Gay Lord Robert by Jean Plaidy.
This Tudor novel concentrates on the life of Robert Dudley. His rise to power in Elizabeth 1's England reads like a fairytale. Both his father and grandfather were executed on Tower Hill. His father, now an orphan was raised by Sir Richard Guildford.In time Robert became attracted to Jane, Sir Richard's daughter, eventually they marry and have many children; including the ill-fated Guilford Dudley who married Lady Jane Grey and
Robert who was the youngest of the family and as such was indulged. His father, known in courtly circles was keen to introduce his son to royalty. Consequently Robert met Princess Elizabeth. The attraction they held for each other continued through life in good times and bad. Both imprisoned in the Tower they found a way to communicate, and their friendship blossomed. But Elizabeth's aim was to rule , all other aspects of her life were secondary.
'She was cleverer than Robert; he was merely a man, with a man's appetites, while she was a Queen who knew the meaning of power, the absolute joy which that power alone could give her; and she intended never to forget it, never to place it in jeopardy if she could help it.'
Robert, who attracted great attention in his courtship of the Queen, realised that she would probably never make him her King. Looking elsewhere for company he married Amy Robsart, a simple , country girl. Elizabeth was furious on hearing this news.
Robert, was 'her eyes' and as such she needed him more than ever. How could Robert let Amy stand between himself and the throne...
and so unfolded '...the greatest scandal that had shocked and entertained the world since Elizabeth's father had played out his tragic farce with six wives.'
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was as I always find Jean Plaidy; wonderful! A great story steeped in history, running parallel to the main characters are Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada and the life and pitiful demise of Mary, Queen of Scots.
This is an early edition of the book, consequently the word 'Gay' did not have the meaning it has today.