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Librarian's Note: This is an alternate-cover edition for ASIN B01B8NL7FO Orphaned Lucy St.John, described as "the most beautiful of all," defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I are a time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, when the most dangerous thing one can do is fallLibrarian's Note: This is an alternate-cover edition for ASIN B01B8NL7FO Orphaned Lucy St.John, described as "the most beautiful of all," defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I are a time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, when the most dangerous thing one can do is fall in love . . . or make an enemy of Frances Howard, the reigning court beauty. Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk, but her envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness. Exiling herself from the court, Lucy has to find her own path through life, becoming mistress of the Tower of London. Riding the coattails of the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, the fortunes of the St.Johns rise to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of deceit and debauchery. Elizabeth St.John tells this dramatic story of love, betrayal, family bonds and loyalty through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family’s surviving diaries, letters and court papers....

Title : the lady of the tower
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 36337228
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 348 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the lady of the tower Reviews

  • Sarah
    2019-04-29 13:08

    A year ago, in September 2016, my husband Mark and I spent a morning at Lydiard Park, an estate located near Swindon in Wiltshire, England. It looked like a nice place to take a stroll and see the local scenery. On our map, Lydiard was about halfway between Tintern and Heathrow, so it was a convenient stop before heading home after the HNS Oxford conference and our vacation in Wales. That was all I knew about it. We parked the car, walked toward the house, and ran into many people with their dogs. It seems we’d arrived on the day of the annual dog show, Lydiard Bark.Even with the crowds (and barking), Lydiard was a place of tranquility, with its beautifully landscaped grounds, nearby lake, and elegant Palladian country house dating from the Georgian era.What I hadn’t known at the time was that Lydiard was the historic home of the St. John family, who had royal connections: they descended from Margaret Beauchamp, grandmother of Henry VII, through her first marriage. I also hadn’t realized that Lydiard featured in Elizabeth St. John’s The Lady of the Tower, which I’d purchased, coincidentally, on Kindle a few months earlier. I’m kicking myself now for not taking the opportunity to tour the house, which has many family portraits on the walls; likewise the walled garden, although mid-September wasn’t an ideal time for that. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to return someday.Now that I’ve gotten the chance to read The Lady of the Tower, I can enthusiastically recommend it to anyone interested in the 17th century, the rich tapestry of women’s lives, or simply settling into a well-told, memorable historical novel. Spanning nearly three decades, from the sunset of the Elizabethan era through the early years of Charles I’s troubled reign as a “divine right” monarch, it follows the ups and downs in the life of Lucy St. John, youngest daughter in a prominent Wiltshire family (the author descends from this same family). Lucy adores her quiet life in the English countryside; Lydiard is the home of her heart, but circumstances often oblige her to live elsewhere. Wherever Lucy resides, from Battersea along the Thames under the care of her spiteful aunt-by-marriage, to a stone castle in remote Wales, to the industriousness of the Royal Navy Yard, the settings are beautifully etched in the mind’s eye. One principal theme is the plight of women in this earlier time. Dependent on their male relatives and husbands, they’re also expected to create homes for themselves and their children in places mostly not of their own choosing. Lucy's internal conflict between obligations and her personal desires is palpable, especially since she finds court manners empty of substance.Following a failed love affair, she marries a kind man, but her choice ironically forces her into a role of uncomfortable prominence: that of mistress of the Tower of London, charged with caring for high-ranking political prisoners, including Sir Walter Raleigh… which means getting unwittingly drawn into the drama that surrounds them. The novel also emphasizes something I hadn’t thought much about: the huge monetary costs incurred by those occupying high-ranking positions in the realm. Another strong point are the depictions of Lucy’s relationships: her tender friendship with sister-in-law Anne; the growing antagonism between Lucy and her brother John, to whom Lydiard is entailed simply because he’s male; and her rivalry with her opportunistic sister Barbara, her polar opposite, who marries the half-brother of royal favorite George Villiers. Most of the story unfolds against the political and cultural backdrop of the Jacobean age, which saw royal favorites jockeying for position and reward (and carrying their families’ hopes along with them), the financing of transatlantic voyages of exploration; and the growing influence of Calvinist theology. There are several complex love stories, too; and one love strongly echoing through the pages is that which Lucy has for the place she calls home. (Images above of Lydiard House, St. Mary's parish church, and the grounds of the estate were taken by either me or my husband, Mark, in Sept 2016.)

