Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter-Anne Clinard Barnhill

Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter
Anne Clinard Barnhill
St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 18 2014, $15.99
ISBN: 9780312662127

In November 1558, Elizabeth becomes the Queen of England. In that same month, three year old Mary Shelton becomes an orphan with the deaths of her parents within a fortnight and because of her late father’s being a King Henry knight a royal ward of her second cousin the new Queen.

Under Elizabeth’s rule, England has prospered by the monarch keeping her country out of entanglements with other nations and manipulating foreign suitors so that she remains single without alienating them. In fact she has more issues from within as rebellious Catholics rally around her rival Mary Queen of Scots. At the same time teenaged Mary continues to enjoy life at court though she knows she must marry her guardian’s choice. Elizabeth selects the powerful Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, as her ward’s mate. Everyone marvels at the pick, but Mary fears Edward who she knows conceals his vicious side from the Queen. Instead Mary loves kind widower of five, older Sir John Skydemore. However, she knows her guardian will reject her choice as unacceptable; somewhat because he lacks Oxford’s wealth and influence, but mostly because he is a Catholic.

The latest Tudor historical (see At The Mercy Of A Queen) is an enjoyable Elizabethan tale made fresh by the focus on Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter. Although the depth inside the royal court is fascinating, the immense amount leaves the pacing somewhat slow. Still subgenre fans will appreciate the story of Mary Shelton as she falls into forbidden love with an innocent “enemy” of the throne.

Harriet Klausner

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