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The Lady of the Tower

Narrated by: Bridget Thomas
Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Orphaned Lucy St. John, described as "the most beautiful of all", defies English society by attracting the eye of the Earl of Suffolk. In 1609, the court of James I is a place of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, when the most dangerous thing one can do is fall in love. Lucy's envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness and drives Lucy into exile from the court. Heartbroken, she has to find her own path through life, becoming mistress of the Tower of London and gaining a fortune through the patronage of the Duke of Buckingham. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival - and her honor - in a world of deceit and debauchery. 

Elizabeth St. John tells this dramatic story of love, betrayal, and loyalty through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family's surviving diaries, letters, and court papers.

©2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Elizabeth St. John (P)2018 Elizabeth St. John

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  • Book Squirrel
  • 09-23-19

A fairly good story, expertly narrated.

A work of historical fiction, although based on the life story of one of the author’s forebears, this is an interesting story that is probably quite realistic about the prospects of a younger daughter of a prominent family during the early years of the reign of James I.

I confess I almost stopped listening as early as the prologue, in which a man speaking as though he were present when the young Princess Elizabeth was taken into the Tower of London was still alive as its Keeper in 1617. I returned to the beginning and listened again, decided the way in which that section was phrased was ambiguous, and continued with the story.

The main character, Lucy, seems at times to be almost too virtuous to be quite believable, although she does have her moments where her flaws and human nature are revealed, in which she seems more relatable. For some readers, her tale will evoke deep sympathy, while others may feel she spends too much time engaging in self-pity and decrying her lot in life as the victim of the selfishness and vanity of various other people.

The most believable characters are the hateful ones: Lucy’s sister Barbara, Aunt Joan, and Frances Howard. These characters exemplify the worst of human nature, along with a certain young man who is fickle at best and heartless at worst. It is in disliking these characters that the reader feels the most empathy with Lucy.

The narration is most enjoyable, with lively expression and very good use of tone, voice and accent to bring the characters to life.

Overall, it is a fairly good story, expertly narrated.