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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Something must always die.'
Katherine of Valois was born in 1401, the youngest daughter of King Charles VI of France (Charles the Mad) and his wife Isabeau. Katherine was married to King Henry V of England, and then to Owen Tudor. From these two unions descended the royal houses of Lancaster (King Henry VI) and Tudor (King Henry VII).

The novel opens in France where Katherine has been...
Published on 19 Mar 2010 by Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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3.0 out of 5 stars Crown in Candlelight, a good, well written yarn
This for me was at times less of a light read than I first thought, and I had to occasionally look back to fully appreciate who the characters were, and found it a bit tedious, on that score, yet I was impressed with the good historic feel, and the descriptions the detail and the pace.
Published 16 months ago by UK Reader


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Something must always die.', 19 Mar 2010
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Paperback)
Katherine of Valois was born in 1401, the youngest daughter of King Charles VI of France (Charles the Mad) and his wife Isabeau. Katherine was married to King Henry V of England, and then to Owen Tudor. From these two unions descended the royal houses of Lancaster (King Henry VI) and Tudor (King Henry VII).

The novel opens in France where Katherine has been brought up more by her sister Isabella (the widow of King Richard II) to detest the usurping Lancastrian king (Henry IV) and to dread the prospect of marriage to his son. A shift of scene takes us to Wales, and the home of Owen Glyn Dwr (the last Welshman to be styled Prince of Wales). His godson, Owen Tudor, defies him to join Henry V's invasion of France.

After the Battle of Agincourt and as part of the Treaty of Troyes, Katherine is married to Henry V in 1420.

This is really the beginning of Katherine's story: her love for Henry until his untimely death (in 1422) is followed by her love for Owen Tudor. The history looms over this story: the annexation of Wales and the invasion of France provide a rich and at times complicated setting for what can be read as essentially romance in an historical setting. Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. I found it took me a few chapters to start to enjoy this novel: while the Valois detail is necessary scene setting, it was far less familiar to me than the history of Owain Glyn Dwr and Henry V.

This novel was first published in 1978, and was republished in 2008. If you are interested in this period of history, or in well-written romance in an historical setting, and you enjoy comparatively complicated stories, you may well enjoy this novel.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crown in Candlelight, 9 Dec 2005
By 
Mrs. C. Birch (Benfleet, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Hardcover)
How much can you bring history to life?!
Never before have I read books that draw you into the plots and intrigues of 15th century history around the thrones of England and France as much as Rosemary's do.
I have just finished this book and it's the 5th book of hers that I've read, one after the other. I'm gutted to have finished them and I feel almost bereaved!
Rosemary is a writer of fantastic vision and imagination and you find yourself trusting the enormous amount of research that she must have done as it comes through in her writing.
This is not sugary, glossy writing but it has strength, beauty, and is real, gritty, passionate and human. Language which is a joy to read and it totally transports you to another time.
Don't be put off by second hand books. Mine were fantastic copies ordered through Amazon. Also, don't be put off by the book cover designs which may have been fine for the 70's - stylised and romantic looking - but if re-printed today, I'm sure they would be more like Bernard Cornwell's books.In fact, I wonder if Bernard has read these!

If you want to understand more about the Lancastrian-Yorkist strife, this book is where it begins and follows through the other books. I love this period of Henry V and her build up to and portrayal of the battle at Agincourt is magnificent. Katherine seems too good to be true but you can't help but admire her and grieve for her too.
Having started with her first book,We Speak No Treason, Vol 1, I love the way the books connect with each other and I've learnt so much about the Kings and Queens of England and France, that they are no longer 2 dimensional.
I feel schools have so badly let us down by not teaching us our own history but this is a wonderful way to catch up and I feel inspired to do some reasearch of my own.
Thank you Rosemary.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable - A Future Classic, 25 Nov 2012
By 
K. Harvey "allykatharvey" (Dorset UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Paperback)
I read this many years ago when it was first published and was stunned by its originality and brilliant writing. I won't give you yet another synopsis of the story but history has rather ignored the mother of Henry VI. Katherine de Valois was a victor's prize for Henry V when he triumphed over her father at Agincourt and appears briefly in Shakespeare. This is her story and how she found a passionate and enduring love of a Welsh prince, Owen Tudor, who, the moment she was widowed, swept her up and carried her off to his castle in Wales to keep her safe from her potentially murderous enemies at the English court. Katherine and Owen had several children and are the founders of the Tudor royal dynasty.

This intensely written book can match any of the great classic historical novels like "Katherine" by Anya Seton (about Katherine Swynford). Although not as light to read as dear old Georgette Heyer or the highly engaging Sharon Penman, Hawley Jarman has a deeper, more lyrical and satisfying style than some other popular historical writers who I won't mention. My old hardback copy of this is a much loved resident in my bookshelves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ, 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Kindle Edition)
Pleased to see this is still in print. A good accompaniment to the recent TV series.Would recommend any of her books
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too descriptive and not enough story, 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Kindle Edition)
I bought a sample of this book for .99p but was most disapointed in the content. Far too much description and not enough story line.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary Jarman, 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Kindle Edition)
I loved this historical novel by Rosemary Hawley Jarman
Once I started to read this book I could not put it down until the last page was read
I recommend that anyone interested in this period should read it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crown in Candlelight, 1 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Kindle Edition)
amazingly written as are all her books - filled with historical reference but also the romance of a legendary relationship - it sets the scene for the later books on the War of the Roses - The Kings Grey Mare and the two books - We Speak No Treason.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but., 25 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the book but it did go on a bit.Two many knights and lords names to remember
and it keep jumping about from France to England had to concentrate.
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2.0 out of 5 stars hard work with few highlights, 21 Aug 2013
By 
R. Knowlson "REK21" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy historical books and was looking forward to this read. However, I found this very hard to get started, once I got past the first 20 pages of struggle, it became well written and focussed on the girls and their parents treatment of them, then it switches to scotland, then it switches back to france, one page was like a long list of names who new the royals. it became very muddled. lots of details that was skimmed over and hopping from one place to another, it was too much being rammed onto one book, while some of it is well writen and takes time to give you a sense of a story, i admit I did not persevere and begun skim reading until i found an intersteing part, I thought I might lose the thread but missing bits out did not stop me from following the story. A very disappointing read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Crown in Candlelight, a good, well written yarn, 6 April 2013
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This review is from: Crown in Candlelight (Paperback)
This for me was at times less of a light read than I first thought, and I had to occasionally look back to fully appreciate who the characters were, and found it a bit tedious, on that score, yet I was impressed with the good historic feel, and the descriptions the detail and the pace.
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