Giveaway winner: Congrats to Tore! I have emailed you.
I always find it interesting to read a historical novel told from the point of view of a historical figure about which very little is known. It gives a fresh perspective to a story that, even for those of us who are in love with the Tudors, can grow tiresome at times. Brandy Purdy has done this for us in this wonderful book and has done it very well.
In The Queen's Pleasure, we get to experience the lives and love of Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley through the eyes of Amy Robsart Dudley, and we learn of her life with Dudley as well. Amy is a colorful character who at the same time is very tragic. She is swept up in a life that she thought was going to be very different and all because of politics and power play. Such were the times in Tudor England. Not many were safe from its ill effects. Though Elizabeth's reign was a good and strong one, the constant jockeying for her hand in marriage was ever present and Robert Dudley was right at the center of it. When his ambition took flight, there really was no hope for poor Amy, his wife.
All the above aside, what I really want to touch on is Purdy's descriptive and flowing prose. As I was reading, I felt that I was right there experiencing everything along with the characters, especially in the parts that Amy tells. To many, Amy may seem a bit too downtrodden, but I saw more. Purdy has given Amy Robsart life...has given us more than just a woman who was Dudley's wife and who died a suspicious death. We now see that Amy was once a living, breathing person who loved and believed in her husband and ended up betrayed in the end. How many women have been led to believe in a dream, only to be tragically disappointed in the end? Amy speaks for all of those women throughout history.
Although my favorite queen, and probably favorite historical figure of all time, is a character here, Amy Robsart is the true star of this book. This is my first read by Ms. Purdy and it will not be my last. Read this book if you love the Tudors, but also read it if you feel for the sad plight of all women through the ages. This is their story, as well as Amy's.
About the book:
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
When young Robert Dudley, an earl's son, meets squire's daughter Amy Robsart, it is love at first sight. They marry despite parental misgivings, but their passion quickly fades, and the ambitious Dudley returns to court. Swept up in the turmoil of Tudor politics, Dudley is imprisoned in the Tower. Also a prisoner is Dudley's childhood playmate, the princess Elizabeth. In the shadow of the axe, their passion ignites. When Elizabeth becomes queen, rumours rage that Dudley means to free himself of Amy in order to wed her. And when Amy is found dead in unlikely circumstances, suspicion falls on Dudley - and the Queen...Still hotly debated amongst scholars - was Amy's death an accident, suicide, or murder? - the fascinating subject matter makes for an enthralling read for fans of historical fiction.
Note: The Queen's Pleasure will be published in the UK under the title A Court Affair by Emily Purdy
About the author:
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels The Confession of Piers Gaveston, The Boleyn Wife (The Tudor Wife), The Tudor Throne (Mary & Elizabeth, and The Queen's Pleasure (A Court Affair). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com or on Facebook as Brandy Purdy - Emily Purdy.
For other stops on the tour: Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #QueensPleasureVirtualTour
Giveaway: One (1) copy of The Queen's Pleasure. U.S. only (per publisher). To enter, leave me a comment telling me if you have ever heard of Amy Robsart before my review today (mandatory--comments without an answer will not be entered). Be sure to include contact information so I can notify the winner. Last day to enter will be Friday, June 22 at 11:59pm CST. Good luck!