Into a Tudor court on the brink of treason comes Hannah, a young Jewish girl on the run from the Inquisition. Sworn into the service of Robert Dudley, he sends her as a Holy Fool to spy on Princess Mary Tudor, the forgotten heir to King Edward's throne. But Hannah finds a woman who wants the best for the kingdom.
After winning the Parker Romantic Novel of the Year in 2002 for the brilliant The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory returns to the Tudor court in this equally absorbing novel. It is 1553, Henry VIII is dead and his young son Edward is now king. 14-year-old Hannah Green, a determined Jewish girl with the gift of foresight, has come to England with her bookseller father to escape the Inquisition in Spain. After a chance meeting with the dashing Lord Robert Dudley at her father's bookshop, Hannah finds a new life as a court fool - and a spy. Reporting to Dudley all that happens around the sickly king, Hannah is also sent to spy on Princess Mary, with whom she strikes up a loyal and lasting friendship. When Edward dies, Hannah finds herself directly involved in the plots and schemes that abound at court as Mary comes to the throne, and struggles with her loyalty to the queen and subsequently to her sister Elizabeth. She wrestles with her sexual awakening, her love for Dudley and her betrothal to her cousin, Daniel, but ultimately cannot fight the male-dominant world she lives in as with her gift of foresight she is constantly manipulated by the powerful men around her for their own ends. Will Hannah be able to survive in a time of treachery, bloodshed and burnings, where her own religious beliefs could be questioned at any time? Unlike the many authors who concentrate on the times of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I, Philippa Gregory has turned her attention to the tumultuous period between the two reigns and takes us from the death of Edward VI up to Elizabeth's ascension with an assured historical touch. We see behind the pomp of the Tudor Court and into the minds of Mary and Elizabeth, rivals for the throne like their mothers before them. This is a powerful and moving tale of an important period in history, seen through the eyes of a young woman who is both observer and player in these tempestuous times. (Kirkus UK)
Series: Tudor Court Novels
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: April 2004
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0 x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.334