The Girl in the Glass Tower
By Elizabeth Fremantle
Arbella Stuart is trapped behind the towering glass windows of Hardwick Hall. Kept cloistered from a world that is full of dangers for someone with royal blood.Tweet
This is a story of a little known woman, Arbella Stuart, who was born as an heir to the throne after Elizabeth I died childless and of Amelia, a poet, who met her at court and later fell on hard times. For the most part we enjoyed the book and most of us finished it although some found it slow and a little boring with nothing much happening until the latter part.
The book showed the intrigue of the court and the people in power. No-one was a true friend or to be trusted and as Amelia found out it was easy to be banished from the court and left with nothing. really trust. Amelia found out how easy it was to be ousted from court, and left with nothing.
There were many interesting facts around the court and the times including how the ladies in waiting were expected to fund themselves and the – to us – unknown fact that anorexia existed in those times and is not merely a modern complaint.
Some of us found it difficult to follow as people were referred to very often by their title rather than their name which made it too impersonal. We thought Arbella’s life was rather sad. She was only of importance because of her links to the throne and once it was obvious that she would not become Queen she was cast aside.
The escape and the consequent happenings were interesting but we felt we would have liked to know more about what happened to Will Seymour. Most of us would like to read other work by this author and would probably recommend the book to others.
We scored this book 6.5 out of 10
Smashing book, thoroughly recommend it, great for people who like books by Phillipa Gregory that is interesting, lively and based on historical fact.
The two main people in the book are real historical characters. Although the author has brought them together in a plotline which never actually existed - as far as we know - this story could actually have taken place, and that is the real beauty of this book. They existed side by side in the same place and the same time, and could easily have met, interacted and formed this relationship. They are both intensely interesting characters. These women are different and yet similar, strong but both have weaknesses that the author has not tried to hide. Instead she has shone a light on their flaws, to help the reader understand them, believe in them and ultimately to care about them. The book is a wonderful intertwining of the lives of two real women. It gives a fascinating insight into English history, royal life in Tudor times, and the life of the woman Arbella Stuart, a baby born to be Queen of England. It has plots, plot twists, families, lovers, faith, trust and betrayal. This book has it all. I loved it. I would recommend it wholeheartedly.