katherine try to be such a good friend and patron to this young girl so newly returned from the French court. We all know what’s going to happen. Anne is friend to few.

Henry VIII looms over the novel as you’d expect and his character transforms through the novel from a young man in love to one bored and prepared to kill. It’s a compelling portrait and, at times, as Anne dangles the king on the end of a leash, it’s almost possible to feel sorry for him. But we’ve seen what he can do. Anne’s sister Mary Boleyn is a constant reminder of that. But while Henry changes through the book so too does Anne and what makes it so interesting is that she knows it. She is transformed by power and later by fear. She is aware of it and she hates it. She hates what she becomes. And it’s both painful and irresistible to read.

I love the way in which Alison Weir writes. She presents a great deal of historical detail and background while preserving the drama of the story and finding new ways in which to tell it. The Tudor court was full of incredible personalities and they’re all richly painted here, including Anne’s brother George, his wife Jane and their grand uncle the Duke of Norfolk. But it’s Anne and Henry who dominate the book, sweeping away anyone in their path.

We all know how Anne Boleyn’s story ended and those pages here tore my heart out. At times, this is an emotional novel and it pays to remind yourself when reading it that, although this is a work of fiction, these were real people. Anne has to adapt constantly and you can certainly understand why even if it makes her difficult to warm to. I was hoping to find a different approach to Anne in this novel and that’s what I found. Likewise, it provides an original perspective on the role of women in the Tudor and French courts. I also loved the novel’s size. Its substantial length allows the reader to wallow in this incredible story.

As this series continues it will be fascinating watching Henry’s progression towards his monstrous destiny as he discards his wives, and others, by the wayside. I can’t wait for the novel on Jane Seymour – to watch her emerge from the shadow of her more famous predecessor, Anne Boleyn.

Other review
Six Tudor Queens I: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

Incendium by A.D. Swanston

Bantam Press | 2017 (23 February) | 400p | Review copy | Buy the book

Incendium by A.D. SwanstonIt is 1572 and Elizabethan England is threatened as never before. Mary Queen of Scots might be locked away in Sheffield Castle but she remains the focus for Catholic plotters, their fire fuelled by the Pope’s support and by bloody violence done to Protestant Huguenots in Paris and across France. Spanish and French ships are poised to invade, to steal the crown from the heretic queen. Assassins hide in London’s crowded streets. As the summer heat intensifies and the fear of plague stirs, London, England and Elizabeth herself look ready to ignite and explode. And there is competition to be the one to win the eternal glory of lighting that fuse.

Dr Christopher Radcliff is a lawyer in the service of Elizabeth’s longterm favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Leicester more than anyone wants to protect Elizabeth, and Radcliff, a man with agents hidden across the city, is just the person to help him. There are rumours of a new plot, codenamed ‘Incendium’, and its roots are believed to lie in Paris. But people in London are already starting to disappear and be killed, Radcliff’s own agents among them. It’s soon clear that this is no ordinary plot, its conspirators cunning and powerful, their ambition limitless. And they are one step ahead of Radcliff, at least.

Incendium is the first in a new historical series by A.D. Swanston, the author of the marvellous Thomas Hill trilogy set during the Civil War and Restoration (review of The King’s Return). Incendium is every bit as good if not better. The early 1570s were a fascinating time in English history – the persecutions and executions of Bloody Mary were still within recent memory while the overt threat of the Armada was still some time off. While Elizabeth wished to be tolerant of her subjects’ private religious beliefs, in contrast to her sister Mary, this moderation was now severely tested. She only had to look across the channel to the horrors committed in France in 1572 – events which are portrayed here – to know that she and her kingdom were in real personal danger. Elizabeth’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham is away in Paris so Leicester tries to do what he can but he is out of his depth and it shows.

Radcliff is a wonderful character, resourceful and intelligent and he needs to be. He’s also no fool and is well aware that Leicester could get him killed. He’s also been changed by what he’s seen overseas. It haunts him. But Radcliff is aided by some hugely likeable individuals, such as his mistress Katherine Allington, and Ell, a whore who spies for Radcliff but can also make him laugh. Then there’s Rose, Radcliff’s elderly housekeeper, who does what she can to keep her master fed and watered, even when her own roof is rained down in a storm. And there are many more who come and go through these pages.

This is a novel full of character and life and I loved its portrait of Elizabethan London, in the heat and later in the snow. We’re taken into all sorts of places, ranging from palaces to prisons, and all are vividly painted.

Incendium faces head on the ugliness of Elizabethan spying and counter-spying – it could result in brutal murder on one side and the atrocious horror of legal torture and execution on the other. Neither Radcliff and Leicester care for torture but Leicester is unhappily aware that, while he could not carry it out himself, he must ask others to do it for him. Elizabeth’s protection is all that matters. Swanston also doesn’t shy away from the Catholic slaughter of the Huguenots in Paris. I’ve always been fascinated by these appalling events and Incendium is built around them.

Incendium perfectly combines history and fiction, historical figures and those that aren’t, and together they paint such a colourful and compelling picture of Elizabethan London at a crucial time for its Queen and her servants. As a historical thriller it worked perfectly. I loved every page. I can’t wait to meet Christopher Radcliff again.

Other posts
The King’s Return
Spies and spying in the Civil War – a guest post by Andrew Swanston