  • Samantha
    2019-04-25 16:05

    I had several reasons for picking up this book, and my high expectations were not disappointed. This was an enjoyable adventure into the Stuart court with all its gilded surface and dirty underbelly. Lucy St John is in a unique position as the daughter of a prominent family but a younger sister with an unsympathetic guardian. Her coming of age takes place in an environment where no one allows their true self to be exposed. Being more honest and naive than those around her, Lucy learns some difficult lessons in courtly love and betrayal, but these experiences set her upon the path to find faith, true love, and happiness.

  • Megan
    2019-05-01 18:06

    I loved the attention to historical detail in this book and learning more about this time period. The interworking and the intrigue of the court is fascinating. I especially like Lucy and how she doesn't give into all of the evil going on around her, but keeps a strong faith. Ms. St. John writes a fascinating story filled with attention to detail. Content: I would rate this book PG13 due to violence (descriptions of violent images) and sexual content. I won this book in a giveaway and was not obligated to write a review.

  • Mystica
    2019-05-17 12:12

    The reign of James I was a tumultuous one and it was difficult for those who were around the Court to keep their heads, their careers or their virtue. For Lucy however the danger and animosity came within her very own family - her sister Barbara leading the pack, hating Lucy with a vengeance even when it seemed that there was no reason for Barbara who had it all to be jealous of Lucy.Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk but it was not to be and she had to find a path for herself. Most women of the time would have fallen into the arms of any other man but Lucy had ideas that with her wealth of knowledge of plants and herbs, ample knowledge of the medications of the time that she could forge a life for herself. It was not exactly how it turned out to be but she did find a faithful husband and had an eventful life within the Court.Not a smooth one though. Her husband was drawn into scheme after scheme by the King and lost everything and Lucy was once again bereft. In a world full of scheming women and men Lucy had to fight to stay afloat, now not just for herself but for her young family.Descriptive of the Court and the intrigues of the Duke of Buckingham who literally ruled the court and King James, the story of Lucy's life from the time she was a little girl was a very emotional read.

  • M.K.
    2019-04-26 15:48

    Set during the reigns of James I and his son Charles I, The Lady of the Tower is the compelling story of Lucy St. John, wife of Sir Allen Apsley who was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower of London in 1617. From prologue to last chapter, the author keeps the reader mesmerized with the intrigues and high-stakes happenings of seventeenth century England.Lucy St. John is a worthy protagonist. Orphaned at an early age and raised by a mean-spirited aunt, Lucy is generous, caring and intelligent. Captivated by a young courtier, Lucy’s hopes for marriage are destroyed when her conniving, self-centred sister interferes. On the verge of leaving England for a secluded life in Guernsey, Lucy meets Allen Apsley.Elizabeth St. John (a descendant of Lucy) deftly portrays the decadent Stuart court, a time of intrigue and political scandal. Her vividly drawn characters risk all – some for wealth and position, others for family and duty. The Lady of the Tower is both a love story and a highly engaging look at the events and people that tipped England towards civil war.

