Posted in 15th Century Articles Tudor Wars of the Roses

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower Novels

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 the fringes of the court during the era–Elizabeth of York, Jane Shore and Meg Giggs. While To the Tower Born and Figures in Silk are set during the era, Portrait of an Unknown Woman is indeed a Tudor novel set in the 1520’s, but has roots that lead back to 1485 via Thomas More, known for slandering Richard III in his book The History of…

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Posted in 16th Century Reviews Tudor

review: Portrait of an Unknown Woman

Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett In 2007, I received a beautiful copy of this book. It was an ARC and the cover art was not used on the finished version. Normally when I fall in love with a book that is not its official version, I will buy it once it hits the shelves–but not this one. I loved the cover too much. Although, I must admit, having the More family portrait on the cover makes more sense, and as you read it you will want to see the paintings described in the book (the hardcover version features a full-sized image of the painting). This time, I re-read this book on audio. All of the details and emotions came rushing back to…

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Posted in 15th Century Reviews Wars of the Roses

review: Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett

Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett Having read her previous novel, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, I was expecting a bit of a conspiracy theory with this novel. There was a slight twist to the Richard III/Henry Tudor/Elizabeth of York events that I have not seen before, but not quite as surprising as her other novel (though it does tie together in some ways). This review is very detailed and may have a little too much info for those who like to go into a story completely unaware. May be spoilers! Isabel, the protagonist, is sister to the infamous Jane Shore–whom I thought would be loathesome. Jane is actually one of the most likeable characters in the book and I really enjoyed the telling of…

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