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The First Princess of Wales: A Novel Paperback – December 26, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The back cover of this book says that Joan, in this novel, is plotting to get even with the King of England, Edward III, for her father's death, which he failed to prevent and may have encouraged (her dad was hung for treason which he was not guilty of). I would just like to say that this is not a major plot point, in fact, this is a thought, not a plan, or a plot, that Joan has, for a little while. It is a not a major part of the book. The vast majority of the book is spent with Joan or Edward moping about in various places because they aren't together. That really is the book. Really, that's it, except for two war scenes and one peasant uprising (which was interesting.)
This is supposed to be a romance, but as a wise woman once wrote, it is not a romance novel in any way if the romance in question involves rape. And in the novel there are just too many references too Edward wanting to "tame" Joan or Edward getting what he wanted from Joan whether or not she was willing to give it to him. Ultimately she does always capitulate, and I am aware that Edward's attitude is completely normal for the age he lived in, but this is a novel that is supposed to be romantic to contemporary readers and I find it offensive the author considers Edwards's actions to be romantic.Read more ›
Ms. Harper was unable to even accurately portray Joan's honours and dignities, refering to her as the "Duchess of Kent" and stating that her husband, Thomas Holland, did not assume the titles by her right. The Holland-Salisbury case and the consequeseces of the death of Edmund of Woodstock are grossly distorted. The historical continuity is preposterously inaccurate, as are the names and relative ages of Joan's siblings and children.
As for the unwarranted copulation and the vapid, desultory female characters, anyone who has previously read Ms. Harper's work will not be surprised. Despite all of these severe flaws, I found this book easy to read and not unenjoyable. Consider it as a beach read or on a commute.
To classify this book as a "historical" novel does a great disservice to customers of Amazon since the book had little to do with history. Anyone expecting a work on par with the writings of Sharon Penman, Edith Pargeter, Roger Mortimer or Jean Plaidy will feel let down by this book.
Equally annoying was the author's habit of jumping from one character's head to another without warning, mid page (which I suppose in her defense was a much more common practice back in the 80s when this book was written), and her decision to spell out one character's Scottish accent ("I truly doan' think ye'll be seein' too many knights who'd wed wi' a lady to give her free rein like some willful palfrey, lassie ...") which I found so irritating I didn't even bother to read any of that character's lines.
I don't know, maybe the book gets better but I really didn't want to waste any time finding out. Maybe a true romance novel connoisseur would appreciate this book in a way that I am not able to. But as for my personal tastes, I like to see prose that is a little more original and a little less nauseating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fiction. Romance. Historical. In that order. As a Henry VIII buff, I hadn't realized I'd read and rejected her "The Last Boleyn" until I saw it on the list of other books... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. Perkins
this is history at its finest. It's not dry but rather it's told in story form. It makes you keep reading to find out what happens next. Read morePublished 9 months ago by JoAnn S.
One dimensional characters and a boring heroine who is difficult to like because she is an idiot... I suppose it is difficult to maintain romantice tension between the main... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mrs. Danvers
As other reviewers have already pointed out, this novel is NOT historically accurate, save for the general idea that Joan of Kent's third marriage to her first cousin once removed... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Isabella
I was pretty disappointed with this book. I understand that this is fiction, and that liberties will be taken with the characters and the story, but wow. Read morePublished on July 14, 2014 by C. J. Attwood
I have enjoyed the book enormously.
Well known real historical story of the Joan of Kent and The Black Prince has been described and interpreted the way , I can... Read more
I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down. I enjoyed some of the historical facts in the book as well as some of the fictional aspects. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Kelly S.
This would have been better if she just would have used fictitious people instead of people who really lived. Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by Granma Linda