  • Mercedes Rochelle
    2019-05-01 14:56

    Lucy, our Lady of the Tower starts out as a Cinderella kind of character, with the wicked stepmother and hateful sisters (or at least some of them) but eventually she finds her own way and manages to survive in the treacherous Stuart court thanks to a late, mature relationship with a respectable, though risk-taking courtier. Everyone in her family circle is at the mercy of the willful, handsome, aspiring George Villiers (soon to be Duke of Buckingham), court favorite of James I and later Charles I. As an old reader of “The Three Musketeers”, I had forgotten that the Duke of Buckingham rose to power under James. Apparently he had no problem leaving a trail of broken lives on his way up the social ladder, and our Lady’s husband is among his hapless victims.I found the pace of this book a little bewildering. We spend an inordinate amount of time on her youthful disappointment in love which colors her subsequent behavior throughout. She never seems to grow out of her infatuation until close to the end, and her marriage seems kind of empty as a result. Husband Allen becomes constable of the Tower but spends most of his time elsewhere, never taking Lucy into his confidence. We learn that he has sacrificed his fortune in the service of the Duke, guaranteeing payment to suppliers for the Duke’s foreign wars. Alas, the government is penniless and yet the Duke undertakes a second invasion which is more disastrous than the first. The whole sequence of war debacles is pretty convoluted to me, and suddenly Allen comes back terribly injured along with the rest of the shattered army. Lucy does her best to mitigate her family’s misfortunes, but it seems she is outmaneuvered by the ambitions of her nasty sister Barbara—and by fate, itself. This was not a happy time. The author has given us an insight into an era that is rarely written about. We don’t often get to see into the glittering court of James I, though even here we are on the outside looking in. Nonetheless, it’s an intriguing glimpse of a superficial world, where the trappings of wealth mean much more than loyalty and honesty. Lucy is almost an anachronism in her own time, which is one of the things that makes her so interesting. I wish the author would have given us more background in an Author’s Note at the end.

  • Joanna Kafarowski
    2019-05-11 15:57

    Set in the Stuart period of King James 1, 'The Lady in the Tower' provides a riveting read for fans of British historical fiction. The author, Elizabeth St. John uses documents from her own family history to create a multi-faceted protagonist who immediately captures the interest and sympathy of the reader. The cast of characters are skillfully drawn and the landscapes come to life on the page. An absorbing and fascinating read!

  • Lisa Evola
    2019-05-04 09:45

    This was an absolutely amazing book, filled with beautiful scenes and intrigue. for the Historical fiction lover, it is an amazing look into the lives of almost-royalty. The lives of these 17th century nobles is compelling, and leaves the reader with eyes wide with wonder, and a yearning to know more. If you have not yet read this wonderful 1st book in the series, you are truly missing out on an adventurous look into history. I personally cannot wait for the second!

  • Ellie Midwood
    2019-05-12 10:56

    If you love historical fiction, this brilliantly written novel definitely should be on your must-read list! The atmosphere of 17th century England, the authentic dialogue, meticulously researched and vividly presented life of noble families make this novel truly stand out among the others in the genre. What I loved about this particular story was how it was narrated in such a way (through young Lucy St. John’s eyes) that I felt like I saw and experienced everything through my own eyes. The hopelessness of a young orphaned girl’s situation when she and her sisters are left to fend for themselves in the household of their aunt that would put any stereotypical “evil stepmother” to shame; the frivolous ways of the court that nearly ruined a sincere and loving heart; the intrigues of those belonging to the highest echelons of power that cost some their freedom, and some - their lives… Lucy was an absolutely outstanding leading character - defiant, possessing an inquiring mind and a loving heart, but at the same time unafraid to stand up for what is right - and for that, she deserved my utmost respect. What I also appreciated in this novel was that how there weren’t purely positive or negative characters (even though some will definitely make you dislike them) but a kaleidoscope of very real people with all their flaws and redeeming qualities, just like it is in real life. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, “The Lady of the Tower” will be a perfect addition to every history lover’s book collection. Highly recommended!

  • Richard Hogsflesh
    2019-04-26 10:08

    Interesting but not that excitingEnjoyed the history but the book finished without letting you know what happened to her after her husband died. Also a book set in England about English people but written with American spelling is slightly annoying.

  • Nathalia
    2019-05-11 13:48

    It wasn't a bad book, just not my style. It was a bit too slow for my taste but I enjoyed it and it has great characters design.

  • Stephanie Snyder
    2019-05-11 17:46

    Thank you for choosing me to receive a free copy via Goodreads giveaways. I thoroughly enjoyed this book ! What a great story, with rich history.

