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For those of you who do like history and historical fiction based on true facts ... I would recommend that you run and get a copy of this book. It's wonderfully written and you will be enrapatured by the author's story.
People often has mistaken notions about royalty especially in the middle ages. Jarman points out that not all is cake and jewelry for royals, especially for royal princesses who later become queens. This book is about Katherine, Henry V's bride, who later spawned the Tudor dynasty. This book takes Katherine through her rough and lonely childhood. She is the daughter of a mad king of France and a perverted queen, always caught in the middle of the tug-of-war between her parents. Then it details her marriage to the king of England who comes over to reclaim England's ancient claims on lands in France. Then after the king died and while as queen mother of Henry VI, she finds love again with Owen Tydier, later named as Owen Tudor.
What a fanastic read through the cobblestones of historical reading! It just makes me want to read more on English and French royalty. I would definitely hate to be a royal ~~ it's not easy as it sounds. But hey, it's like a glimpse into the past and one can dream, right?
I recommend this book highly! I hope that you'll be able to find a copy of this book. It's one that is full of surprises and you can't help yourself reading it all in just a few days.
"Crown in Candlelight" tells the story of the love between Katherine of France, daughter of the mad king Charles VI and widow of the hero of Agincourt, Henry V; and Owen Tudor, her Welsh servant who was also a poet and musician. These two are not rendered as cardboard "romance novel" cutouts. Katherine grows and evolves from being an abused child and lonely young woman used as a marital pawn, to being a strong, passionate wife and mother; and Owen goes from being a shallow womanizer to devoted husband to Katherine and father to their sons. Owen and Katherine are wonderful, sympathetic characters and you will be rooting for them all the way.
Jarman also hews very, very closely to actual historical detail (all the main characters and most of the minor ones actually lived!) and brings the 15th century in all its glamour and squalor to life. With one major and a few very minor exceptions, the events in this book actually happened (as closely as they can be reconstructed). One thing that is played for drama in the book, but did not actually happen - Humphrey Duke of Gloucester did not send Katherine to Bermondsey as punishment for marrying a Welshman; Katherine actually retired to Bermondsey to die of metastatic breast cancer. However, that is really the only falsified event in the book. (Incidentally, for an English or French woman to live with or marry a Welshman in that time period was equivalent to a white woman marrying a black man in the 1950's.)
Buy, beg, borrow or steal a copy of this book, sit back and enjoy! I had tears in my eyes at the ending - yes, the lovers led tragic lives but remember, their great-great-granddaughter was Elizabeth I, so they triumphed in the end!
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