Elizabeth St.John’s critically acclaimed historical fiction novels tell the stories of her ancestors: extraordinary women whose intriguing kinship with England’s kings and queens brings an intimately unique perspective to Medieval, Tudor, and Stuart times.
Inspired by family archives and residences from Lydiard Park to the Tower of London, Elizabeth spends much of her time exploring ancestral portraits, diaries, and lost gardens. And encountering the occasional ghost. But that’s another story.
Living between California, England, and the past, Elizabeth is the International Ambassador for The Friends of Lydiard Park, an English charity dedicated to conserving and enhancing this beautiful centuries-old country house and park. As a curator for The Lydiard Archives, she is constantly looking for an undiscovered treasure to inspire her next novel.
Elizabeth’s books include her trilogy, The Lydiard Chronicles, set in 17th Century England during the Civil War, and her newest release, The Godmother’s Secret, which explores the medieval mystery of the missing Princes in the Tower of London.
I was brought up in England and my research has taken me to family memoirs and letters at Nottingham Castle, the British Library, the Tower of London, Yale University and, of course, the family seat of Lydiard Park. From these fragments the St.Johns emerge, leaving a portrait, a sentence, a deed that seats them with us, telling of their hopes and dreams. As I researched, my voice became a conduit for their stories, recounting a passion for the England of my childhood where they once walked, where their portraits still hang, where they lived, loved and found redemption.
We do not know my family first hand, but the more we read their words, we feel their passions. Across the ages, we understand their fears and successes, losses and loves. We are not so very different from them.
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