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Elizabethan Historical Fiction

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"And you think you know all about Elizabeth I?" - by margaret waller
A fascinating insight into the court and character of Elizabeth I.The book vividly portrays the consequences of the Queens favour and disfavour.The character of Lettice Knollys is a little more difficult to discern since there are so few primary sources so we ,and the author, have to guess at her motivation for marrying the Queens favourite and incurring her lifelong enmity .Did she love Leicester for himself or did he present financial security? Why did she marry her third husband only to apparently desert him in troubled times? What is certain is that even if she was not present at court she was the "Elephant in the Room" and a spectator 'at least' at most of the important events of Elizabeths' England through all three of her husbands and her son,the Earl of Essex.All in all a long life which contained some highs but a great ... full review

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"Excellent read" - by ALAN WHALL
I really did enjoy this book the characters have a believable story to tell that draws you right in to Elizabethan times it is well written and gives an insight into the practice of medicine in its infancy to lovers of historical thrillers this is a must read l will certainly be looking forward to reading more of this authors work in the hear future

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"A mammoth read" - by Kindle Customer (UK)
This is a long book. I kept checking how far through I'd got and it never seemed to progress very much. I have loved the previous Shardlake books, with their combination of murder, political intrigue, historical authenticity and a great central character. This book starts out in similar vein but then along comes Kett and his rebellion and suddenly we are into a whole historical reimagining which does rather plod along before the murder mystery finally gets sorted.
I am sure Shardlake fans, like me, will persevere and find much to enjoy, but this isn't a book to win over new converts. Full marks to Sansom the historian for meticulous research (see last 10% of the book) and for bringing Kett's rebellion to a wider audience. Clearly a personal passion, but I feel in this instance the editors have given him rather too much historical licence to the detriment of the ... full review

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"Interesting and quite engaging" - by V. Windle (Southampton)
Interesting take on Tudor times. From the point of view of a woman leading an ordinary life and watching major events unfold. The explanation at the end of the book points out that a lot of the incidents are educated guesses, rather than recorded fact, based on what is known. But I liked all the detail of what they ate and what they wore, apprenticeships, the wool and cloth trade and so on.

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"Seriously good historical fiction with a captivating late twist" - by The Bagster (Shropshire, UK)
This is a really good book. I like historical fiction, but – like many other historical fiction readers – I tend to stick with the periods I know, and I don’t know Elizabethan times. Anna Castle obviously does. The details she gives – food, clothing, social relations, office-holders, and much more – are convincing. What turns this from a good book to a really good book, though, is (as it has to be) the plot, the characters, and the motivations. I have to give Murder by Misrule five out of five on each of those heads. I’m not going to provide a spoiler, but I will say that the late scene involving Trumpet was not just an entertaining surprise. It was captivating. I’m delighted to have found a new author to add to my “must read” list.

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"Five Stars" - by GeeGee
Good read.

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"An enjoyable, convincing portrayal of Elizabethan England and its political turmoil." - by CMC
In this book Ken Follet has created an historically accurate portrayal of Elizabethan England and the murky underworld of spies, plots and intrigue. Using a mix of real and invented characters and events, the book tells the story of the reign of Elizabeth 1st and the civil wars and unrest that blighted Europe as different religious factions fought for supremacy. Follet's attention to detail creates a truly believable world in which the main character, Ned Willard, spends his entire working life in the service of the Queen and later King James running spy networks and ultimately foiling the Gunpowder plot. What I liked about the characters is that they are multi-layered, they are portrayed warts and all and often the ambiguity of their feelings and actions illustrates this.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of historical novels - 'faction' at its best!!

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"Staggering, fascinating, a magnificent achievement" - by Justin Case (UK)
This isn't the Ladybird Book of Thomas Cromwell. Neither is it a page-turning historical novel, or even just a book to just dip in and out of. So if you're looking for any of those things, save your money.

Many people will have seen the 2015 TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novel 'Wolf Hall' and think they're getting that, possibly encouraged by a quote from her on the cover (of the 'Advance Reading Copy' I received at least). I suspect and indeed hope that Professor MacCulloch will sell a fair few copies to these folks on that premise.

What this book is is a meticulously researched and, given the relative paucity of some documentary evidence, magnificently detailed history of the life and times of Thomas Cromwell.

When I read a history book, I want to be certain that it contains the latest and most accurate information on the subject, and I haven't been ... full review

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"High Quality Historical Novel" - by Pedro (Wiltshire, UK)
First book I have read by S J Parris, having stumbled across it when searching Amazon. What a find. The first in the trilogy was a gripping read and was set in a period less often covered by historical novelists. The plot was excellently conceived and both imaginative and credible, the descriptions were vivid and the characters very believable. I am really looking forward to book 2.

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"Good read" - by J. Lynch (Surrey, England)
I am reading it at present and have found it very interesting historically as well as fictionally. As ever Matthew Reilly keeps you on your toes. Very good read

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"Cornwell strikes again" - by jack russell (uk)
With his immaculate nod to historical detail the genius of Cornwell is on show once more. The pace is quite different from his more accustomed military playgrounds but the story builds with all the skill that a modern Shakespeare might wield. I learned more about Midsummer than I ever have by watching the play or reading it. Characters are fleshed out and the story told with outstanding economy given the depth of detail conveyed.

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"How The Royal Family Are Looked After." - by Dr Barry Clayton (UK)
This is a !ively history of the royal household from Queen Elizabeth1. Some of the statistics are very interesting. For example our present Queen has 1,200 employees, the same as Charles 11 but a third more than Victoria.

The author focuses on the domestic staff who stage manage royal lives. There are grooms, clerks, washers, cooks, pages, chaplains, treasurers secretaries, and lord stewards. They cost a fortune. It is an erudite and funny book. His many tales of the past are often risible. It is more interesting about the staff of past monarchs than the antics of the present ones.

There is an Alice in Wonderland dottiness on most pages. The Queen Mother's drinking habits are fun. It is a very entertaining account of life through five centuries. In 1783, for example, Mrs Scott was paid £200 a year to act as a wet nurse to the Prince of Wales. He was ... full review

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"Interesting and enjoyable series." - by Amazon Customer
If you like Elizabethan murder mysteries you will love this. From the first page I was drawn into Elizabethan England and was soon engrossed with Noah, a Hebrew barrister befriended by Elizabeth 1, his family and friends. The portrayals of the legal and justice system are very informative, the religious aspect is well dealt with, two aspects of Elizabethan life I knew little about. I can't wait to read the next book to find out what happens next to Noah, his family and friends.

This title will be released on March 5, 2020.
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"First Review" - by J. J. Cunningham
I found that the early life of Henry was presented in a way which gave an insight into the motivation and ambition of the man. This is a 'flesh on the bones' biography which makes history interesting and very readable. The author has carried out a huge amount of painstaking research to illuminate how Henry ensured that his monarchy was safeguarded from threats of rebellion (Perkin Warbeck plot etc.) and protected for his heirs. This part of the book should be of great benefit to students of the Tudors who wish to understand how this great dynasty was founded.

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"A more than good read." - by Ian Roebuck
Absorbing read,, never lacking in interest. Unusual and interesting,with all detail, historical and factual. Above all very clever. Enjoyed every line.