The powerful, evocative new novel by the critically acclaimed author of The Handfasted Wife, The Woman in the Shadows presents the rise of Thomas Cromwell, Tudor England's most powerful statesman, through the eyes of his wife Elizabeth. When beautiful cloth merchant’s daughter Elizabeth Williams is widowed at the age of twenty-two, she is determined to make herself a success in the business she has learned from her father. But there are those who oppose a woman making her own way in the world, and soon Elizabeth realises she may have some powerful enemies – enemies who also know the truth about her late husband… Security – and happiness – comes when Elizabeth is introduced to kindly, ambitious merchant turned lawyer, Thomas Cromwell. Their marriage is one based on mutual love and respect…but it isn’t always easy being the wife of an influential, headstrong man in Henry VIII’s London. The city is filled with ruthless people and strange delights – and Elizabeth realises she must adjust to the life she has chosen…or risk losing everything.
Lost in history . . . losing her self. Uncover Tudor heroine Arbella Stuart's incredible story, reimagined by Elizabeth Fremantle in this tense, historical thriller. Hardwick Hall, sixteenth-century England. Formerly a beacon of wealth and power. Now a gilded prison. Hidden away, forgotten, one young woman seeks escape. But to do so she must trust those on the outside. Those who have their own motives... Discovery means death. But what choice has any woman trapped in a man's world? Imprisoned by circumstance, Arbella Stuart is an unwilling contender for the throne. In a world where women are silenced, what chance does she have to take control of her destiny? Praise for The Girl in the Glass Tower: 'A top-notch literary thriller' Daily Telegraph 'Thrilling, clever and beautifully written' The Times, 'Books of the Year' 'Filled with dense, dark political and social intrigue' Daily Mail 'Shots are fired, troths are plighted, sea voyages taken, escapes dared and mysteries solved' Daily Telegraph 'Beautifully written, completely engrossing and a book that stays with you after the pages are closed' Historia
THE QUEEN'S GODDAUGHTER. HER MOST TRUSTED MAID. ADULTRESS. ENEMY OF THE STATE. WHO IS THE REAL PENELOPE DEVEREUX? Penelope Devereux is a legendary beauty in the court of Elizabeth I, with a smile that would light up the shadows of hell. But it's not just her looks which have won her favour with the Queen wing; her canny instinct for being in the right place at the right time, and her skilled political manoeuvrings under the guise of diplomacy, have rendered her a formidable adversary to anyone who stands in her path. Including Elizabeth. For Penelope must secure the future of the Devereux dynasty at whatever cost. Even treason. And the Queen, a woman she holds responsible for the death of her father, the exile of her mother and her failure to marry the one man she ever truly loved, is just one more pawn in a deadly game. Walking the knife-edge of court, whilst ensuring that her reckless brother Essex remains the only star in the Queen's firmament - and out of the Tower - Penelope must plan for the inevitable succession of an ailing monarch. But her secret letters of friendship to a foreign King - one who has a strong claim to the English throne - could see her illustrious family in the gutter and her own head on the block. It would only take a single mistake, a slip of the tongue, an intercepted message for Penelope to become the architect of her downfall. In a world where sister is turned against brother, husband against wife, courtier against queen, the rules of the game are forever changing. Praise for Watch the Lady 'The research and historical detail are impeccable . . . and fans will enjoy this evocation of Elizabeth's tumultuous court' Times 'A glamourous tale peopled by warrior poets, flamboyant courtiers and shameless loves, it is also sharp, perceptive and dramatic' Sunday Express 'Be transported to the court of Elizabeth I, where Penelope Devereux is prepared to do anything in the scramble for power. Watch The Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle combines fast-paced storytelling with rich period detail' Good Housekeeping 'If you want an immersive read then this is it. The remarkable story of the beautiful Penelope Devereux comes vividly alive, bursting with colour and detail. The reader is transported to the perilous Elizabethan court, with all its plots, treachery and heartbreak, and gains fascinating insights into some of the most important figures of the time. Yet again Elizabeth Fremantle has produced a pacey, powerful narrative that kept this reader riveted throughout' Jane Thynne 'Penelope Devereux, perspicacious, beautiful and muse of Sir Philip Sidney, will stop at nothing for the sake of her family. I was gripped by the tale of risky political and sexual shenanigans in the court of Elizabeth l' Woman and Home 'Penelope is a fascinating character and beautifully drawn in this enthralling, moving and immaculately written novel... Fremantle handles the intriguing with aplomb and it's impossible to read the books without feeling you are living events alongside the characters' Imogen Robertson, Historia 'Fascinating . . . it's a delight to keep Penelope company as she plunges into the intrigues of