SUMMARY Æ Royal Mistress

Royal Mistress

REVIEW Royal Mistress

From the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IVJane Lambert the uick witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant is twenty two and still unmarried When Jane’s father finally finds her a match she’s married off to the dull ol Although Elizabeth Woodville ueen of Edward IV is known for her perhaps unscrupulous catching of Edward’s eye; he is so to blame if looking at his track record of sexual debauchery Anne Easter Smith follows the course of Jane Shore his last and possibly most well known concubine in “Royal Mistress”Immediate credit must be given to Smith’s inclusion of a list of characters forthright which clearly depicts which are true to history and which are fictional This is uite useful for those readers new to the cast of characters and helps strongly mark the line between history and fictionOn the flip side “Royal Mistress” has a much too slow and flimsy start focusing on a fictional romance between Jane Shore and Tom Grey Approximately 60 pages are filled with her yearnings and love when they met all but two times This becomes annoying as the novel reads like a YA high school romance and also bores as the plot refuses to move forward As characters are introduced “Royal Mistress” unfolds from various viewpoints and becomes entertaining However the plot is still thin and focuses solely on Jane seeking and receiving attention from every man she encounters; while the characters are oversimplified and lack depth “Royal Mistress” is heavier on the fiction using the historic figures as the character roles versus of strong historical credence Smith applies the tactic of each character recalling historical events or the “As you know Bob” – method At least these portions are historically accurate well researched and garner interest than the fictional plotline Perhaps Smith would be stronger at penning nonfiction writing Frustratingly Jane’s character arc doesn’t expand and both her personality and the plotline merely revolve around her being a mistress There are no subplots concerning her role which results in the reader not learning about either Jane or history Plus it conseuentially gives the impression that Jane was nothing than an empty headed whore Often times “Royal Mistress” simply seems pointless Excitement doesn’t begin to build until approximately page 250 very late as Smith incorporates historical happenings to various characters However even here there are issues the characters are uite stereotypical the plot has too much foreshadowing and some of the fluff is overly ridiculous the murder of George Duke of Clarence to name one Plus Smith presents this fictionalized romanticism with such ease that it will certainly cause those who are new to the topic to believe it all as fact As “Royal Mistress” focuses on the drama of Richard III’s reign and the Princes in the Tower; the plot is slightly thickened and has an ounce of depth Even Smith’s historical liberties and there are many are somewhat interesting at this point as they explore theories of the events However Jane’s characterization is still shallow and pointless while Richard’s is too “good” It appears that Richard is either always a saint or sinner in novels and Smith makes her Ricardian stance clear excusing all of this behavior to the point where even a Ricardian would hisher eyes A highlight of the novel is Smith using actual uoted letters and excerpts of speeches

CHARACTERS Ñ THARROWEBDESIGN.CO.UK ´ Anne Easter Smith

Der silk merchant William Shore but her heart belongs to another Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation however and when the king’s chamberlain and friend Will Hastings comes to her husband’s shop Will knows his King will find her irresistibleEdward IV has everything power majestic bearing superior military leadership a sensual nature and charisma And with Jane as his mistress he also finds true happiness But w This was a well written fascinating look at a woman caught between powerful men at a very tumultuous time in history Ms Easter Smith knows how to draw her reader into her characters’ worlds so you almost feel as if you are right there with them Deep Souths leadership a sensual nature and charisma And with Jane as his mistress he also finds true happiness But w This was a well written fascinating Religion and Violence look at a woman caught between powerful men at a very tumultuous time in history Ms Easter Smith knows how to draw her reader into her characters’ worlds so you almost feel as if you are right there with them

Anne Easter Smith ´ 1 SUMMARY

Hen his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs his life as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings hang in the balanceThis dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years and told through the uniue perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as wel 35 4 star Those Good Gertrudes leader England needs his Refined Tastes life as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings hang in the balanceThis dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years and told through the uniue perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a Transforming Students life of notoriety Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction Sociology of Higher Education lovers as wel 35 4 star


10 thoughts on “Royal Mistress

  1. says:

