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This was surprisingly great I say surprisingly because I knew absolutely nothing about James I and events surrounding his life, so I thought I would be a little bored, but that was not the case I could barely put the book down The book starts a few years after James I became King of England after the Gunpowder Plot The story focuses on Frances Howard a daughter of the great Howard family of England and Robert Carr a long time favorite of James I The things Frances was willing to do to This was surprisingly great I say surprisingly because I knew absolutely nothing about James I and events surrounding his life, so I thought I would be a little bored, but that was not the case I could barely put the book down The book starts a few years after James I became King of England after the Gunpowder Plot The story focuses on Frances Howard a daughter of the great Howard family of England and Robert Carr a long time favorite of James I The things Frances was willing to do to get her man Robert were astounding, and then to watch the consequences of her actions unfold was pretty incredible as well I definitely want to read some non fiction about this woman if any is available I m not sure if this book is currently published in the U.S., but it is well worth tracking down Loved this book I didn t know anything about Frances, Countess of Essex Frances Howard so this was much enjoyable Without spoiling the book I will just say I am not a fan of the woman Great book and another must read Once again, Jean Plaidy did not disappoint First Jean Plaidy book I have read in years, and very riveting stuff right from page one The story although historical fiction, is true based on a factual book I have read previously to this It is the story of Lady Frances Howard who led an infamous life from age 13 when she married the Earl of Essex son age 14 While seperated for a few years she ends up falling in love with King James I favorite Sir Robert Carr Subsequently she schemes with her powerful family to divorce her husband on the First Jean Plaidy book I have read in years, and very riveting stuff right from page one The story although historical fiction, is true based on a factual book I have read previously to this It is the story of Lady Frances Howard who led an infamous life from age 13 when she married the Earl of Essex son age 14 While seperated for a few years she ends up falling in love with King James I favorite Sir Robert Carr Subsequently she schemes with her powerful family to divorce her husband on the grounds of impotency so she can marry Robert Carr A man named Sir Thomas Overbury trying to split the couple up lands up in the Tower and subsequently is poisoned After two years of his murder and two years of marriage, Frances and Robert find themselves on a murder charge for his death The most sensational murder trial of the age begins This book can be read quickly and the character of Lady Frances Howard as a scheming, powerful, determined lady is fascinating stuff I haven t read a Jean Plaidy book for many years, but I am totally hooked again Pretty true to the real events with the people being brought to life This is a good starting point as it.contains everything that Ms Plaidy does best Strong story, interesting people and the glamour of olden times Very addictive. Jean Plaidy s THE MURDER IN THE TOWERContrary to what the title probably immediately suggests to the modern reader, this does not concern the most famous murder in the Tower of London, of Richard III s royal nephews this story takes place several generations and two dynasties later, during the time of James I, son of the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots of Royal Road to Fotheringhay and Captive Queen of Scots fame I find to my surprise that I ve not yet read the latter Oh no, I m reading a Jean Plaidy s THE MURDER IN THE TOWERContrary to what the title probably immediately suggests to the modern reader, this does not concern the most famous murder in the Tower of London, of Richard III s royal nephews this story takes place several generations and two dynasties later, during the time of James I, son of the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots of Royal Road to Fotheringhay and Captive Queen of Scots fame I find to my surprise that I ve not yet read the latter Oh no, I m reading a series out of order James is, though, of relatively minor importance to this narrative, which concerns itself with one Frances Howard, who becomes Frances Carr by marrying a favorite courtier of James.Frances is nobly born a member of the almost royal Howard family descendents, all of Edward I via a younger son young, and, most importantly for this story, very, very pretty But whereas the other pretty young girls whose Plaidy accounts I ve read this last year or so Mary, Queen of Scots and Lucretzia Borgia were pathological people pleasers, Frances Howard is only interested in pleasing herself Married at age 12 to the 14 year old Count of Essex, she is considered too young to live with him as his wife and so the Count is sent off to France to get someeducation and she, being young and pretty and nobly born, gets to hang out at the royal court, where within just a few years she has seduced and discarded no less a lover than Henry, Prince of Wales and then set her sights on the king s favorite, the very good looking and charming Robert Carr Who, let us just observe, knows how to play a fish when he has one on the line.But then Frances is a very strong fish, determined to pull Robert into the water with her by any means necessary, including witchcraft and poison Ulp.Carr, by the way, emerges as almost as unlikeable as Frances, a spoilt young man who exploits his status as King James bestie there s only a slight homoerotic subtext here pretty ruthlessly and is glad to take the position as King s secretary even though he s barely literate, the Renaissance equivalent of a dumb jock, knowing he can just find some underling to do the actual work for him Enter poor Thomas Overby, who effectively becomes Carr s ghostwriter and thus gets ensnared in Frances sordid machinations to become Carr s wife instead of Essex s.Then there s Simon Forman, astrologer, fauxsician, womanizer and all around scoundrel, probable father of Frances friend Anne, sees ducat signs and all the gossip he can eat when this beautiful brat crosses his threshold His appearance in this novel is by far the best thing about it, and comes just in time, at a point when this reader had come to the realization that she hated pretty much everybody of any importance in this story note, this does not include poor Elizabeth Stuart, the future Winter Queen, who barely shows up here, alas and was ready for someone to make them all miserable Alas, there is not nearly enough Simon Forman in this novel, but one takes what one can get, no Before long there is a giant conspiracy to off anyone who stands between Frances