Elizabeth's court' The History Girls 'Ever since Queen's Gambit took the world of historical fiction by storm 3 years ago, Liz Fremantle's books have been the ones to watch in the world of Tudor fiction. The combination of depth, intelligence and real historical imagination that she brings to bear on the lesser-known (but immensely powerful) women of the Tudor era is unmatched in contemporary writing and gets better with each book. Not that either of the previous ones were sub par - far from it, they were exceptional - but, as with all good writers, the apprenticeship of each book sees its realisation in the one that comes after it and there's a steady rise in the textures and depths and many-layered plot threads. The Lady we watch here is Penelope, sister of the notorious Essex, wife of a man who doesn't want to bed her, lover of those who do - though never the most important one: that love is unrequited and all the more powerful for it. The machinations of Elizabeth's court were never easy, but became positively frenetic as she edged towards death and refused to name a successor and the way the ageing monarch plays Cecil against Essex, as seen through the eyes of the woman who has to navigate a clear path through the chaos is brilliant. In fact, the shift of viewpoint from Penelope to Cecil and back again is the core strength of this book. Neither is an entirely reliable narrator, even to themselves, but taken together, they mesh to make a hologram of a time in history that is endlessly fascinating, but never fully understood. This book is glorious. It will delight fans of Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory alike, but will also garner a whole new audience from those who just love good writing, whatever the genre, whatever the era' Manda Scott 'A wonderful, totally transporting novel that folds you into its world, word by word, page by page, and remains with you long after the last. I absolutely loved this book. Fremantle is a brilliant novelist' Eve Chase, author of Black Rabbit Hall
She Survived Her Own Innocence, and the Treachery of Europe’s Royal Courts Greed, lust for power, sex, lies, secret marriages, religious posturing, adultery, beheadings, international intrigue, jealousy, treachery, love, loyalty, and betrayal. The Last Boleyn tells the story of the rise and fall of the Boleyns, one of England’s most powerful families, through the eyes of the eldest daughter, Mary. Although her sister, Anne, the queen; her brother, George, executed alongside Anne; and her father, Thomas, are most remembered by history, Mary was the Boleyn who set into motion the chain of events that brought about the family’s meteoric rise to power, as well as the one who managed to escape their equally remarkable fall. Sent away to France at an extraordinarily young age, Mary is quickly plunged into the dangerous world of court politics, where everything is beautiful but deceptive, and everyone she meets is watching and quietly manipulating the events and people around them. As she grows into a woman, Mary must navigate both the dangerous waters ruled by two kings and the powerful will of her own family in order to find a place for herself and the love she so deeply desires. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The author of The September Queen explores Tudor England with the tale of Bess of Hardwick—the formidable four-time widowed Tudor dynast who became one of the most powerful women in the history of England. On her twelfth birthday, Bess of Hardwick receives the news that she is to be a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Lady Zouche. Armed with nothing but her razor-sharp wit and fetching looks, Bess is terrified of leaving home. But as her family has neither the money nor the connections to find her a good husband, she must go to facilitate her rise in society. When Bess arrives at the glamorous court of King Henry VIII, she is thrust into a treacherous world of politics and intrigue, a world she must quickly learn to navigate. The gruesome fates of Henry’s wives convince Bess that marrying is a dangerous business. Even so, she finds the courage to wed not once, but four times. Bess outlives one husband, then another, securing her status as a woman of property. But it is when she is widowed a third time that she is left with a large fortune and even larger decisions—discovering that, for a woman of substance, the power and the possibilities are endless . . .
Shortlisted for the 2014 RONA Romantic Novel of the Year Awards - Historical Romantic Novel Category 'Moving, and vastly informative, a real page turner of a historical novel.' - Fay Weldon The Handfasted Wife is the story of the Norman Conquest from the perspective of Edith (Elditha) Swanneck, Harold's common-law wife. She is set aside for a political marriage when Harold becomes king in 1066. Determined to protect her children's destinies and control her economic future, she is taken to William's camp when her estate is sacked on the eve of the Battle of Hastings. She later identifies Harold's body on the battlefield and her youngest son becomes a Norman hostage. This is an adventure story of love, loss, survival and reconciliation. Based on the historical story of Edith Swan-Neck, The Handfasted Wife tells the story of 1066 from the perspective of the royal women.