    Although Elizabeth Woodville ueen of Edward IV is known for her perhaps unscrupulous catching of Edward’s eye; he is so to blame if looking at his track record of sexual debauchery Anne Easter Smith follows the course of Jane Shore his last and possibly most well known concubine in “Royal Mistress”Immediate credit must be given to Smith’s inclusion of a list of characters forthright which clearly depicts which are true to history and which are fictional This is uite useful for those readers new to the cast of characters and helps strongly mark the line between history and fictionOn the flip side “Royal Mistress” has a much too slow and flimsy start focusing on a fictional romance between Jane Shore and Tom Grey Approximately 60 pages are filled with her yearnings and love when they met all but two times This becomes annoying as the novel reads like a YA high school romance and also bores as the plot refuses to move forward As characters are introduced “Royal Mistress” unfolds from various viewpoints and becomes entertaining However the plot is still thin and focuses solely on Jane seeking and receiving attention from every man she encounters; while the characters are oversimplified and lack depth “Royal Mistress” is heavier on the fiction using the historic figures as the character roles versus of strong historical credence Smith applies the tactic of each character recalling historical events or the “As you know Bob” – method At least these portions are historically accurate well researched and garner interest than the fictional plotline Perhaps Smith would be stronger at penning nonfiction writing Frustratingly Jane’s character arc doesn’t expand and both her personality and the plotline merely revolve around her being a mistress There are no subplots concerning her role which results in the reader not learning about either Jane or history Plus it conseuentially gives the impression that Jane was nothing than an empty headed whore Often times “Royal Mistress” simply seems pointless Excitement doesn’t begin to build until approximately page 250 very late as Smith incorporates historical happenings to various characters However even here there are issues the characters are uite stereotypical the plot has too much foreshadowing and some of the fluff is overly ridiculous the murder of George Duke of Clarence to name one Plus Smith presents this fictionalized romanticism with such ease that it will certainly cause those who are new to the topic to believe it all as fact As “Royal Mistress” focuses on the drama of Richard III’s reign and the Princes in the Tower; the plot is slightly thickened and has an ounce of depth Even Smith’s historical liberties and there are many are somewhat interesting at this point as they explore theories of the events However Jane’s characterization is still shallow and pointless while Richard’s is too “good” It appears that Richard is either always a saint or sinner in novels and Smith makes her Ricardian stance clear excusing all of this behavior to the point where even a Ricardian would hisher eyes A highlight of the novel is Smith using actual uoted letters and excerpts of speeches true to text On the contrary the habit of Jane’s random poemlyric writing is bluntly silly The ending of “Royal Mistress” is much too ‘cheesy’ and ‘happily ever after’ diminishing believability However the epilogue brought creativity to the table exploring possibilities behind Thomas More’s written “history” of Richard III This leads into a much appreciated “Author’s Note” in which Smith explains her motives and historic deviations Overall “Royal Mistress is one dimensional fluffy and fiction than history Yet it is entertaining if searching for a light historical fiction ‘filler’ novel and in such a case I would read Smith again Just don’t expect a deep historically accurate literary novel


  2. says:

