Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The Concubine by Norah Lofts

'All eyes and hair' a courtier had said disparagingly of her - and certainly the younger daughter of Tom Boleyn lacked the bounteous charms of most ladies of Court. Black-haired, black-eyed, she had a wild-sprite quality that was to prove more effective, more dangerous than conventional feminine appeal. The King first noticed her when she was sixteen - and with imperial greed he smashed her youthful love-affair with Harry Percy and began the process of royal seduction...But this was no ordinary woman, no maid-in-waiting to be possessed and discarded by a king. Against his will, his own common sense, Henry found himself bewitched - enthralled by the young girl who was to be known as - the Concubine...

This is a beautifully told story of one of the most fascinating women in British (indeed, the world) history, it is probably not necessary for me to write a full review as it is a story we know only too well, some books paint Anne in a bad way but, here at the end I don't think anyone could feel anything but, sadness at Anne's end, no matter what your opinion on why she was brought to treason.

I was a little apprehensive at reading this at first as I was not overly impressed with Norah's book on Henry's first wife, Katherine of Aragon that said because this is a story I am familiar with and frankly, can never read enough about Anne Boleyn I devoured every word, and this is possibly one of my favourite novels on Anne.

Fans of Philippa Gregory may not be so thrilled with this book but, I think books should be read on their own merits and not compared to others for similar tellings, although I know it is all too easy to compare but, you can tell the expertise of Norah's storytelling and as much as I love Philippa's books this for me excelled hers in all ways but, they are quite different and so long as you read this not expecting a PG type telling I am sure anyone fascinated with the Tudor era will love this.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

I'm glad that you liked this one - it's one of my favorites.