Friday, June 12, 2015

Watch The Lady - Elizabeth Fremantle

Watch The Lady
Elizabeth Fremantle
Simon & Schuster, Jun 9 2015, $15.99
ISBN: 9781476703121

In 1581 pushed by her scheming mother who wants the family to regain their positon of influence, Penelope Devereux becomes a Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth.  Beautiful and brilliant, Penelope manages to excel in the dangerous court filled with backstabbing intrigue to become one of the monarch’s favorite; as does her brother the Earl of Essex.  Only Robert Cecil seems to distrust the siblings.  Penelope and her childhood betrothed Sir Philip Sidney remain in love, but Elizabeth marries her to Lord Rich.  The couple makes a convenience deal in which she provides him with the heir and spare and he stays out of her life.  However her brother’s bungling ambition places them in jeopardy unless she intercedes before it wrecks her much more clever treacherous scheme.

The third Tudor tale (see Queen’s Gambit and Sisters of Treason) is an enjoyable Elizabethian drama that focuses on the last decades of the Queen’s long reign through the rotating viewpoints of enemies Penelope and Cecil.  Although there are some incidents that feel like forced overdramatic padding into an interesting storyline, historical fans will relish watching the scramble by those of the inner circles and wannabes competing for power before the anticipated vacuum causes a free for all. 

Harriet Klausner

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