    35 starsDespite the fact that few details of the private life of Jane Shore are actually known she has nonetheless been the subject of a number of plays and historical novels including The Goldsmith’s Wife by Jean Plaidy and now this the latest novel from Anne Easter SmithBorn Elizabeth Lambert Jane was born into a reasonably well to do merchant’s family and was married to William Shore who was – like her father a mercer by trade and not a goldsmith as had been believed until fairly recently She is reputed to have been very beautiful and both her father and her husband were not above exploiting this fact in order to gain custom; she was also intelligent witty and well mannered her daily life in the running of her father’s business having brought her regularly into contact with well born ladies whose behaviour and deportment she was able to observe Royal Mistress tells Jane’s story from just before the time of her marriage until almost the end of her life taking as its final event the true story of a chance meeting between Jane – now in her sixties – and Sir Thomas More Lord Chancellor to Henry VIIIJane is an attractive character and her story is told in a very straightforward manner She is vivacious generous and down to earth and does not take the decision to become King Edward IV’s mistress at all lightly During her time with him Jane earned herself the name of The Rose of London for her kindness and generosity towards those who asked for her help and the fact that she never forgot her origins or used her status as the King’s mistress to enrich herself or to ride roughshod over the people of her own class If there was one thing about this fictionalised version of Jane that didn’t ring true however it was her nine year infatuation with Elizabeth Woodville’s eldest son from her first marriage Tom Grey Maruis of Dorset The author has him and Jane literally bumping into each other in the street at the beginning of the book; having then arranged a secret assignation in order to seduce Jane Tom realises she is expecting declarations of love and a proposal – and he confesses that he is already married They see each other only a very few times over the course of the book and yet Jane – even when she is happily sharing Edward’s bed – is still fixated on Tom It’s true that Jane did become Tom Grey’s mistress after Edward’s death; and although I imagine the torch Jane carries for Grey is the author’s invention I did find that Jane’s constant hankering for him became annoying very uicklyJane’s relationship with Edward seems to have been one of mutual affection She appears to have conducted herself modestly and gained the respect of much of the court for her common sense wit and good manners But although Jane has always known her position to be a somewhat precarious one it is only when Edward becomes ill suddenly and dies – aged only forty – that she realises just how precarious it is For me this was when the book really started to come to life as Jane’s life is turned upside down and she becomes unwittingly involved in a Woodville plot to wrest the Protectorate from Edward’s brother RichardIt was at this point – around half way through the book – that I thought things moved up a gear and I began to feel a greater engagement with the story than I had up until then The pacing picks up as Jane is swept up in events she does not fully understand and I thought the scenes in which she and Hastings say farewell for what will turn out to be the last time were truly heartfeltOn a personal level I was pleased to discover that the narrative is written in the third person omniscient rather than the first person as seems to be the favoured viewpoint for so much of the historical fiction being written today This means that the author is able to include scenes depicting events of which Jane could have no knowledge without having to resort to too much of the “as you know Bob” style of dialogue in having someone later recount to her in order to keep the reader informed That’s not to say that this doesn’t happen in the book – it does But it’s not as freuent or intrusive at it might otherwise have been I imagine that authors of historical fiction have a difficult line to tread when it comes to deciding on the level of detail to include Is your audience likely to have a reasonable background knowledge of the period about which you are writing or do you assume it knows next to nothing? I venture to suggest that if you fall into the latter category you will find Royal Mistress to be engaging and informative; but if like me you are in the former group you might find it to be somewhat simplistic in tone with a little too much repetition as to who everyone is what is their position at court to whom they are related and so on That said I think the book does have plenty to recommend it I found it enjoyable overall; the story is well told Jane is an attractive and sympathetic protagonist and some of the secondary characters such as William Hastings and Thomas Lyneham are very nicely drawn indeed The historical detail has been well researched and even when I didn’t completely agree with the author’s interpretation of some of the historical figures Richard of Gloucester was freuently presented as a po faced killjoy for example I could understand why she had made those decisionsI’m not sure that Royal Mistress is a book I will re read in the near future but I would certainly say that it is worth reading if you are interested in the tumultuous events of the latter part of the fifteenth century and in the lives of the last two Plantagenet monarchs Ultimately I think the degree to which you enjoy it will depend on how much you already know about the period and how annoyed you get when being repeatedly told things you already know


  3. says:

    Thing is I really wanted to like this book It has a lot of elements of books I enjoy English royalty fascinating historical period lots of descriptions of clothing outsider perspective you don't get much outsider than a commoner mistress but it never really coalesced for meJane Shore is the favorite mistress of King Edward IV he of the Wars of the Roses She rose from being a commoner daughter of a merchant portrayed here as running a fabric shop as she gained the attention and affection of a string of very important very noble and sometimes royal men It's a great historical story portrayed often because of the scandal and romanceI expected to really enjoy this book at the least to find it a light and fun summer read ala Philippa Gregory but the writing was still and awkward I'd find myself drawn out of the story by the choppy sentences awkward dialog and overly stilted narration Perhaps a greater crime was that ancient trespass of telling not showing Over and over again we are told a characters motivation back story experiences etc but only rarely are we shown those elements and allowed to draw our own conclusions For example early on in the story Jane Shore is being beratedpunished by her father and wonders at her mother not intervening for her As she storms off there is a throwaway line to the effect of Jane not having seen the myriad ways in which her mother has been beaten down so far that she will not help her children That's a good backstory and motivation; it's an important part of her family dynamic and the main character's personality And it could have been handled better subtly fully then one throwaway line that gives an easy answer with no work for the reader to do Between the writing and the showing not telling I just kept wondering away from this book After 5 weeks I am going to admit that I am not going to finish this book I made it halfway through and have no desire to finish it This might just be me Since I didn't finish the book you are free to take my entire review with a grain of salt The reviews so far on Goodreads are positive but has mixed reviews Libraries with large paperback collections andor previous books by this author should probably pick this book up but I will pass on recommending it to my friends and patronsReview here


  4. says:

    This was a well written fascinating look at a woman caught between powerful men at a very tumultuous time in history Ms Easter Smith knows how to draw her reader into her characters’ worlds so you almost feel as if you are right there with them


  5. says:

    Anne Easter Smith is one of my favorite authors She writes stories that take place in one the time periods in England I enjoy reading about When I saw this book as a goodreads giveaway I was so excited to discover I had won it As soon as I received it in the mail I was literally jumping for joy This story takes place during Edward IV rule of England For those who know the history even though he was married to a beautiful woman and had many children by her he had an appetite for woman and he often strayedThis story is about a silk merchant’s daughter Jane Lambert Who is beautiful and marries the man her father has chosen for her It is an unhappy marriage and her husband focus is solely on growing his business and he neglects nurturing his relationship with Jane Alas her marriage does not stop her flirtation with other men and she soon captures the eye of Will Hastings Will is captivated by her and knows that his King will be as well So begins Jane’s and Edward’s affair and soon after their relationship gets in the way of Edwards leadership There is so much to this story and I loved the characterization and how the story flowed The author gives you a real sense of the court life and how people lived in England during that time This book will not disappoint you I highly recommend


  6. says:

    I absolutely loved Jane She was spunky and charming all at the same time I could easily identify with her as a reader and wanted to read about her love life I was captivated by her and was rooting for her to find love especially after such a loveless marriage with William ShoreThis book stated off a little rocky for me I felt like I was just dropped into a story without a lot of preamble For me personally the very beginning of the novel was a little disorientating and rough but once I had a few chapters to orientate myself in the story I found that it was very fast paced and an enjoyable readIt’s split into four parts with the first two being the fastest paced Part three was a little slow for me as it contained a lot of history of the period but it did begin picking up toward the end and got right back into the storyOver all this was an amusing read and full of great historyI loved all the facts mixed within the fiction A charming and light spring readSee my full review here


  7. says:

    Again Anne Easter Smith has written an entertaining and engaging novel set during The War of the Roses 15th century England Jane Shore was King Edward IV's most famous mistress and she is portrayed in a favorable light She does make some immature decisions but I'm aware that in this time in history if a King or highly placed Nobleman showed an interest in a young lady she usually could not refuse their romantic advances without grave conseuences for herself and her family The novel follows Jane though her life and affairs with Edward Will Hastings and ueen Elizabeth's brother If you have the time I would also recommend reading The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman for a in depth read of events during The War of the Roses


  8. says:

    35 4 star


  9. says:

    It has been a while since I read a book by this author I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about Mistress Jane Shore I have read uite a few other books about Edward Elizabeth and even other mistresses This was great historical fiction and I really loved the character Jane She was extremely likeable and I really felt for her My only complaint would be the end The author made sure the book was based on research but I wish the ending was a little different


  10. says:

    SummaryJane Lambert is the daughter of a textile mercer At age 22 she is unmarried Her parents especially her pious and controlling father wants her to be married and out of his home Any sexuality in his view is despicable and sin When he looks at his daughter his eyes show hatred On the other hand Jane's younger sister Isabel is the father's darling Jane is happy to be unmarried; although she pines for love or rather a lover who will sweep her off her feet and out of the controlling home of her father Jane's romantic nature coupled with her sensual and beautiful body as well as her charming personality makes her intoxicating to any virile manJane's father arranges a marriage for her Her new husband is also a mercer William Shore Jane is prompt in the duties of working in a mercer's trade She is appalled at being married to a dour faced icy cold man Their union is a mistake for bothEdward IV is King of England his wife is Elizabeth Woodville they have a large family Edward IV as typical of king's takes a mistress His choice is Jane The beginning of their relationship is lust but love takes rootMy ThoughtsI kept having to tell myself while reading this story that Jane was very young and naive She was also a bit full of herself because she was a natural beauty and added to her nature a sensuality that oozed Marilyn Monroe Men naturally fell in lust with her and tried to bed herShe thought as a young woman that lust and sex eualed love NotLesson #1 Lust and sex is not love in and of itself Sex should be an expression of love or at least it shouldn't be confused as love itselfJane hadn't learned this life experience yetWhat I liked about this story I knew little about Jane Shore Recently I've read books about Edward IV Elizabeth Woodville Richard III Yet when Jane was mentioned it was as the kings whore Such a tart name Jane's character has a transformation It was difficult to not like her I could identify with her naiveness in her youth and having a realization of how life really is as I grew older She is a likable person She has a great love for the down trodden for those in need and she gave graciously Her gracious giving left her with an additional reputation that helped There is a bit of symbolism in this story which I didn't expect Often rats were seen scurrying Rats are opportunists scavengers they eat whatever they can devour This idea carried over to the people in royal court Opportunists and scavengers wanting to devour any person that outshone them was a hindrance to or a threat or was in their way of advancement I learned about the mercer's trade court life the life of a mistress 15th century England culture of women both in the royal court and in civilian life Richard III is not displayed as a complete villain What I disliked about this story One thing that I thought could have been written tastefully is the sex scenes I felt they were sensationalistic over done and annoying I'm aware that other reader's will love this but I didn't Over all I gave this story 4 stars Even with my one dislike I recommend this storyThank you to Touchstone and Simon and Schuster for my free review copy


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