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Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle

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Manda Scott
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Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle

Post by Manda Scott » Tue July 21st, 2015, 10:35 am

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.
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Bestselling author of
Boudica: Dreaming. INTO THE FIRE out in June 2015: Forget what you thought you knew, this changes everything.

[url=http:www.mandascott.co.uk]http:www.mandascott.co.uk[/url]

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