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About Elizabeth St.John
Elizabeth St.John’s critically acclaimed historical fiction novels tell the stories of her ancestors: extraordinary women whose intriguing kinship with England's kings and queens brings an intimately unique perspective to Medieval, Tudor, and Stuart times.
Inspired by family archives and residences from Lydiard Park to the Tower of London, Elizabeth spends much of her time exploring ancestral portraits, diaries, and lost gardens. And encountering the occasional ghost. But that’s another story.
Living between California, England, and the past, Elizabeth is the International Ambassador for The Friends of Lydiard Park, an English charity dedicated to conserving and enhancing this beautiful centuries-old country house and park. As a curator for The Lydiard Archives, she is constantly looking for an undiscovered treasure to inspire her next novel.
Elizabeth's books include her trilogy, The Lydiard Chronicles, set in 17th Century England during the Civil War, and her newest release, The Godmother's Secret, which explores the medieval mystery of the missing Princes in the Tower of London.
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Titles By Elizabeth St.John
If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?May 1483: The Tower of London. When King Edward IV dies and Lady Elysabeth Scrope delivers her young godson, Edward V, into the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation, she is engulfed in political turmoil. Within months, the prince and his brother have disappeared, Richard III is declared king, and Elysabeth’s sister Margaret Beaufort conspires with her son Henry Tudor to invade England and claim the throne.
Desperate to protect her godson, Elysabeth battles the intrigue, betrayal and power of the last medieval court, defying her Yorkist husband and her Lancastrian sister under her godmother’s sacred oath to keep Prince Edward safe. Bound by blood and rent by honour, Elysabeth is torn between the crown and her family, knowing that if her loyalty is questioned, she is in peril of losing everything—including her life.
Were the princes murdered by their uncle, Richard III? Did Margaret Beaufort mastermind their disappearance to usher in the Tudor dynasty? Or did the young boys vanish for their own safety? Of anyone at the royal court, Elysabeth has the most to lose–and the most to gain–by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.
Inspired by England’s most enduring historical mystery, Elizabeth St.John blends her family history with known facts and centuries of speculation to create an intriguing story about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.
London, 1630. Widowed and destitute, Lucy St.John is fighting for survival and makes a terrible choice to secure a future for her children. Worse still, her daughter Luce rejects the royal court and a wealthy arranged marriage, and falls in love with a charismatic soldier. As England tumbles toward bloody civil war, Luce’s beloved brother Allen chooses to fight for the king as a cavalier. Allen and Luce are swept up in the chaos of war as they defend their opposing causes and protect those they love.
Will war unite or divide them? And will they find love and a home to return to—if they survive the horror of civil war. In the dawn of England’s great rebellion, love is the final battleground.
A true story based on surviving memoirs, court papers, and letters of Elizabeth St.John's family, By Love Divided continues the story of Lucy St.John, the Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England's great divide and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.
"Her world and characters are so real I wanted to remain there. I loved this book, and the Lydiard Chronicles are now on my list of all-time favorite historical novels. A fantastic read." Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Society
"What I adored about this book was the fact that all the characters are based on real people who lived through this terrible time. By Love Divided is one of those rare books that leaves a mark upon your heart. This is not a book that I will forget in a hurry."
2018 Silver Award Winner, the Coffee Pot Book Club
Now married into the immensely powerful Villiers family, Barbara unites with the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, to raise the fortunes of Lucy and her family to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes treachery, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of deceit and debauchery.
Elizabeth St.John’s critically acclaimed debut novel tells the true story of her ancestress Lucy through her family’s surviving diaries, letters, and court papers. Lucy’s personal friendships with historical figures such as Sir Walter Raleigh and the Stuart kings brings a unique perspective to the history of seventeenth century England.
"Elizabeth St John has brought the Stuart Court vividly to life. She weaves together the known facts of Lucy’s life with colourful scenes of fictional imagination, drawing on innocent romance and bleak deception to create a believable heroine and an intriguing plot." Historic Novel Society Book Review
"The Lady of the Tower is a beautifully produced novel with a well-crafted story that will keep you both engaged and entertained. A joy to read. Thank you for sharing your world with us." Writers Digest 24th Annual Book Awards
A man may think his life is only measured by battles fought for the king. Until he meets a woman worth fighting for.