  • Helen Hollick
    2019-04-30 12:44

    This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:" Elizabeth St John brings these years of Stuart England to the fore, bringing the known facts of her ancestor’s life together with richly imagined scenes creating in the process a believable heroine, an intriguing plot and an enjoyable novel. "Helen Hollickfounder #DDRevs

  • Mary Benirschke
    2019-04-22 10:06

    I enjoyed this book immensely! Not only were the characters well developed but I felt I was in the time period and learned things about the 17th century that were new fascinating.

  • Carrie Johnson
    2019-05-08 15:57

    The Lady of the Tower is a mesmerizing tale. It is told in first person (Lucy) which made me feel like I was experiencing the tragedies and joys of her life. It is an excellent read especially for history readers.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-02 16:09

    Lucy St.John is an orphan in English at the pivotal time of the rise of James I. Throughout her youth, she has been raised by her Aunt Joan and with her sister Barbara. Joan and Barbara seem to have found a common alliance against Lucy and only care about their own rise within English Society. As the women grow, Barbara finds a way to friendship with the influential and corrupt Frances Howard and Lucy find a courtly romance with Frances' brother, Theo. However, Barbara ensures that Lucy will not find happiness there and poisons their relationship. Lucy moves on with her life, travels and takes in knowledge of medicinal plants and when all seems lost, she meets Sir Allen Apsley. They marry and Allen takes a position at the Tower of London, leaving Lucy as Mistress of the Tower. As someone who loves reading about Tudor England, I was excited to read about the time period directly after but that took place within one of the most iconic settings of the Tudor reign, the Tower of London. Lucy was a character that I automatically connected with, she was incredibly strong in spirit, refusing to be beat down by her aunt and sister; I also loved that she found solace and purpose within plants and medicine. Barbara was one of the most entertaining characters, with her scheming and backstabbing, she reminded me of the ultimate Mean Girl. In addition, the settings were all tremendously described. From the court of James I, with it's corruption and festivities to the bustling Naval yards to the rooms and grounds of the Tower itself, I felt immersed in the time. As a bonus, the book is authored by Elizabeth St. John, a descendant of the St. John family, and has taken extra care to write stories of her family. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  • Emily-Jane Orford
    2019-05-09 15:44

    The tides of politics are ever changing and this is not so different throughout the centuries. After the Elizabethan era, the Stuart kings represented of time of great unease. Those who frequented the Royal Court were always on their guard as to what they said in public or even in private. There were spies everywhere. And the wrong thing spoken often meant a visit to the Tower, a visit from which few returned. Even within families, the politics of the spoken word created fragile ties.The story of Lucy St. John is almost a Cinderella-like story. After the death of her parents, Lucy was sent to live with her Aunt Joan and Uncle Oliver. Her uncle loved her, but her aunt took an instant disliking and, supported by Lucy’s older sister, Barbara, the two women continually chastised the young girl and made her feel insignificant. Lucy found solace in the gardens that surrounded her family home. And it was gardens and the collection of medicinal herbs that would see her through many hard times throughout her life, from the unfounded rumors surrounding her attraction to a wealthy young Howard, a highly titled man with connection in the court, to a marriage to a military man who aspired for greater connections in court only to leave the family almost destitute. Elizabeth St. John’s historical romance, “The Lady of the Tower”, speaks of an uneasy time during the reign of the Stuart kings. The author quickly brings the reader to the heart of the story and maintains the reader’s interest and intrigue right to the very end. She is well researched in the Stuart era and has a fascinating grasp on the startling innuendoes of life in the Stuart Royal Court. This is a real page turner and a fascinating historical read. Well done!Reviewed for Readers' Favorite.

