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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

To hold the crown - Jean Plaidy I decided to give Plaidy another try after giving up on her "Plantagenet Prelude" swearing that I would never purchase one of her books again. Looking for something on Elizabeth of York and finding such novels in short supply, I attempted Plaidy again with the hope that this more recent novel would see improvements in her writing. It is improved in that I finished it. This at times required some perseverance on my part. Much to my dismay, Elizabeth is not even a major character in the book.

Once again, I encountered repetitive, condescending writing, which only improved in her section on Perkin Warbek. She refers to favorite topics such as the mysterious disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, Henry's devotion to his mother, and young Henry's desire to be King at least 2-dozen times. I found myself wanting to throw a thesaurus at Plaidy's head as I read the word "parsimonious" more times in this book than in the 100 I've read before it.

The two-dimensional characters that I had deplored in PP were par for the course in this novel as well. Elizabeth of York is complacent to the extent that she does not question her brothers' disappearance or whether her husband may have had something to do with it because it would be "embarrassing." She is quick to agree to everything Henry says and thanks God that her mother-in-law is there to make any other decisions for her. Prince Henry is written as a throne hungry egotist, which seems accurate except she started writing him that way at 3 years old!

I did enjoy Plaidy's take on the Princes in the Tower, Lambert Simnel, and Perkin Warbek. However, I will not be spending time on any other of her books.