The Godmother’s Secret
If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?
November, 1470: Westminster Abbey. Lady Elysabeth Scrope faces a perilous royal duty when ordered into sanctuary with Elizabeth Woodville–witness the birth of Edward IV’s Yorkist son. Margaret Beaufort, Elysabeth’s sister, is desperately seeking a pardon for her exiled son Henry Tudor. Strategically, she coerces Lancastrian Elysabeth to be appointed godmother to Prince Edward, embedding her in the heart of the Plantagenets and uniting them in a destiny of impossible choices and heartbreaking conflict.
Bound by blood and torn by honour, when the king dies and Elysabeth delivers her young godson into the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation, she is engulfed in political turmoil. Within months, the prince and his brother have disappeared, Richard III is declared king, and Margaret conspires with Henry Tudor to invade England and claim the throne. Desperate to protect her godson, Elysabeth battles the intrigue, betrayal and power of the last medieval court, defying her husband and her sister under her godmother’s sacred oath to keep Prince Edward safe.
Were the princes murdered by their uncle, Richard III? Was the rebel Duke of Buckingham to blame? Or did Margaret Beaufort mastermind their disappearance to usher in the Tudor dynasty? Of anyone at the royal court, Elysabeth has the most to lose–and the most to gain–by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.
Inspired by England’s most enduring historical mystery, Elizabeth St.John, best-selling author of The Lydiard Chronicles, blends her own family history with known facts and centuries of speculation to create an intriguing story about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.
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The Lydiard Chronicles
Welcome to The Lydiard Chronicles, my series of British historical fiction novels set in seventeenth century England. The stories are true, discovered in a four-hundred-year-old diary written by my ancestress.
The Lady of the Tower
London, 1609. When Lucy St.John, a beautiful highborn orphan at the court of King James, is seduced by the Earl of Suffolk, she never imagines the powerful enemy she creates in his beloved sister, the Countess of Somerset. Or that her own sister Barbara would betray her and force Lucy to leave the court in disgrace. Spirited, educated, and skilled in medicinal remedies, Lucy fights her way back into society, and through an unexpected love match, becomes mistress of the Tower of London. Living inside the infamous prison, she defies plague, political intrigues and tragic executions to tend to aristocratic prisoners and criminals alike.
Now married into the immensely powerful Villiers family, Barbara unites with the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, to raise the fortunes of Lucy and her family to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes treachery, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of deceit and debauchery.
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By Love Divided
London, 1630. Widowed and penniless, Lucy St.John is fighting for her family’s survival and makes a terrible choice to secure a future for her children. Worse still, her daughter Luce rejects the royal court and wealthy marriage arranged by her aristocratic family and falls in love with a charismatic Parliamentarian. As England tumbles toward bloody civil war, Luce’s beloved brother Allen embraces the Royalist cause and chooses to fight for the king as a cavalier. Lucy is helpless to prevent her family being torn apart, and as war flares across England, Allen and Luce are swept up in bloody battles and brutal sieges as they fight for their opposing causes.
Along with thousands of others uprooted by the turmoil, Lucy, Allen, and Luce face a devastating challenge. Will war unite or divide them? And will they find love and a home to return to—if they survive the horror of civil war. In the dawn of England’s great rebellion, love is the final battleground.
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Written in their Stars
London, 1649. Horrified eyewitnesses to King Charles’s bloody execution, Royalists Nan Wilmot and Frances Apsley plot to return the king’s exiled son to England’s throne, while their radical cousin Luce, the wife of king-killer John Hutchinson, rejoices in the new republic’s triumph. Nan exploits her high-ranking position as Countess of Rochester to manipulate England’s great divide, flouting Cromwell and establishing a Royalist spy network; while Frances and her husband Allen join the destitute prince in Paris’s Louvre Palace to support his restoration.
As the women work from the shadows to topple Cromwell’s regime, their husbands fight openly for the throne on England’s bloody battlefields. But will the return of the king be a victory, or destroy them all? Separated by loyalty and bound by love, Luce, Nan and Frances hold the fate of England—and their family—in their hands.
Universal Buy Link: Written in Their Stars