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Secrets of the Tudor Court: By Royal Decree Paperback – December 14, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I've come across Elizabeth Brook's name before, but just as a quick mention. She's certainly not anyone who stands out from the Tudor period, and most authors just pass right over her, if she's even mentioned at all. Ms. Emerson though shows us what an interesting life Bess Brook lead, and that it was possible for true love to overcome in Tudor England...a place where gentle-born women must marry the men their fathers choose for them. Bess refused to do that and her and William Parr overcame so many obstacles to be together. Even when Queen Mary Tudor pulled them apart, they managed to make it through her reign to the ascension of Elizabeth I, who allowed them to be together as they should.
I was so disappointed when this book ended. I was hoping for it to just keep going. I wanted to read about Will and Bess during Elizabeth's reign, but I guess once she took the throne they lived a pretty nondescript life at court. Bess only lived another 7 years after the end of the book, succumbing to breast cancer, but I would have loved to read about her final years with Will.Read more ›
I would like to point out that unlike any other historical fiction Tudor book I've read, this novel offered a very sympathetic view of the Dudley family. The Dudleys play a prominent part in the life of Bess Brooke. When I think of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, I immediately think of a cold, selfish man whose actions caused or hastened the death of several other people. Other books paint Northumberland as a "murderer" who poisoned young King Edward VI, as well as being the main instigator in the execution of the Duke of Somerset, Edward Seymour, King Edward's former Lord Protector. He is also often credited for being the "mastermind" of marrying his son to Lady Jane Grey and championing her as the successor to the throne at King Edward's death. In this book "Bess" was actually the one that suggested the marriage between Dudley's son and Lady Jane and that despite rumors, John Dudley had not poisoned King Edward. This novel sheds a very different view on the Dudleys, particularly Northumberland, however, it just didn't feel authentic to me.
I've read the first two books in the series and if my memory serves me, they were okay but forgettable. I'd say the same for this one.
The story begins as Elizabeth (Bess) Brooke is one of a large party of eligible noblewomen invited to dine with Henry VIII so he can peruse them and pick his next bride. Luckily for Bess she's passed over for Kathryn Parr, who ends up as wife #6. Bess comes to court and ultimately meets and falls in love with Queen Kathryn's brother William Parr, but there's a hitch. William was given a divorce from his first wife for being unfaithful, but he's not allowed to remarry until she kicks the bucket and their only hope is a "Royal Decree" from the King.
When Henry dies, his son Edward is crowned king and William curries favor with Edward and his guardians (first Edward Seymour, then John Dudley), always hoping to gain that "Royal Decree" allowing him to marry Bess. The Princess Elizabeth is given into Kathryn's care and Bess also joins her household in the country. Edward, never the healthy one, dies and with no male heir to follow him England is divided over the choices left - should they support Mary and face a return to Catholicism, or the Lady Jane Grey? And if William supports the wrong party, their hopes for a "Royal Decree" allowing them to wed might be dashed forever...
Sounds like all the material one needs for a fat juicy novel no? Unfortunately, Emerson is not quite up to giving Bess and William the treatment their story really deserves. Too much time is spent with Bess and William mooning over each other as Henry's court flits from one palace to the next, and not enough on the latter part of their lives as they live in terror of loosing one's head during Mary's reign.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the third book in the Secrets of the Tudor Court series. King Henry VIII is on the lookout for his next queen and Bess Brooke is one of the new young ladies at court that... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michelle Boytim
This is not the best of the series - slow moving at first, but the last 3rd of the book was very exciting. I have enjoyed all of the books in this series. Very realistic.Published on March 27, 2014 by Kathy L.
kind a drag on kinda book but it did ketch my attention in some points wish it did in more poarts thoPublished on April 28, 2013 by Cari L Colvin
I like the history behind it and gave you an inside look at the Tudor Court. I would recommend this bookPublished on March 28, 2013 by Carol Witte
I love the author, Kate Emerson. She is very good author. Everyone who will read the book, every just casual readers, they will enjoy to read more about royal courts, and lives... Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Yuliya
I didn't think it was as captivating as BETWEEN TWO QUEENS. I do enjoy reading historical novels which are based on facts and well researched.Published on December 3, 2012 by Helen Chaney
I enjoyed this story. I like historical based books with a twist. I recieved the book in a timely matter and was in great condition.Published on November 11, 2012 by Wesjax51