Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Mistress of Mourning: A Novel Paperback – July 3, 2012
The Daughter of Union County
To save his heritage, he hides his daughter’s true identity—but he can’t protect her forever. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“The grief of a sister and mother who also happens to be queen of England combines with the fire and spirit of a lovely wax-worker in Karen Harper’s riveting tale of just what might have happened to the princes in the tower and to the first Tudor crown prince.” --Karleen Koen, New York Times bestselling author of Through a Glass Darkly and Before Versailles
"Beloved author Karen Harper brings Elizabeth of York to vivid life… Through the eyes of charming and adventurous wax chandler, Varina Westcott, the tumultuous era of the new-born Tudor dynasty is depicted as it surely was—a time rife with danger, passion and murder. The exciting story and its appealing heroine kept me reading late into the night with sheer enjoyment.” --Sandra Worth, author of Pale Rose of England and The King’s Daughter
“Much like her endearing chandler heroine, Varina, Karen Harper warmly illuminates a little-explored craft and two persistent royal mysteries, skillfully melding the hearts and lives of the high and low born…delivers adventure, romance, and surprise…" — Sandra Byrd, author of To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The middle of the novel though, the 'bulk' of it, was very entertaining. The author has created a mystery surrounding a discontented Yorkist during the reign of Henry Tudor (VII). Sir Francis Lovell seeks to destory the 'upstart' King, whilst also wishing to bring to light what he knows of the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower from years before. The sister of the princes, Queen Elizabeth, still mourns for them and seeks to know the truth behind their disappearance. She enlists the services of Varina Westcott, a candlemaker, to carve waxen effigies of her brothers, but Varina soon becomes tied up in the plot of the villian Lovell.
One thing I did find a little strange in this novel is that Queen Elizabeth continuously refers to her husband's enemies as 'Yorkists'; something I find rather ironic when she herself was the daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV. If her brothers would have survived then they, in turn, would have been the rightful King of England, and not her husband. Considering the amount of guilt she feels about their disappearance, and the extremity in which she mourns them, it would seem that she is not thinking in terms of keeping her husband on his throne. It makes me wonder how the Elizabeth of this novel would have viewed the so-called 'pretenders' to Tudor's throne, Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, but unfortunately neither of these were mentioned in this novel.Read more ›
at, very early on, the adventures of the candlemaker,Varina and her accomplice, Nick were fun to read. The conversations of the royal couple, "Good Queen Elizabeth" and King HenryVII were quite interesting. I liked the way
the author blended the mystery of the York Princes in the tower and the unexpected and early death of Prince Authur.
It was also interesting to learn a bit of the arts of candle making and the ties it had to the wax effigies of the royals of the time period.
This was an interesting novel and I look forward to future readings of Karen Harper's novels.
I especially liked Varina. She’s got guts, courage, and a caring heart. Though a bit blind at times to the emotions of those surrounding her, she’s an intelligent woman who dedicates herself to serving her Queen and protecting her family and loved ones. I also liked that she was practical in her perceived expectations for her future, yet there was still a bit of the romantic in her to not immediately jump on the first marriage proposal to come her way.
There were a ton of neat historical tidbits throughout the story: details of the burial practices of early Tudor England, some of the magic still present in the rural folklore, the role of women in the time period, and the mechanics of running a business in bustling London. Those historical tidbits made for a fun read for any history lover.
Yet, there wasn’t much meaty stuff here. The details were fun, yet a lot of stuff seemed a bit far-fetched to me to have actually happened. Elizabeth’s wax effigies in hiding, the lightning fast speed of Nick’s and Varina’s romance, and the varying roles that Varina played all seem a bit out there to me. The hypothesis the author puts forward for why Arthur died and responsible party behind the Princes in the Tower were intriguing, though.
A fun read, this book will definitely kill a weekend for you. It’s got some neat historical tidbits, a great lead, and a thrilling plot. And while it may not have a lot of meat on its bones when it comes to historical weight and story, I think this novel would still be very enjoyable for any historical fiction lover.
Although this book is most definitely a historical piece of fiction the historical notes on chandlers (wax workers), their guilds and ritual duties during the Tudor period was fascinating stuff in and of itself. This book is also a romance but the romance part of the book was woven into the narrative very skillfully and produced a a solid plot line with the romance part being believable and highly readable - not suger sweet or over-the-top oohhhhinh and ahhhing's.
The plot involves Queen Elizabeth of York - the wife of the infamous Henry VII, and the chandler (wax worker) Varina Westcott - a widow with more autonomy than the age normally allowed for women. Varina's love interest is one, Nicholas Sutton, an ambitious and loyal servant to the Royal family. The tale includes pieces of the story of the 'princes in the tower', Elizabeth's two brothers whose deaths in the Tower are a mystery to this day, and two of her children who died in infancy - as so many babies were in those days. Varina is a master chandler (wax-worker) who has an uncanny ability to carve wax into, besides beautiful pillar candles and beautiful angels, uncanny likenesses of people. The Queen has used Varina's talents to fashion likenesses of her departed brother's and children but Varina's greatest mission has yet to be assigned.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First book I have ever read of this time of English history. Subject matter was a bit morbid for my taste.Published 18 months ago by Carol McFarlane
The mystery was pretty interesting and I liked the viewpoint of Elizabeth of York alternating with the fictional main character. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Celegirl27
A suspense story and historical of two remarkable women in the England of 1501-Varena Westcott a candle maker who mourns for her late husband, and one of her sons, while carving... Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Gary Selikow
Warning, this book is the same book as the Queens Confidant by Karen Harper. While it was good, it was worth buying 2 books just because they have different titles and covers.Published on July 2, 2013 by Kindle Customer
I enjoy Harper's style in all of her novels. She sets the scenes in an almost magical manner--it is as if she has been there and knows the people personally, and I feel like I do,... Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by O.S.Carter
Mistress of mourning was good, but at the Times I felt that it was too slow at times. I would still recommend this bookPublished on January 26, 2013 by shawn Holloway
I really loved this book. Great heroine, which I really appreciate. She was smart and endearing. Loved the guy in this book, I won't name him because I hate it when people let me... Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by Margaret G.
This is a truly awesome story. If you like Phillipa Gregory you will love Karen Harper. I could not put this one down. Just the right amount of history and suspense.Published on December 9, 2012 by Love Amazon
This book was picked for book club, and I wasn't sure about it. I loved the book and enjoyed the time period it was written in. Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by Jan