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I did however wonder about the choice of Arbella Stuart as a subject of a 400 page book when much of her life was in confinement and most of the action doesn t start until the end of the book If ou re a Tudorphile then I m sure ou ll enjoy this book This is literary historical fiction styled into the form of a thriller Fremantle writes a historical account about two real life women about whom little is known to delineate the hardships and powerlessness that women faced about two real life women about whom little is known to delineate the hardships and powerlessness that women faced if they are high born it really is a man s world Arbella Stuart is the potential heir to ueen Elizabeth s throne imprisoned in a glass tower at Hardwick Hall by the ambitious and scheming Bess Hardwick the Countess of Shrewsbury Aemilia Ami Lanyer is a poet and mistress of Henry Hunsdon a cousin to the ueen A pregnant Ami is married off to Alphonso Lanyer The author weaves fictional connections between these two strong independent and educated women that span the courts of Elizabeth I and James I documenting the political intrigues religious factions the conspiracies and the plots the culture and the rampant paranoia that pervades the historical periodAlphonso dies leaving Ami single and a widow living with debts and in poverty and struggling to bring up her son Henry Ami is a woman with secrets that threaten to consume her her neighbours eye her with suspicion and there is much talk of witches There are references that Ami is possibly Shakespeare s Dark Lady She comes across papers and a partial fragmented memoir of Arbella living a cloistered life rendered powerless and open to the machinations of family and other groups which leaves Ami feeling decidedly guilty We "Learn Of Arbella Through "of Arbella through device of the memoir the betrayals and her isolated thwarted life Arbella is condemned by her familial links to royalty serving to seal her tragic personal history as her fate lies in the hands of others she is free to make no decisions and all hopes for marriage and happiness are cruelly dashed The only thing she has control over is her bodyFremantle gives us in depth insights into this turbulent historical period with detailed descriptions Her characters are complex shaped by the prejudices and attitudes of the time I was fascinated with portrayal and development of Arbella and Ami women who have much in common as they attempt to throw off the chains that bind and whose lives get dangerously entangled This is a great book to read if ou are interested in little known Tudor and Stuart history Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC Arbella Stuart was long considered a contender for the English throne after the demise of Elizabeth I So she was kept a virtual prisoner by her grandmother known to history as Bess of Hardwick and cocooned against potential threats by Catholic plot Great TOME bewareupdated on 12 Feb 2017Excellent historical fiction which soon draws the reader into this period in English history and it The absorbing and intimate story of Lady Arbella Stuart who so nearly succeeded Elizabeth I to the throne in 1603 In parallel we experience the story of Arbella s friend the poet Aemilia Lanyer after she fell from grace from the court of James I So this book was recommended to me and to be fair it was an entertaining novel However there was something about it that didn t uite resonate with me Maybe it was the length of the book which IMO should have been shorter or maybe that I felt little empathy for the characters I can t uite put my finger on what it was Could just be that I ve read loads of pretty similar novels and I m getting just a bit bored It was good to finally read some historical fiction that doesn t just re hash the same Tudor stories but I d take some Phillips Gregory over this In summary it s entertaining and perfectly readable but not the best piece of historical fiction I ve ever read. Ove who she wants to wear a man's trousers and ride her beloved horse Dorcas But if she ever wishes to break free she must learn to navigate the treacherous game of power or end up dead. ,

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D the way the author made connections between the situations of the two women Aemilia Lanyer referred to as Ami in the novel was an English female poet who became mistress to Henry Hunsdon first cousin of Elizabeth I When she fell pregnant she was married off "to Alphonso Lanyer We encounter Ami in this novel following Alphonso s death left in poverty to bring up her "Alphonso Lanyer We encounter Ami in this novel following Alphonso s death left in poverty to bring up her Henry Ami comes into possession of Arbella s papers which include fragments of a memoir Although Arbella s letters do still exist the existence of a memoir is an invention of the author for the purposes of the novel Through reading Arbella s words Ami hopes to assuage the guilt she feels at having failed her friend The reader will find out about this towards the end of the book Ami shares the same sense of expectation as the reader as she reads through the papers She can sense that her own story is about to intersect with Lady Arbella s The idea excites her makes her wonder how she will be portrayed whether she will recognize herself Will she be there substantially at the heart of the story or as a ghost in the margins At the same time Ami must struggle with the challenges of daily life as a widow without financial means I found the depiction of Ami s everyday life and her efforts to carve out a living really convincing and engaging As a single woman and one who is educated to boot she attracts the suspicion of her neighbours at a time when accusations of witchcraft were rife Arbella s journal reveals her life in a gilded cage existing in an atmosphere of constant threat because of her royal blood and the ever present fear that she may be used as a figurehead for rebellion by competing political and religious factions Unknown to Arbella those who would use her for their own objectives may be closer than she imagines invisible malign forces Intelligent educated and with a gift for writing Arbella lacks control of her own destiny Even a potential marriage would have political conseuences so she must remain unmarried and unfulfilled In the