The Queen's Governess (Thorndike Core) Hardcover – Large Print, 2 Apr 2010
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"Harper's diligent research, realistic portrayal, and insider/outsider heroine will hook those who can't get enough of England's turbulent history...bestseller Harper maintains her focus on the roles of women - both powerful and powerless - in Tudor England, resulting in another enjoyable proto-feminist historical romp" (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)
"A walk side by side with one of history's most dynamic characters" (Anne Perry)
"Well paced and full of pitch-perfect detail, Harper's novel brings new life to an old subject and, as good as the best of Philippa Gregory, is sure to be a big hit with historical fiction fans and book clubs" (LIBRARY JOURNAL)
"All in all, a lively and historically grounded reimagining of two Tudor survivors" (Kirkus)
"Taking a fresh view of Elizabeth I through the eyes of her confident governess, Harper delivers a strong story. Her keen sense of the role remarkable women played in history allows readers a fantastic view in this carefully researched, meticulously crafted book" (Romantic Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A brilliant, intriguing historical novel set in Queen Elizabeth I's court and told from the unique perspective of her most trusted adviser...Kat Ashley --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is extremely well researched, and it is evident from the notes pages at the end, that much time and effort has gone into making this book as 'true' as possible.
This story tells the story of Kat Ashley, very much a minor player in the scheme of things and starts with her as a young girl and finishes some 30 years later with the crowning of Elizabeth Tudor (Queen Elizabeth I) to whom Kat was fist companion, then governess and finally a trusted friend.
The years 1516 - 1559 were facinating with more twists, plots and schemes than East Enders! Henry VIII and his wives, Cromwell, the Seymours, Queen Mary I and many, many others are all brought to life in this very enjoyable and believable book. I have read many books on this period in time and it was refreshing to read about all the great and good (and bad) in the eyes of a servant rather than one of the main players.
If you enjoy historical fiction then you will enjoy this one.
Unlike the other similar novels I have read, this one is supposedly told by Kat Ashley, Elizabeth's governess and later companion and therefore, the one who probably knows her best. The story of Elizabeth is told from her viewpoint and this gives it a perspective that I have not come across before. Even more interesting is the author's inclusion of Kat's early years - despite this novel being ostensibly Elizabeth's story, the Tudor princess does not even feature for a considerable time. Instead the author focuses on Kat's childhood, her meeting with Cromwell, her upbringing and her eventual placement as one of Anne Boleyn's companions. It was interesting to read of the life of an ordinary person as well as that of one of royal birth. We do have to accept that much of the detail of Kat's early years is speculation but the author is honest about this and includes an interesting section at the end of the novel where she cites her sources and explains how she selected the evidence for her tale.
As far as writing style is concerned, this is an easy novel to digest. It perhaps lacks some of the rich description found in the works of Philippa Gregory, but makes up for it with strong character development and realistic dialogue. The characters are realistic and credible, and it is easy to lose oneself in their world. I would think that those who enjoy the works of Gregory or Weir would similarly enjoy this novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautifully told story from the viewpoint and perspective of Katherine Ashley, governess and companion to Queen Elizabeth 1st. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eastwood Bookworm
Awful. I read a lot of Tudor fiction and this is the first book I haven't been able to finish.Published 13 months ago by Flick
I loved this book. All those who love history and the Tudor story and period all we ever hear about Kat, Elizabeth's nurse and companian is usually as a back drop to the main... Read morePublished 14 months ago by dee43