  • T.S. Creager
    2019-05-07 10:03

    This book is the life story of a 17th century English noblewoman, and I think any potential reader would have to have an interest in that sort of story to enjoy it. I am not very familiar with that era myself, so I can't speak to its authenticity or research, but it feels very historically minded. Clearly a lot of attention was paid to having the characters speak in a manner appropriate to the time period, which can make some of the dialogue feel wooden or flat. The emotional sequences similarly feel kind of distant; when one major character in the book who is important to the main character dies, she is distraught, but then she is already in the process of getting over it and moving on within a few paragraphs. I don't think that's a bad thing; at no point is the writing ever overwrought or trying to hammer the reader into feeling a certain way. The writing is well-edited and rather quick and concise, which is something I very much appreciate. These factors lead to the story ending up feeling less intimate and personal, however, and more historical, which again is my preference. I would say if someone finds the idea of intrigue and drama in the court of a king of England interesting, The Lady of the Tower delivers on that. Or if someone really appreciates the historical flavour of the 17th century, this book has got a lot of it to roll around in.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • E.A. Turley
    2019-05-04 13:00

    The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St.John.4 out of 5 stars.This is a fictional story based on fact; it revolves around the era of James I and Charles I. It starts at the time that Elizabeth I has just died and the Scottish King James is coming to take to the throne.At first, I thought that this wasn't a story I would be very much into, but I was wrong. I couldn't help but keep turning the pages to finish the story! It runs through just about every emotion that you could name in a multitude of ways.Lucy St.John is let down by her sister at court, who schemes to ruin her reputation by blemishing her virginity. Now nobody believes that it is still intact, especially her brother, and she is not able to get any wealthy nobleman to agree to marry her. This is the story of her life based on factual records and is a very compelling read. It takes us all through her first appearance at court to her saying goodbye to her home and going off to pastures new. I won't say where her home was as that might spoil the story for you, but you'll miss out if you don't read this book.I'd recommend this book to all; it's the story of a woman who lived a very hard life but lived it with love. The love of one good man saved her.

  • Moppet
    2019-04-26 14:08

    From the very first page, Elizabeth St.John's powerful and evocative writing swept me into early seventeenth-century England along with her heroine and ancestress, Lucy St.John. Lucy tells her own story, and we follow her from an unhappy childhood, through an encounter with an aristocratic love rat, to a marriage that makes her mistress of the Tower of London. I really empathised with Lucy - she deserved happiness and I was absorbed in her struggle to triumph over her difficult family, Court intrigues and the limitations imposed on women of her time. The other character who jumps off the page is Lucy's manipulative sister Barbara - I loved to hate Barbara and cheered every time she made one of her entrances! Comparatively few authors have written about this period and I especially enjoyed the descriptions of Whitehall in the corrupt reign of James I (he was the king who invented the title of baronet in order to sell it). Elizabeth St.John excels at painting pictures and creating atmosphere, and every setting is described in crystalline detail. This is the perfect book for a snowy winter evening, hot summer afternoon or anything in between. I would especially recommend it to fans of Anne O'Brien, Joanna Hickson, Gillian Bagwell or Susan Holloway Scott. Looking forward to the sequel!

  • Eileen Iciek
    2019-04-24 09:44

    This fascinating novel takes place during the reigns of James I and the early years of Charles I - a period often ignored by authors in favor of the lively Tudor years. The author has written of a young English noblewoman, Lucy St. John, who has an early interest in plants and science, which she puts to good use creating medicines for treating illness. Her husband Allen Apsley, through Lucy's family connections, gains the appointment to be the Lord of the Tower of London - a fortunate sinecure. Unfortunately, Lucy's family connections to the king and his favorite, George Villiers, eventually end up resulting in her husband's bankruptcy.Few authors have addressed this period between the more colorful Tudor era and the reign of the merry king Charles II, but Elizabeth St. John has done so masterfully. Nothing I have read in the past explained so vividly how Charles I managed to lose his throne. Although this novel ends before the civil war starts, it brings into sharp focus the events that lead up to the rebellion in the lives of Lucy and her family. A truly enjoyable novel.

  • Jennifer Brown
    2019-05-22 17:48

    A satisfying read! This novel breathes renewed life into a time that lived between the passing of the Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth I and the Cromwell protectorate that soon followed the reign of the first Stuart monarchs to inhabit the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The author successfully interweaves the political issues of the time with the more personal story of the protagonist, Lucy Apsley, who became the lady of the tower. I have not read any book about this time in English history before because many authors overlook it, so I was pleasantly surprised at this peak into that world and the undercurrents of intrigue that inevitable run strong and swift around the powerful courtiers vying for positions and favor with their current monarch. For history lovers like myself, the research done to bring life to these historical characters and accuracy in the account will be much appreciated. My expectations were met and exceeded, especially since this is a novel offered free with kindle unlimited membership. I look forward to reading more from this author!

