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The Lost Duchess Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091949238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091949235
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,376,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Exciting, exotic and tantalising" (Lancashire Evening Post)

"Barden expertly weaves intricate historical detail around her love story" (lovereading.co.uk)

"A wonderfully complex story of intrigue, mystery, hardship and betrayal" (Historical Novel Review)

"A cracking read!" (Hazel Gaynor author of The Girl Who Came Home)

"An excellent work of historical fiction" (Historical Fiction Obsession)

Book Description

An action-packed epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace, a high tension love story, and the romance of the high seas

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In my almost five years of reviewing and recommending to friends, family and readers, there have been a few times, and only a few, when I have been completely and totally blown away by a book that I've read. This usually happens when there is a happy confluence of subject matter, writing prowess, research skill and character development, wrapped up in a believable, action filled story. If you haven't already guessed, The Lost Duchess, by Jenny Barden, is one of those books.

This second effort by Ms. Barden begins with the story of Emme Fifield, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I, who yearns to throw off the mantle of Court and live a normal life; one where marriage and children are a possibility without the Queen's interference. When her trust and naivety is brutally savaged by the erstwhile heir to the Duke of Somerset, she sees her only opportunity to forge a new life lies in joining an expedition to the Chesapeake, in the New World. She convinces the Palace to allow her to go, with the understanding that she will return with a full report on the new Colony's progress.

Christopher Doonan is an experienced mariner with a colorful and painful past. Taken by the Spanish and held in Mexico as a young man, he is sold into slavery. Rescued by Cimaroons, he becomes the leader of a pack of outlaws in Panama. When word comes to him of an English ship, he is reunited with his brother, a member of the crew, and makes his way back to England, a changed man. Drawn to the sea, he returns to the New World with Sir Francis Drake, where he acquires a page named Rob, who becomes his constant companion.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Jenny Bardon sets a fictional tale around well researched and detailed facts of the lost Colony of Roanoke.

It is 1587, and bound for Virginia in the New World Emme Fifield, Duchess of Somerset is escaping from a scandal that threatens to ruin her. Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I, she joins Kit Doonan and a ‘rag-tag band of idealists, desperados, and misfits’ along with men, women, and children to set up a colony (planters) in Virginia under Governor John White. The trip is far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to Kit inconvenient to say the least.

Living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves, Kit is a handsome mariner who was imprisoned for years by the Spanish and has his own demons and dark secrets to keep..

What I like about this book:

I have read and enjoyed lots of historical novels by various authors, and this book goes right to the top of my list. I found this is a most enjoyable history lesson with fast paced action and a thrilling account of what could have happened to the lost Colony of Roanoke. Using excerpts from actual accounts written at the time, Bardon embellishes what is known with exciting imagination.

I love how the book teaches political histories and events tied up into an account I found myself wishing to know more about. Our history with other nations is so important to know and should never be a chore but a pleasure to learn and Jenny Bardon has a unique way of making it important to understand.

Upon being taken to Roanoke Island instead of closer to Cheasapeke by their Spanish Pilot, Master Fernando the planters landed and set out to find the earlier abandoned fort.
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Format: Hardcover
Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, Emme Fifield's only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America.
Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia, but such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.
As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep...

Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement at Roanoke was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; The Lost Duchess explores what might have happened to the ill-starred `Lost Colony'

The group felt like they knew the characters well and could each picture them clearly in our minds highlighting how well drawn each of the characters were. The book gave a real flavour for what we can imagine that time, the Elizabethan period, could be like. I had to tell Jenny how I had to put the book down at one point where she tells how a journey by ship over rough sees is made and I could feel myself rising and pitching with the ship and could get a real idea of how that must feel. It came to light in our discussion that Jenny had been on the reconstruction of the Golden Hind in London as well as sailing so could give a real description of her own experience with a little writers magic.

Sticking with the characters the group found them believable and cared about the journey of each of them throughout the book, and we had a good discussion of one of the baddies,Ferdinando, and Jenny explained why he could be so bad but the possible reason behind it.
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