and her chosen husband, and yes, that includes her original husband Some plots work, some don t, and soon we see poor, poor Frances heh not enjoying her rewards one bit, haunted by guilt and suspicion, waiting for the day when her crimes are discovered and her downfall enacted After many chapters of watching her scheme and step on toes, this is is pretty satisfying, especially since Plaidy didn t even try to whitewash this frankly awful woman.This doesn t quite qualify as a hate read, because the storytelling and the prose are quite good, as one expects from Plaidy, but it comes close, just because its two main characters are so thoroughly unappealing Heh Clunky narrative but an interesting way to learn history from a 10,000 view F rinstance you can imagine my surprise when I learned that the man responsible for the most important modern English Bible was bi sexual with a strong preference for men. An interesting book on a little known ruthless player in post Tudor England Historical fiction hasn t yet widely addressed the Stuarts but maybe soon it can be agreed that the market for the late Tudors and those surrounding them has been saturated and we can move on to the eras before and after.Since this was published long before the current craze, the beginning of which can beor less traced to Philippa Gregory, it makes it all thatinteresting and increases my respect for the auth An interesting book on a little known ruthless player in post Tudor England Historical fiction hasn t yet widely addressed the Stuarts but maybe soon it can be agreed that the market for the late Tudors and those surrounding them has been saturated and we can move on to the eras before and after.Since this was published long before the current craze, the beginning of which can beor less traced to Philippa Gregory, it makes it all thatinteresting and increases my respect for the author s sheer breadth of good British royal historical fiction This book does a better job than some of the author s others in relating what feels to be a complete biography or story arc, not cut off too early However, it still seems to have the issue of front loading the action with an almost afterthought of a denouement.The characters are given to us without judgement, with mostly just their actions for the reader to judge them by I don t know anyone that would agree with gaining power through murder, but the motivations are thoroughly understood, with almost a tiny bit of at least empathy for the actions each character considers it necessary to take.The Scottish accent of James VI, reading as he could have spoken, is absurd to begin with but eventually settles in to make sense of showing how he could be a foreigner at the English court just by opening his mouth His system of favorites and how that is used by Carr for his advancement is no better or worse than any other monarch s habits of advancing those they enjoy being around for whatever reason But Carr s ambition pales in comparison to that of Frances Howard, a spoiled and entitled young noblewoman who won t even consider going without what she wants when it comes to power, men, and the combination With the king favoring young men, she has to advance herself through those favorites, and does literally whatever it takes.I consider this one of Plaidy s better books that I ve read so far, despite what could be considered witchcraft and conspiracy sensationalism I found it all plausible which could change had Iinformation on the era , but I also found all the characters believable and the main players well rounded which isn t always the case in Plaidy s books Published 1971 The story of King James I s favourite Robert Carr.SYNOPSIS The dashing Robert Carr is a well known favorite of King James I After attracting his attention by falling from a horse in the tiltyard, Robert rises quickly through the ranks But when the cunning and beautiful Frances Howard comes to court, a very dangerous liaison changes everything Married against her will while still a child, Frances emerges from that experience a headstrong force of nature determined to have her Published 1971 The story of King James I s favourite Robert Carr.SYNOPSIS The dashing Robert Carr is a well known favorite of King James I After attracting his attention by falling from a horse in the tiltyard, Robert rises quickly through the ranks But when the cunning and beautiful Frances Howard comes to court, a very dangerous liaison changes everything Married against her will while still a child, Frances emerges from that experience a headstrong force of nature determined to have her own way, no matter what the consequences Her attempts to rid herself of an unwanted husband, and later to ensnare a lukewarm lover, have led her deep into the world of spell makers and poisoners This is a woman to underestimate at great peril But not until Robert finds himself ensnared in one of Frances s plots imprisoned in the Tower of London and accused of murder does he learn at last what she is truly capable of This is the story of Robert Carr, James I s favorite, and his disastrous affair with Frances Howard Readers who demand rigid adherence to the rule show, don t tell probably won t like this book, but I found it fast paced, especially since I wasn t familiar with the historical events behind the story Though Frances remained an unsympathetic character to me as indeed I suspect she was meant to remain , I did find myself caring about Robert, particularly toward the end I especially enjoyed Pl This is the story of Robert Carr, James I s favorite, and his disastrous affair with Frances Howard Readers who demand rigid adherence to the rule show, don t tell probably won t like this book, but I found it fast paced, especially since I wasn t familiar with the historical events behind the story Though Frances remained an unsympathetic character to me as indeed I suspect she was meant to remain , I did find myself caring about Robert, particularly toward the end I especially enjoyed Plaidy s portrayal of James I In the last novel I read where he was a character, he was repulsive and one dimensional, and the little I ve read about him indicates that he was a farcomplex man than that Now I m eager to readabout him and the other characters in this novel, always a sign of a good book ^DOWNLOAD KINDLE ☠ The Murder in the Tower ✖ The dashing Robert Carr is a well known favourite of King James I and he rises quickly through the ranks But when he is married to the cunning and beautiful child bride, Frances Howard, a very dangerous liaison changes everything Frances emerges as a headstrong force of nature determined to have her way, no matter what the cost Her attempts to rid herself of an unwanted husband, and later to ensnare a lukewarm lover, lead her deep into the world of spell makers and treachery This is a woman to underestimate at great peril But when Robert finds himself ensnared in one of Frances s plots he finally learns what she is truly capable of