Henry Wilmot. Cavalier. Seasoned soldier. Grieving widower. On the eve of battle he is sent by the king to requisition arms. What he did not expect was that the supplies were a gift from a feisty and attractive widow who was hiding her own Royalist beliefs in plain sight. Even more alarming was that his quest took him into the heart of an enemy Parliamentarian household. Will Henry survive the fight of his life? And will Nan remember him if he does?
A counterpoint is a melody played in conjunction with another, or an opposing viewpoint in an argument. Our lives are complex, and each one of us carries within us a counterpoint to another’s story.
Here is a counterpoint to Nan Wilmot, from Written in Their Stars.
Barbara Villiers has always despised her sister Lucy, and when Theo Howard, Earl of Suffolk, fell in love with her, Barbara thought she'd die of jealousy. Instead, she decided to get even by befriending someone even more scandalous than herself, Theo's sister, Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset. Unfortunately, Frances was then imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of murder, and Barbara had to find a way to turn this to her advantage - and continue her vendetta against Lucy. A sister may be loving, loyal, a dear friend. Or, she may wish to destroy everything you hold dear. This is a counterpoint to my novel about Lucy, The Lady of the Tower. Barbara Villiers Palmer is one of the most famous courtesans in history. Mistress to Charles II and mother of five of his children, Lady Castlemaine's notoriety is legendary. This is the story of her namesake and grandmother, Barbara St.John Villiers. The apple did not fall far from the tree.
"Loyalty breaks as easily as a silken thread."
Misplaced trust, power hunger, emotional blackmail, and greed haunt twelve characters from post-Roman Britain to the present day. And betrayal by family, lover, comrade can be even more devastating.
Read twelve tales by twelve accomplished writers who explore these historical yet timeless challenges.
AD455—Roman leader Ambrosius is caught in a whirlpool of shifting allegiances
AD940—Alyeva and cleric Dunstan navigate the dangers of the Anglo Saxon court
1185—Knight Stephan fights for comradeship, duty, and honour. But what about love?
1330—The powerful Edmund of Kent enters a tangled web of intrigue
1403—Thomas Percy must decide whether to betray his sovereign or his family
1457—Estelle is invited to the King of Cyprus’s court, but deception awaits
1483—Has Elysabeth made the right decision to bring Prince Edward to London?
1484—Margaret Beaufort contemplates the path to treason
1577—Francis Drake contends with disloyalty at sea
1650—Can James Hart, Royalist highwayman, stop a nemesis destroying his friend?
1718—Pirate Annie Bonny, her lover Calico Jack, and a pirate hunter. Who will win?
1849/present—Carina must discover her ancestor’s betrayer in Italy or face ruin.
“I read this anthology from start to finish in a matter of days…. Each story is gripping.”– Discovering Diamonds Reviews
Theo Howard, Earl of Suffolk is torn. Betrothed to a child to satisfy his family dynasty, he longs for the freedom to make his own choice. And when he attends a lavish party at his family's newly-restored palace, he is immediately attracted to Lucy, a beautiful young lavender-seller. But in this enchanted world of Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream, all is not as it appears. Theo's headstrong sister Frances is determined to sabotage her own arranged marriage, and aided by the cunning of Frances and her friend Barbara St.John, perhaps Theo can find his own path to happiness and true love.
When I wrote The Lady of the Tower, the story revealed itself in the narrative of my ancestress, Lucy St.John. But, as with all novels, other characters appeared, and their voices grew strong and insistent, demanding their own story be told.
A counterpoint is a melody played in conjunction with another, or an opposing viewpoint in an argument. Our lives are complex, and each one of us carries within us a counterpoint to another’s story. A man may fall in love and declare eternal fidelity. Or, he may be tricked into marrying another. By your sister.
Here is a counterpoint to Lucy St.John, the Lady of the Tower.