Saturday, 25 April 2009

The King's Confidante

'The King's Confidante' by Jean Plaidy.

This novel is the story of Margaret, the daughter of Sir Thomas More.

'And who is this man who dares oppose us?' demanded the King. 'Who is this Thomas More? Eh? Answer me that.'
These dramatic sentences begin a novel set in the reign of Henry V111.
Thomas More was a lawyer and adviser to the King. This book follows his life from his residency in a monastrey , through his married life and finally his brutal death. His demise could have been prophesied by many in his attitude to Henry's forthcoming marriage . Thomas did not support the King in his attempt to denounce his marriage to Katherine of Aragon and to wed Anne Boleyn. This became Henry's quest and as such anyone found to disagree was regarded badly.

'This King of ours is a mighty lion who does not know his strength. ...
'...what matters it if we serve our country well?- it is the duty of such men to suppress their personal desires. And if we do not , we may find that the King's frown, instead of his smile, is turned upon us.'

As these rapid scenes were played out in court Thomas grew consolation from his homelife. After the death of his first wife he married Alice Middleton, a widow with one daughter. His household expanded with children from both marriages and foster children. Margaret was his daughter from his first wife, Jane Colt, and it is she who narrates much of the story.

Henry's reign continued as he dismissed courtiers and nobleman , no-one would halt his fanatical path. Disregarding the supremacy of the Pope , Henry established himself as head of the church in England. This act by the King changed both the course of history and the life of Thomas More.

'The King's good servant, but God's first.'

A wonderful story.This is the second reading of this novel, the first being 30+ years ago. The fascination I have with historical fiction is as strong as ever, this being a story woven round turbulent Tudor years. The book was well balanced showing the life of a loving father and the ruthless court of a fanatical King. A loyal, family man descending into a bear pit...

Jean Plaidy is the 'queen ' of this genre in my opinion, having read many of her books I hope her reign will continue for many years in these written words.

This book was read as part of the Jean Plaidy

reading group.
and the Jean Plaidy reading challenge


Miss 376 said...

Think this may have to go on the "to read" list

BooksPlease said...

My memories of reading Jean Plaidy's books are all good, so I'm glad this one stood up to the test of time for your second reading after 30+ years.

Lezlie said...

I love Jean Plaidy's books. I'll have to pick this one up soon. And I love the new style on the covers, even if they are headless. :-)


zetor said...

Lezlie, maybe headless is intentional, sorry bad joke!lol

Linda Jacobs said...

This is why I love blogs; I'd have never learned of Jean Plaidy otherwise.

Right now I'm in the process of finding a more contemporary novel for my World Literature students and will have to read this one to see if it would be good for them.


Margot said...

I have to confess to never having read a Jean Plaidy novel. This sounds like a very good way to understand the history of this time.