I first started reading the work of Judith Arnopp when I discovered the Beaufort Chronicles, a trilogy following the life of Margaret Beaufort. I enjoyed them so much I decided to give more of Judith’s books a try.
I thought I’d do a combination review of some of these books.
A Song of Sixpence
The Winchester Goose
Kiss of the Concubine
A Song of Sixpence is the story of Elizabeth of York and Perkin Warbeck. This provided a fascinating theory that Perkin was Richard of York, son of Edward IV. It’s told from both viewpoints. We all know the story of the Princes in the Tower and whilst this is fictional work I found myself leaning towards believing Richard survived and was Perkin Warbeck.
Richard was smuggled out of England by those loyal to his father, unfortunately his brother Edward died during the rescuse. He escapes to Europe and the safety of his Aunt in Burgundy but years later makes himself known as the rightful heir to the throne.
In the meantime his sister Elizabeth of York has married Henry Tudor and is now Queen of England.
Will Elizabeth deny her brother the throne? And just how far will Henry Tudor go to keep his throne safe?
This was a refreshing read which I found provided a different perspective to views I’d previously read.
The Winchester Goose is set in Tudor London. The Winchester Geese are prostitutes and the story is told from three perspectives, Isabella Bourne a lady of the court, Francis Wareham a courtier employed as a spy for Cromwell and Joanie Toogood a well known Winchester Goose.
The lives of these three find themselves intertwined through the actions of Wareham who finds himself torn between Joanie and the sister of Isabella, Eve.
The story was well written and provides insight in to the Tudor court and those living in London at the time. I read this within a couple of hours but found I really liked the characters in this book.
The Kiss of the Concubine is the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. As Henry nears death he begins to realise the mistakes he made in life. Anne Boleyn pays Henry a visit to revisit his memories and how he treated her.
This was fascinating and written in a way I didn’t think I’d enjoy but was proven wrong! Yet again another great work by Judith Arnopp.
Lastly but by no means least is Intractable Heart, the story of Kateryn Parr. I found this to be a bit different from other Katheryn Parr works as it covers part of her life prior to Henry VIII, it is a fiction book but there are elements of fact which have been included to create an interesting view of Henry’s last queen.
This book is split in to four parts each the view of a different person, the first is Katheryns step daughter Margaret, followed by Katheryn, then Thomas Seymour and finally Elizabeth Tudor.
I particularly liked how each part picked up from the previous view point without becoming disjointed.
Judith Arnopp has successfully manages to tell the story of these four individuals in a unique way. Definitely recommend this one!
All of these are available at: