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Reviews for The Traitor's Wife

5 customer reviews

Yorkshire Girl

5.0 out of 5 starsA superb read.

15 June 2019

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

I found The Traitor’s Wife a delight to read from the first to last pages. Anna Rossi blends fact and fiction effortlessly so that the reader becomes engrossed in the story, transported with ease to the Tudor and Stuart eras. The characters both true and imagined are alive and real, the reader is drawn into a emotional roller coaster of trials and tribulations. Most of all though, this is a love story tenderly and lovingly told. I highly recommend it’s purchase.

Book lover

5.0 out of 5 starsA beautifully written story of a Tudor woman's life

10 June 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

I so enjoyed Rossi's debut novel Black Damask that I was delighted to find her new and gripping tale, The Traitor's Wife. Like her first, it's set in Tudor times, a period of which this author has a wonderful grasp, bringing Elizabeth 1st's court to vivid life. One can smell the scents, hear the swish of satin doublets and heavy court dresses, see the jewellery as if gazing at a beautiful Holbein painting. The story is told by the wife of Walter Raleigh, Bess Throckmorton. This affords us a different perspective on the great man, bringing him to life through the author's vivid imagination. I loved her portrayal of Bess whose feelings are explored through the joys and tragedies of her difficult marriage to a man who was one of that extraordinary Queen's favourites but fell sadly from grace due to the jealousies and machinations at court, the struggle for power and wealth. What a beautifully written and interesting book!

Barbara Goulden

An enthralling read

30 April 2019

A fascinating sideways glance into the life of Sir Walter Raleigh is offered in a new novel, The Traitor's Wife, by Anna Rossi.

With meticulous research and weaving fact with what sounds like realistic, educated guesses, the author takes us from the Elizabethan to Jacobean courts - from Elizabeth 1st with her thirst for flattering young men, to James 1st with his equally matching desire for flattering young men - once his wife has provided the country with two male heirs.

The story opens in 1584 when quixotic, clever, Queen Elizabeth is already aged 51 - no longer able to dangle foreign marriage possibilities - and more reliant than ever upon the likes of Lord Leicester, the Earl of Essex and the handsome Sir Walter - or 'Water' - as she teasingly calls him.

Did Raleigh once throw down his fine cloak to stop the queen stepping into a puddle? Who cares? What does matter is the serious displeasure Elizabeth felt when "Water" secretly married Bess Throckmorton, one of the maids of her privy chamber.

It is through Bess's eyes that we learn about court life, about Raleigh's explorations of the New World, about the exotic sons of the Amazon he brings back, along with popular Virginian tobacco leaves and the nutritious - but hated - seed potatoes.

We know right from the start that this book has an unhappy ending.

For all that it takes us on a fascinating journey skirting round Bess's family links with the Gunpowder Plot and the persistent accusations of treason that result in Walter being beheaded in 1618.

An enthralling read.


5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping historical novel

16 January 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

A very interesting and gripping historical novel, well grounded in documented fact. I now know much more about the Raleighs and the difficult though colourful life they led. The use of three different narrators gives us insight into the historical events from very different points of view. The author knows her period well and skillfully brings it all to life.

Peter McGarry

5.0 out of 5 stars

Epic tale superbly told

28 April 2019

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Walter Raleigh – the name conjures immediate images of a dashing, swaggering seafarer who cavorts with a queen in far-gone days of exotic chivalry. But beneath the bejewelled costumes and golden ruffs beats the heart of a man who – virtually against her will – captivates young lady of the court Bess Throckmorton. This stirring novel depicts their rocky, yet rock-solid, relationship from first meeting to dramatic finale on the Old Palace Yard execution block. Despite its lavish environs, it’s an intimate tale told through the voices of Bess herself, the enigmatic and treacherous hunchback Robert Cecil and a native youth whom Raleigh brings back from his voyage to Guiana in search of the fabled El Dorado. The writer cleverly blends the domestic and the spectacular as she reveals the deep emotional ties, the courage and the dangers of a love match which must be concealed from a jealous and unyielding Queen Elizabeth. From a prologue which ominously foretells her ‘most dreadful day’, Bess’s story delves back to the start of the romance, passion and love of two remarkable people. But the book’s racy, flowing style allows for many sparks of humour and ironic observation along the way. Its people and their lives are vividly portrayed, the more intimate details being the author’s take on a story which pulsates with excitement. The contrasts between Raleigh’s outer image of rugged adventurer and his richly poetic imagination and sensitivity are beautifully drawn. And throughout, Bess stands fast as an anchor and a power in the face of the fluctuating fortunes of her man. This is a fine example of an epic tale unveiled in essentially human terms.



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