A dramatic recreation of the lives of two of the most famous women in history, Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I. It is 1560, and the newly crowned Elizabeth I is about to become romantically involved with Robert Dudley when an old woman appears bearing a diary written in the hand of the young queen's mother, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth has grown up knowing nothing of her notorious mother but what official history put forth: that she was an adulterer and traitor and deserved to die. Now, reading her mother's diary, she learns the truth. She learns of the unstable King Henry VIII, the pious Queen Catherine, scheming Cardinal Wolsey, high-minded Thomas More and much, much more...
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(197mm x 130mm x 21mm)
Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Endless fascination with Tudor England has spawned a vast number of novels set in the period, all trying to match feelings and motivation with known facts and to find plausible answers to familiar conundrums. Why did the young Elizabeth I resist all pleas to marry - refusing even Robert Dudley, reputed to be her great love? Why did she never mention her mother, Anne Boleyn, executed for supposed adultery when Elizabeth was only two? Did Elizabeth ever realize Henry's real, base reasons for engineering this calumny and ignominious death? Robin Maxwell has employed a clever fictional device to link these two puzzles. What if Anne Boleyn had left a secret diary, describing Henry VIII's passionate pursuit of her, then her ascendancy and terrible fall? What if this diary, filled with affectionate thoughts of her little daughter, was later delivered to the young queen, who could only then understand the truth of her mother's ghastly fate? The use of this fictional diary enables the novel to operate within two time periods. First there are the early years of Queen Elizabeth's reign, covering her passionate dalliance with the ambitious Robert Dudley, and her knowledge of the great harm that the power of men over women can do - men like her tyrannical father, or the charismatic Thomas Seymour, whose lascivious and ambitious attentions to Elizabeth when she was only 14 led to so much trouble. Then comes the discovery of the diary, dealing with a period 20 years earlier and packed with historical detail, of court intrigues and betrayals and religious dissension. The author has endeavoured to penetrate the feelings of both mother and daughter, and Anne Boleyn's final diary advice to her daughter lends a feminist gloss to this Tudor reconstruction. The dialogue - always the hardest part of a historical novel - sounds for the most part authentic, although some scenes seem rather unconvincing. But then, who knows what Queen Elizabeth might really have said to Robert Dudley when she heard that his wife Amy died in mysterious circumstances? Or just how Anne Boleyn felt about the little girl who was expected to be a boy - the longed-for heir to the throne who would have assured Anne's place as Queen? Robin Maxwell is clearly steeped in the whole Tudor period, and this is an intelligent and highly readable novel. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Robin Maxwell
Robin Maxwell lives in Pioneertown, California, with her husband, two parrots and a dog. She has long been fascinated by Anne Boleyn and her era. Her novel VIRGIN, PRELUDE TO THE THONE, is a Los Angeles Times bestseller.