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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, a fascinating and juicy read, 22 July 2006
By 
K. Kearey "katnoodle" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ladies in Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day (Paperback)
This is an excellent work written from a very interesting viewpoint. It focuses not only on the changing responsibilities of ladies-in-waiting and the rituals of court life, but the influence these women had on various kings and queens. In some cases (especially with Henry VIII's wives, three of whom were first ladies-in-waiting to queen they supplanted) these ladies had a profound effect on the England of their time. Somerset explores and examines these women with sophistication and wit, and offers the reader many gossipy and juicy insights.

As usual with Somerset's work, there is evidence of impressive research based on a variety of primary sources. My only reservation was that she does not cover the gap between the start of the Civil War and Charles II's restoration: perhaps there was not enough evidence for this period to reflect on the impact of ladies at court; however, I would have been interested to know how they functioned at the Royalist alternative court at Oxford, if they had any role during the Commonwealth, or during Charles' exile on the continent.

However, with an otherwise highly detailed representation of ladies at court from the Tudors onwards (and even some discussion of their role in medieval times), this book is a treat for those interested in the lives of the rich and famous (sometimes infamous) ladies of the land.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gossipy tour of court life, 19 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This was an interesting and entertaining look at life at court from the Tudors to the present day, gossipy and anecdotal I did enjoy reading this book. It was well written and there were some good illustrations and some of the stories were fascinating.
Although the book was called "Ladies in Waiting" and the blurb on the back cover supported the title at times there was too much information from the monarchs' point of view and you didn't get to know the "Ladies" well at all. I would have liked to have had a bit more detail on the lives of the women involved.
Nevertheless, this was a good read covering a large period of history and I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Ladies in Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day
Ladies in Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day by Anne Somerset (Paperback - 2 Jun 2005)
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