imagination of the author Arbella seeks to exercise a degree of control over her life in the only way available to her As presented in the book there are large gaps in Arbella s journal covering periods of ears Ami seeks to fill those gaps and bring a resolution to Arbella s story It is the story of a woman silenced and with her pen Ami will give her a voice I d come across references to Arbella Stuart when reading other historical fiction of the period but knew little about her so I very much enjoyed having some light shed on her sad and ultimately tragic life Arbella Stuart joins the list of Tudor and Stuart women who suffered because of their position in the royal succession and the political machinations of others I enjoyed this book and will certainly seek out other books by Elizabeth FremantleI received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers Michael Joseph in return for an honest review uite disappointing I ve enjoyed two of Elizabeth Fremantle s previous books ueen s Gambit and Sisters of Treason so was surprised by how much this book didn t grip me and was even boring Nothing happened until 34 of the way through and even then I wasn t feeling it The majority of the book was presumably a set up of our main character but I found her flat and not well developed even after 300 pages And the secondary character never became someone I cared about either Shame The Girl in the someone I cared about either Shame The Girl in the Tower by Elizabeth FremantleTitle The Girl in the Glass TowerAuthor Elizabeth FremantlePublished Feb 17Publisher Penguin Genre Histor It s difficult to write uality historical fiction based on true events and I think that Elizabeth Fremantle did a good job on the whole Her writing is of a very good uality and her descriptions of life in and near to court were informed and enlightening. Ee her on the throne and many others for her death which would leave the way clear for her cousin James the Scottish KingArbella longs to be free from her cold hearted grandmother; to .
It was the sheer size of the windows that made the rooms at Hardwick so impossible to heat Grandmother seemed impervious to the chill and could not hide her delight at her vast shimmering rectangles of glass fit for a cathedral the talk of all Derbyshire photo by my husband MarkHardwick Hall glass than wall so went a common saying about this large Elizabethan country house Built at a time when glass was exceptionally expensive it was the pride of Bess of Hardwick Countess of Shrewsbury the richest woman in England after the ueen herself If ou look carefully in the photo above With Baited Breath (Warhammer 40,000) you can see her initials ES for Elizabeth Shrewsbury atop many of the towers she knew how to stake her claim It s now a National Trust property and Mark and I paid a visit to Hardwick Hall and its grounds on our trip to England in 2014 Portraits of its former residents the country s monarchs and other English notables grace the interior walls Ifou get the opportunity to see it in person goElizabeth Fremantle s The Girl in the Glass Tower delves into the life story of another Elizabethan woman who resided there but whose story was tragedy than triumph Lady Arbella Stuart granddaughter of both Bess of Hardwick and Margaret Douglas Henry VIII s niece Though she s a minor figure now for much of her lifetime Arbella was considered a likely successor to Elizabeth I Her royal lineage proved to be a terrible burden Other parties wrought conspiracies around her for their own ends and her long lived a terrible burden Other parties wrought conspiracies around her for their own ends and her long lived Bess kept her under tight control ostensibly for her own protection While some of Arbella s decisions cost her dearly Fremantle *shows in no uncertain terms how her behavior was a natural result of *in no uncertain terms how her behavior was a natural result of restrictive environment she enduredHalf of the novel comprises Arbella s memoir written in Jacobean times while incarcerated in the Tower of London where she looks out on the courtyard from above recollecting her too short life which comprises constant reminders of the impossibility of freedom Her mother died when she was a child and her female role models are few Her aunt Mary ueen of Scots is executed as a traitor An earlier potential successor to Elizabeth s throne the late Katherine Grey had married against the ueen s wishes and paid a great priceThe stories of these women are threaded through the novel s melancholy atmosphere they haunt Arbella and remind her of their fate which could also be hersRaised by Bess of Hardwick to be a future ueen Arbella grows up too aware of her position leading to missteps that make her appear haughty In this world of plots and counterplots political and religious she does have loyal servants and loving relatives but not everyone family included has her best interests at heartAlternating sections introduce Aemilia Lanyer called Ami a talented poet banished from court because King James didn t approve of her feminist writing Left impoverished after her spendthrift husband s death and determined to conceal the identity of her son Hal s true father Ami contends with a treacherously nosy neighbor and unwanted advances from her landlord I particularly enjoyed how the subplot involving these characters turned out The two women s tales are nicely harmonized Their lives intersect at a few critical moments and it s only after Arbella s death and she reads her memoir that Ami truly knows the person who Arbella was The Girl in the Glass Tower is "a deep intimate exploration of a little known royal woman s life To read all "deep intimate exploration of a little known royal woman s life To read all book reviews plus author interviews excerpts and giveaways visit my blog Girl in the Glass Tower weaves together the stories of two women drawing on historical fact about each of their lives although in reality as the author admits in her afterword there is no evidence to say they ever met in the way imagined However this is historical fiction after all and I really like. Arbella Stuart is trapped behind the towering glass windows of Hardwick Hall Kept cloistered from a world that is full of dangers for someone with royal blood Half the country wish to .

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The Girl in the Glass Tower