The Life and Tragedy of Katherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII
Author: Gareth Russell
Publisher: William Collins
'A stunning reappraisal of Henry VIII's fifth wife ... Gareth Russell's book is scholarly yet highly readable ... basing his account on exhaustive research into her household, he provides a portrayal that is fresh and compelling. It is a stunning achievement' Tracy Borman, Sunday Times In the five centuries since her death, Catherine Howard has been dismissed as 'a wanton', 'inconsequential' or a na�ve victim of her ambitious family, but the story of her rise and fall offers not only a terrifying and compelling story of an attractive, vivacious young woman thrown onto the shores of history thanks to a king's infatuation, but an intense portrait of Tudor monarchy in microcosm: how royal favour was won, granted, exercised, displayed, celebrated and, at last, betrayed and lost. The story of Catherine Howard is both a very dark fairy tale and a gripping political scandal. Born into the nobility and married into the royal family, during her short life Catherine was almost never alone. Attended every waking hour by servants or companions, secrets were impossible to keep. With his research focus on Catherine's household, Gareth Russell has written a narrative that unfurls as if in real-time to explain how the queen's career ended with one of the great scandals of Henry VIII's reign. More than a traditional biography, this is a very human tale of some terrible decisions made by a young woman, and of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous hothouse where the odds were stacked against nearly all of them. By illuminating Catherine's entwined upstairs/downstairs worlds, and bringing the reader into her daily milieu, the author re-tells her story in an exciting and engaging way that has surprisingly modern resonances and offers a fresh perspective on Henry's fifth wife. YOUNG AND DAMNED AND FAIR is a riveting account of Catherine Howard's tragic marriage to one of history's most powerful rulers. It is a grand tale of the Henrician court in its twilight, a glittering but pernicious sunset during which the king's unstable behaviour and his courtiers' labyrinthine deceptions proved fatal to many, not just to Catherine Howard.
Women have traditionally been expected to tend the sick as part of their domestic duties; yet throughout history they have faced an uphill struggle to be accepted as healers outside the household. In this provocative anthology, twelve essays by historians and literary scholars explore the work of women as healers and physicians. The essays range across centuries, nations, and cultures to focus on the ideological and practical obstacles women have faced in the world of medicine. Each examines the situation of women healers in a particular time and place through cases that are emblematic of larger issues and controversies in that period. The stories presented here are typical of different but parallel facets of women's history in medicine. The first six concern the controversial relationship between magic and medicine and the perception that women healers can harm or enchant as well as cure. Women frequently were banished to the edges of medical practice because their spiritualism or unorthodoxy was considered a threat to conventional medicine. These chapters focus mainly on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance but also provide continuity to women healers in African American culture of our own time. The second six essays trace women healers' efforts to seek professional standing, first in fifth-century Greece and Rome and later, on a global scale, in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to actual case studies from Germany, Russia, England, and Australia, these essays consider treatments of women doctors in American fiction and in the writings of Virginia Woolf. Women Healers and Physicians complements existing histories of women in medicine by drawing on varied historical and literary sources, filling gaps in our understanding of women healers and nulling social attitudes about them. Although the contributions differ dramatically, all retain a common focus and create a unique comparative picture of women's struggles to climb the long hill to acceptance in the medical profession.
"I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world. The stories are forgotten here, and the Day draws close. I will tell you one of my stories. You will record it." So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England's Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book—a book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation. The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible—Scriptures the common people could read for themselves. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More's public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the same book, persecuting anyone who dares read it. Historic figures come alive in this thrilling story of heroes and villains, saints and sinners, angels and mortals ... and the sacred book that will inspire you anew.
Orphaned Lucy St.John, described as "the most beautiful of all," defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I are a time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, when the most dangerous thing one can do is fall in love . . . or make an enemy of Frances Howard, the reigning court beauty. Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk, but her envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness. Exiling herself from the court, Lucy has to find her own path through life, becoming mistress of the Tower of London. Riding the coattails of the king's favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, the fortunes of the St.Johns rise to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival-and her honor-in a world of deceit and debauchery. Elizabeth St.John tells this dramatic story of love, betrayal, family bonds and loyalty through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family's surviving diaries, letters and court papers.
What was Elizabeth the 1st really like? Beneath the veneer of cold calculation and emotional aloofness she displayed to the world lived a flesh and blood woman not unaffected by the horrors of her childhood or the emotional disappointments of her adult life. One woman knew her sorrows and shared her innermost thoughts, her closest, most trusted confidant and secret kinswoman, Bess, the other Elizabeth. Like her father before her, Elizabeth finds sanctuary at the isolated estate of Coudenoure, as the epic saga of the de Grey clan - ever fiercely loyal to the crown - continues, charting their loves and loses, their triumphs and tragedies, lived out in parallel to those of the royal family with whom their blood is forever intermingled.
The Swan Daughter is a true 11th C tale of elopement and a love triangle by best-selling author of The Handfasted Wife, Carol McGrath. A marriage made in Heaven or Hell. 1075 and Dowager Queen Edith has died. Gunnhild longs to leave Wilton Abbey but is her suitor Breton knight Count Alain of Richmond interested in her inheritance as the daughter of King Harold and Edith Swan-Neck or does he love her for herself? And is her own love for Count Alain an enduring love or has she made a mistake?