Virgin: Prelude to the Throne : a Novel
Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was banished from the court at the age of two when her father sent Anne Boleyn to her death. Seven years later, when the gracious and immensely wealthy Catherine Parr became Henry's sixth wife, she softened the King's heart and Elizabeth was readmitted to the court. For the next four years the young princess enjoyed a warm friendship with Catherine and a new sense of belonging.
But now, in 1547, Great Harry is dead, and Elizabeth's nine-year-old brother Edward VI is king in name only. Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, has boldly named himself Lord Protector and effectively seized power. Meanwhile the duke's equally ambitious brother Thomas, realizing he cannot wrest control directly, has deployed his greater talent - his charm and sexual magnetism - to utmost effect. Thomas has persuaded Henry's widow Catherine to marry him and quickly moves into her fine manor, Chelsea House.
And so the game, with rules that only reckless, amoral Thomas Seymour understands, begins. His master plan: conquer the crown.
Catherine, truly fond of thirteen-year-old Elizabeth, had invited her to live with them at Chelsea House. For a time the household, a genteel place of education and royal manners, seems idyllic - until the day Lady Seymour discovers her husband's undisguised infatuation for the young girl. As for Elizabeth, she has fallen hopelessly under Thomas Seymour's spell.
Into this intrigue are drawn those who love Elizabeth - her devoted nurse Kat Ashley, the faithful Parrys, her schoolmate and soulmate Robin Dudley - and those who wish her ill. But in the midst of them all, Elizabeth must stand alone.
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Virgin : Prelude to the Throne: A NovelUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
When King Henry VIII dies, 13-year-old Elizabeth moves to the estate of Henry's kind and generous widow, the Queen Dowager Catherine Parr, who provides well for her stepchild. Surrounded by loved ones ... Read full review