The story of a great queen, a woman of enormous courage who made her own rules, and a true survivour. This is the first in a series of early medieval novels by Vanora Bennett, the author of ‘Portrait of an Unknown Woman’ .
Catherine de Valois, daughter of the French king is born in troubled times. Though she is being brought up in a royal court, it is a stormy and unstable environment. Her only firend is the remarkable poet and writer Christine de Pizan. She is married off to Heny V as part of a treaty honouring his victory over France, and is destined to be a trophy wife. Terrified at the idea of being married to a man who is at once, a foreigner, an enemy and a rough soldier, Catherine nevertheless does her duty. Within tow years she is widowed, and mother of the future King of England and France - even though her brother has already claimed the French crown for himself.
Caught between warring factions and under threat the powerful lords of the English court and her own brothers-in-law, she has to find her own way, if only for the sake of her baby son. She takes strength from the teachings of her mentor de Pizan, and the possibility that she will be able to return home to France. She is also supported by Owain Tudor, controller of her household-a dangerous support as rumours of their relationship would jeoperdise her right to keep her child.
To save her son, and herself, She must turn away from her love and all that is familiar and safe to find another way forward.
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Praise for ‘Blood Royal’:
‘Bennett writes thoughtful, well-researched historical fiction, finding connections between past and present without too much silliness or fact-bending, and with plenty of romance. Enormous, in every sense of the word’ The Times
‘A page-turning story, successfully evoking the atmosphere of intrigue and fear that beset the times’
'A skilful blend of fact and fiction. [Bennett's] characters, story, and fluid writing style sweep you along in a pageant of medieval life. This is quite simply an excellent read!' Historical Novel Society
Praise for ‘Portrait of an Unknown Woman’:
'Bennett's background detail is impeccable – part love story, part thriller, all excellently imagined and written.' The Times
'There is plenty to admire and enjoy in Bennett's portrayal of a society convulsed by radical change…Vanora Bennett is a writer to watch.' Times Literary Supplement
‘There is much to admire in this curate’s egg of a novel.’ Sunday Telegraph
'Distinguished…Romance, intrigue and art history are confidently blended, and Holbein canvases are afforded starring roles.' Daily Mail
‘If you want a classier-than-average romantic read, one contender is this fine historical debut, a ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’-style tale.’
'An atmospheric, passionate novel set against a backdrop of religious and political upheaval.' Woman and HomeReview:
A skilful blend of fact and fiction.This period is not historically one of my favourites, but Vanora Bennett's novel has made me think again. her characters, story and fluid writing style sweep you along in a pageant of medieval life. This is quite simply an excellent read!
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7304455