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In the Shadow of Lady Jane (Richard Stocker) [Hardcover]

Edward Charles
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2006 Richard Stocker
In 1551 the population of England and Wales was a meagre three million and, more than in any other period of English history, patronage by the nobility, and particularly by the King, could infinitely transform the life of an educated and opportunistic young man. In April 1551, the arrival of Lady Jane Grey, together with her parents and two sisters to the family property, Shute House, offers Richard Stocker this precious opportunity. As a reward for courageously saving his daughters in a storm, Lord Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset, takes Richard into his employment. Richard embraces the rare chance he has been awarded and ascends within the family to become the Duke's personal secretary, encountering royalty along the way. In 1553 Richard's unwavering loyalty to the Grey family is tested when Lady Jane Grey is imprisoned in the Tower of London, having had her claim to the throne overturned by the ferociously Catholic Queen Mary Tudor. The book traces the impact on the life of an unassuming young man who gets caught up in a tide of religious and social conflict and a passionate and volatile romance.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan New Writing (1 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230001068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230001060
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 13.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,551,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward Charles was born in South Wales in 1941 and brought up in North London. He studied economics and law at the University College of Wales and then took a PhD in corporate finance at Manchester Business School.

After a short period as an academic, he began a career in finance and management consulting, before entering the City and working in Europe, the USA and Asia. He retired from international business in 2006.

His first novel, 'In the Shadow of Lady Jane' was published by Macmillan New Writing in 2006. The sequel, 'Daughters of the Doge' was published in 2007. The third book in the "Tudor Life" series is'The Courtesan of Padua.' It is followed by #4: 'Raphael's Secret'. All four books in the series are available on Amazon Kindle.

His new series of three books is set in Medici Florence:

"The House of Medici - Inheritance of Power" was published by Pen & Sword in June 2013

"The House of Medici - Seeds of Decline" was published on 30 November 2013

"The House of Medici - Decline and Fall" will follow later.

Favourite Books:
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
The Climbing Essays - Jim Perrin
Bones of the Master - George Crane
April Blood - Lauro Martines
Magnifico - Miles Unger
Medici Money - Tim Parks
Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing - Bernard Venebles [1949: the first book I wore out through re-reading]

my website

Product Description


"Edward Charles has a good solid story to tell, weaving fiction with fact, and he does it well." -- Michael Allen, Grumpy Old Bookman, May 23, 2006

Catches the spirit of the time . . . It's a rollicking story well told . . . Readers of historical romances will enjoy it. -- Writer's Forum magazine, May 2006

Book Description

It is April 1551. While the family of Lord Henry Grey are visiting their Devon estate, the Grey sisters are saved from drowning by a local medical apprentice, Richard Stocker. Little does Richard know that this single act will plunge him into a tide of religious and social upheaval which will change not only his own life but the course of British history. In gratitude for saving his daughters, Lord Henry agrees to employ Richard in his household. Lady Katherine has already fallen for her father’s handsome new employee, while Richard is in thrall to the intellect of her troubled but brilliant sister, Lady Jane, with whom he forms a close friendship. Following King Edward’s death, the teenaged Lady Jane is proclaimed Queen. Soon, however, she is deposed and put to the axe. The woman Richard has grown to love as a friend, confidante and adviser is dead. Bereft, he abandons the intrigues and deceptions of Court life, resolving to resume his medical apprenticeship. In the Shadow of Lady Jane is a memorable and richly imagined work of historical fiction – at once a gripping political thriller and a compelling love story. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! Loved this book 25 April 2010
I don't normally write reviews on here however I've just finished reading the book and came to Amazon to find the second novel when I noticed the reviews weren't as good as I expected. As a novice reviewer, I'll keep it short. I just wanted to say that this book really caught my attention and being an avid reader (about 3/4 a week due to long commutes) this one really stood out for me and was a breath of fresh air after so many average reads. A must for all historical fiction fans. If you like Philippa Gregory and CJ Sansom, you'll love this! I just want to know when the next in the series will be written, apparently there's to be 5! Can't wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good...but must do better? 2 Dec 2009
A tad harsh, methinks, from several of the reviews here.
Ok, it's not perfect but i didn't find it as bad as some of the other reviewers.
Considering that it is the authors first published novel it's not that bad an effort allthough it could certainly have done with some much better editing. There are several, irritating spelling errors and plot contradictions that any editor worth his/her salt would (and should) have found pretty easily.
Our hero Richard Stocker is an affable enough fellow and his adventures during the early life (and death) of Lady Jane Grey are an easy and fairly entertaining read.
There are numerous Historical inaccuracies but yet again it must be remembered that this book is a Novel and not a Biography so some artistic license has to be allowed by the author.
For fans of the aforementioned Lady Jane there is a lot to enjoy here. The writer certainly gives her a personality and its easy to emphatise with Stockers emotions throughout.
To summarise, yes it's not brilliant and may be an aquired taste but i enjoyed it enough to buy the sequel.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars absolutely awful! 8 Oct 2007
Written in the first person which i dont particularly like in an historical novel anyway, but in such an awful style that I would advise anyone who enjoys Cornwell, Iggulden, Gregory etc to avoid this book like the plague. I took it on holiday with me having been very pleased to find another historical novel as I have read my way through most others, but i found I had to force myself to read on further than the second chapter. Glaring historical errors, 'artistic licence' used to the extreme and to no positive effect. A horrendously repulsive main character, and anyone who knows anything at all about the history of this period would not believe for a second that such a powerful family would take into their confidence (telling him in intricate detail their plot to place Jane on the throne) a boy who they have only known for 6 months. I usually bring all of my books home from my holidays but this one was immediately filed under 'B' for bin.
I cant believe that i've actually had to give this book a star in order to place the review as in my opinion it doesnt deserve any.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so 3 Sep 2007
The story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, is always an interesting one, and I picked up Edward Charles's book hoping for a good read. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed.

The novel centres around Richard Stocker, a young man who saves Jane Grey's sister, Catherine, from drowning at the beginning of the book and who is subsequently swept up in the politics of the ambitious Henry Grey, and his lascivious wife Frances. Unfortunately, Charles seems to have created rather a "Mary-Sue" (perfect in every way) character in Richard, who is handsome, educated, humble, willing to learn, has no thirst for power...and all of this at the age of sixteen, coming from a poor family in the Tudor period.

The other characters are equally skewed. We have wise peasants with astonishing vocabularies, an eleven-year-old seductress, and the most eloquent seven-year-old to ever appear in literature. Minor inaccuracies (nobody back then in England was called Zachary. Really.) are annoying, and the author also has a distinct and rather exasperating tendency to give all his characters long speeches with no breaks - every single time they speak. Edward IV is depicted as a robust, warm-hearted and politically astute ruler, contrary to historical facts, and having Richard actually MEET him made me wince. It was one step over the bounds of what I was prepared to take for this character.

While Richard may be far too perfect and in need of just one personality flaw among his golden qualities, Jane Grey herself is actually captured very well by Charles, who manages to imbue her with the learning, near-fanatical religious beliefs and quiet personality for which she is known, and still make her likeable.
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