  • Chrys Cymri
    2019-05-01 15:58

    This is a very enjoyable novel. I felt I learned a lot of history through this narrative, told in the first person.Lucy feels like a very real person, with both strengths which keep her going and faults which threaten to undermine her. The descriptions of the place and time brought it all very alive, and never felt overdone. I found the details of political intrigue fascinating, and had no idea how much of the court (and the King) relied upon personal debt for both day to day luxuries and to finance wars. The social climbing was very well illustrated, as well as the imbalance of power between men and women, rich and poor, titled and untitled. The language felt realistic for the time. And Lucy was a finely judged balance between independence and a realistic idea of what women could (and couldn’t) do at this time period. I also liked her story arc, enabling her in the end to face down the family members who had never treated her well.

  • Srpark
    2019-05-18 12:02

    This wonderful book is richly written using such vivid language that the reader feels transported back in time to the 1600's in England. The author obviously spent many hours meticulously researching and writing her family tree. Her writing truly reflects a labor of love; her fluent language wraps the reader up in the drama such that one can picture the characters (especially the mean ones) in vivid detail even without seeing photos of the the actual people upon which the book is based. This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to learn more about this period in history, for those with a love of well-written and researched books, and for those who love reading about strong, ethical, caring women. Lucy is a natural healer and through her recipes and letters the reader learns much about that time period. I loved this book and highly recommend it!

  • Marilyn
    2019-05-01 09:43

    It ended exactly as I thought it would This tale is a very well written one. One novelty it has, the author shares the surname of certain characters in the book! I wonder if they are related to her? I quite enjoyed it all & all, even if it became repetitious in the some of the characters attitudes & words, from time to time. This is a wonderful read in that it really succeeded in sketching a time in English history that has fewer sources to draw upon than the characters Tudor era that precedes it. However, if you are the type of reader who likes a spectacular surprise ending, then this wee treasure is not for you! Good Reading To All,Whimsey

  • Kristian Hall
    2019-04-21 16:10

    The "Lady of the Tower" is the story of Lucy St. John, a relative of the author, who in the 17th century became mistress of the Tower of London. It's a story of the intrigues and politics surrounding the royal court of the times. I liked the book, and I found the language and dialogue to be well written. I can recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction, and especially those readers that like romance, intrigue and a look into the lives of nobilty in a distant era.I receveived a free book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Bonnie Jordan
    2019-05-05 15:57

    This was one of the top 10 books I've ever read. Historical fiction at its deepest and best. Based on actual diary entries left by Lucy St. John in the 1600s. I learned so much and the accompanying story was riveting. Meeting the author was the icing on the cake. It's the story of London , religious struggles, cultural dichotomies, love, children, family dynamics , and The Tower of London and government. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, it's a real treat!

  • Connie
    2019-05-07 09:51

    Interesting story, but I felt it relied on too many archetypes to make it believable. There was the wicked stepmother, evil stepsister, and the virgin victim (or Cinderella). For a true story, the stereotypes were too broadly written. I did learn a lot about the era in English history, and the tower of London. Worth reading for that alone.

  • Terry
    2019-04-28 12:12

    This book caught me from the first pages. I loved that it was not about English royalty but dealt with some of the lesser nobles. Lucy was a fascinating character and from the descriptions, I felt I was living there with her in the 1600's. I found the recipes for medicines and restoratives intriguing. A well written story of the life under King James. Highly recommended.

  • Carole
    2019-05-03 14:00

    More pleaseKnowing that the author is a descendent of the family around whom this novel is woven brings each character to life. I have enjoyed the tale told by the main character, Lucy. I hope to read a sequel telling of Lucy's life during the downfall of King Charles I and how she fares during and after the Civil War and into the era of the Commonwealth.