Thomas Howard founded a dynasty and staked his place in history through a self-serving ruthlessness that allowed no rival to stand in his way. But the true rivals of the Tudor court were those who stood alongside him: his wife and his mistress, who would battle to the end for him!
As Queen Catherine’s maid, and daughter of the Duke of Buckingham, the future seems bright for Elizabeth Stafford. But when her father gives her hand to Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, the spirited young woman must sacrifice all for duty. Yet Elizabeth is surprised by her passion for her powerful new husband. And when he takes on a mistress, she is determined to fight for her love and her honour! Naive and vulnerable, Bess Holland is easily charmed by the Duke of Norfolk, doing his bidding in exchange for gifts and adoration. For years, she and Elizabeth compete for his affections. But they are mere spectators to an obsession neither can rival: Norfolk’s quest to weave the Howard name into the royal bloodline.
The women’s loyalties are tested as his schemes unfold — among them the litigious marriage of his niece Anne Boleyn to King Henry VIII. But in an age of ruthless beheadings, no self-serving motive goes unpunished — and Elizabeth and Bess will have to fight a force more sinister than the executioner’s axe!
This is the second book I have read by Darcey Bonnette about Life at Tudor Court and I wasn’t disappointed at all. As everyone knows now, I’m a huge historical fiction lover and in particularly with anything connected to these times!
This book follows the whole life of Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk and contains chapters from his perspective and the two ladies in his life. I’m still not sure if I understand Thomas and whether his actions are due to the sorrow and the pains he suffered in his life or whether he was just a very mean man! Darcey has left that for the reader to decide, but I long to see the good in everyone, I’m just not that sure! Brilliantly written packed full of descriptive text and emotions, sometimes quite distressing but you really get the feel and the smell of the times. Reading this book really makes me appreciate the times we live in now and the things we have that we take for granted. When you think of the pain that the parents experienced so frequently with the loss of their children due to sickness, Darcey writes a harrowing accounts of this in the book so well.
As always, a fabulous read and one I would recommend to other Historical lovers that like me, are still not tired of Tudor Times!
You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon from the link below.