Category Archives: 15th Century

First Line Friday: The Tudor Bride

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“The grey-green sea looked hungry as it lapped and chewed on the English shore, voracious, like the monsters mapmakers paint at the edge of the world.” THE TUDOR BRIDE by Joanna Hickson “The thrilling story of the French princess who became an English queen, from the best-selling author of The Agincourt Bride. Perfect for fans of The White Queen. Even… Read more »

review: Daughter of York

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History tells us that the intelligent, wealthy, and powerful Margaret of York had everything any woman could want, except for love. The acclaimed author of A Rose for the Crown takes us between the lines of history and into her heart. It is 1461: Edward, son of Richard of York, ascends to the throne, and his willful sister, Margaret, immediately… Read more »

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower Novels

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There are three “Princes in the Tower” novels that have intrigued me over the years: To the Tower Born by Robin Maxwell, Figures in Silk and Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett. All three make use of a background character’s view of events, some fictional–such as Bennett’s Isabel Lambert and Maxwell’s Nell Caxton–and others who were indeed on… Read more »

Eleanor Hibbert: Letter about Jane Shore in The Goldsmith’s Wife

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Just days after the announcement that confirmed Richard III’s remains were found, I received this correspondence (purchased from a document seller on eBay) between Eleanor Hibbert (Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, Eleanor Burford, Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow, Ellalice Tate, Anna Percival) and a reader from the University of Illinois English Department on Jane Shore, and along with her a… Read more »

review: The Star of Lancaster

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The Star of Lancaster #11 in the Plantagenet Saga by Jean Plaidy One of the idiosyncrasies of Jean Plaidy’s writing is her style of encompassing mini-stories within the main story, weaving them all together. This she has done with The Star of Lancaster, covering an aging John of Gaunt, his rising son, Henry IV of England, and the short lifetime… Read more »

review: Pale Rose of England

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Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth This is the story of Perkin Warbeck–who was known as the second pretender to the throne of England during the reign of Henry VII–and his wife, Catherine Gordon, the daughter of a respected Scottish noble. Richard (as he was called by his wife and the monarchs of Europe) and Catherine had a promising… Read more »

review: A Rose for the Crown

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A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith It’s difficult to write a synopsis for this book because it is long and the main character’s situation changes many times. Kate began a poor farmer’s daughter, spent her early years as ward to a wealthy cousin, was wife to two very different men, and finally mistress to Richard of Gloucester,… Read more »

review: The Sun in Splendour

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The Sun in Splendour by Jean Plaidy Elizabeth Woodville is the focus of this detailed account of the Wars of the Roses, beginning with her auspicious meeting with King Edward IV, where she boldly asked him to favor her with the return of her deceased husband’s estate, but ultimately won the crown of England for herself and her family. Cold… Read more »

review: The Welsh Healer

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The Welsh Healer by Ginger Myrick Wales, late 14th Century—Arlais is a girl of ten when her destiny is foretold by an ancient prophecy claiming her as a renowned healer who will ultimately save a bloodline of kings. During a perilous era, when the Welsh were warring against the English, the young girl’s family had a humble but happy home… Read more »

review: El Rey

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El Rey: A Novel of Renaissance Iberia by Ginger Myrick In a genre saturated with settings in England, France and Italy, Ginger Myrick presents her saga based in Renaissance Iberia—Castile, Portugal and Spain. This spellbinding story not only connects readers with the main protagonist, Inez Garcia, but all of the men and women who made her world. Because the story… Read more »

review: Signora da Vinci

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Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell First of all, I have to say it – this is my favorite Robin Maxwell novel! Yes, even more than O, Juliet I’m afraid! I’m so glad to have saved this one for last, and though I was on a tight schedule to get it read, I savored it for 2 more days than… Read more »

review: By Fire, By Water

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By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan 15th century Spain is an era I am not very familiar with, having only read novels mentioning Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. The Spanish Inquisition and the fate of both the Muslims and the Jewish communities during this time period is a subject I’ve planned to read more about (Jean… Read more »