From the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses, telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IV.
Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows King Edward will find her irresistible.
Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as those of Jane and Will Hastings, hangs in the balance. Jane must rely on her talents to survive as the new monarch, Richard III, bent on reforming his brother’s licentious court, ascends the throne.
This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for five hundred years, and, as told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well.
Anne Easter Smith
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my second novel by Anne Easter Smith, the first being Queen by Right. In this tale Ms. Easter Smith tells the story of Jane Shore, Edward IV's last mistress. Jane was the daughter of a mercer (basically a fabric seller) who was apparently beautiful, smart and born into the wrong time. Smart women were not fully appreciated in a time that saw them as not much more than brood mares. Her father married her off to another mercer but they were not well matched and she soon caught the eye of the King's chamberlain, Will Hastings. This led to her being seen by the King and well - what choice did she really have?
The period of time covered during the life of Jane Shore is well trodden history for those of us that read a lot of historical fiction so it is somewhat refreshing to view the well known events through the eyes of a character of which I knew very little. To pass through the death of Edward IV, the protectorate and then reign of Richard III through a commoner's...
I have read all of Anne Easter Smith's novels and therefore by now I know that I need to go into them with the understanding that she has strong Richardian sympathies. What made this one uniquely different however was that by telling Jane Shore's story Ms Smith was having to look through the eyes of a character who had every reason to hate Richard III. I'm sure this must have been somewhat difficult for the author considering she feels as strongly as she does of Richard's good nature. Therefore it was interesting to read of the viewpoint put forward by Jane, amongst the other characters in the novel, of why Richard was behaving as he did. This novel also contains Anne Easter Smith's personal theory of what happened to the Princes in the Tower, something she reiterates in each of her novels that mention them. In some ways I feel as though this makes the author's work somewhat 'stuck in a rut' and therefore completely predictable, however in other ways the repetition is rather...
This is the first book I read from Anne Easter Smith, and the truth is, I was disappointed.
War of the Roses was a truly interesting period in English history. This, afterall, is the period which is the inspiration for George R.R.Martin's " A Song of Ice and Fire" series. The violence, intrigue, lawlessness and power struggles of real history is overwhelming.
Unfortunately, the "Royal Mistress" despite its subject, is a bore.
To start with; characterization is bland and unbelievable. Jane Shore, is supposed to be a lively,educated,charismatic woman but most of the time she comes off as a regular bimbo with the typical affinity for rich, middle aged men. Why is that? Because she has father issues (Of course!!).
The male characters are King Edward(No:4), William Hastings, Richard of Gloucester and Thomas Grey. These characters, politics of those times and their constant battle for power and survival is reduced to a simplistic story of...
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