Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 25 December 2013
I bought this book as I had heard of Penelope Rich, however the story which I had heard was of a woman who was able to divorce her husband for his impotence & was then named "bigamist" when her husband remarried & fathered children on his new wife. This was a far more mundane story of a woman who took a lover &, eventually, married him after getting her husband to divorce her. Perhaps there was another Penelope Rich.
I found the story full of speculation rather than fact or even reasonable conjecture & the author's continual insistence that Penelope's family was descended from Henry VIII as "fact" was simply irritating. I also got the impression that the author had been unable to decide whether to write an historical biography or fiction &, to my mind, ended up with a muddle between the two.
The book is not a difficult read, although quite a lot of it is about those other than the subject but it is neither a fulfilling & well researched piece of history nor an historical novel.