Posted in Reviews

review: The Tudor Rose

The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes This is the story of Elizabeth of York as told in her own voice. The story begins with a mature young woman, who is the eldest of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville’s children, and her character is immediately shown to be admirable. Perhaps she is a bit too compliant at times, but there is a current of obstinacy underneath her dutiful bearing. Throughout her young years, as her hand is promised to various hopeful dauphins, dukes and princes she feels herself growing into a passionate woman and wishing for more than a cold, political match. That she felt a stirring for Richard of Gloucester both excites and repulses her, but once her brothers are widely known to…

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Posted in Reviews

review: The Passionate Brood

The Passionate Brood A Novel of Richard the Lionheart and the Man Who Became Robin Hood by Margaret Campbell Barnes This is the story of King Richard I of England through an interesting perspective: the reputable legend–Robin Hood. Though he is not narrator or a main character by presence, he is the heart of the story and, one might say, Richard’s conscious. Born on the same day, Richard and Robin were inseparable growing up, though Robin knew his place and never tried to elevate his status through his friendship with the royal family. He was a just and savvy helpmate, curbing the famous Plantagenet temper with a quick word or funny jibe. When Richard inherited the throne of England, his short-sighted thoughts were of crusading,…

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Posted in 16th Century Reviews Tudor

review: King’s Fool

King’s Fool by Margaret Campbell Barnes Another great novel from this author! I really enjoyed her book My Lady of Cleves, though found the one on Anne Boleyn, Brief Gaudy Hour, had a sketchy timeline and depicted Anne as I hate seeing her: shallow and evil. This is the story of the life of Will Somers, royal jester to Henry VIII. I would liken this book to The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George, though more abridged and it has a little more to do with Will’s life rather than Henry’s. They both show Henry in a positive light and make his decisions seem more rational than the topical history suggests. Will starts life as the son of a churchman and has learning, though…

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Posted in 16th Century Reviews Tudor

review: Brief Gaudy Hour

The enigmatic Anne Boleyn comes to life in this charming, brilliant portrayal by acclaimed British novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes. The infamous love of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn undertook a rocky journey from innocent courtier to powerful Queen of England. A meticulous researcher, Margaret Campbell Barnes immerses readers in this intrigue and in the lush, glittery world of the Tudor Court. The beauty and charms of Anne Boleyn bewitched the most powerful man in the world, King Henry VIII, but her resourcefulness and cleverness were not enough to stop the malice of her enemies. Her swift rise to power quickly became her own undoing. The author brings to light Boleyn’s humanity and courage, giving an intimate look at…

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Posted in 16th Century Reviews Tudor

review: My Lady of Cleves

My Lady of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes This book begins with Henry VIII’s search for a fourth wife and ends with his death. Though her earlier life was not covered in great detail, the reader still gets a sense of who Anne of Cleves was and how her personality developed. Since being painted by Hans Holbein, Henry VIII’s court painter, and chosen over her more attractive sister, she began seeing herself differently and gained the confidence needed to overcome the great culture shock she suffered when arriving in England. Historical fact is vague on precisely how and why Henry did not want to continue the marriage, and I think Barnes has envisioned a scenario that may well be very accurate. I was surprised to…

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