Monday, May 4, 2009
Monday Book Review...
The King's Fool; by Margaret Campbell BarnesWill Somers the protaginist in the story is "no fool" he is a very moral, pragmatic man with a keen sense of work ethic. As an insider to the Court of Henry VIII, he idolizes Catherine of Aragon, detests Anne Boelyn, has little to say at all about Jane Seymour, adores Anne of Cleves~more information is given on her merit's than any of the other queens. He has sympathy for Katherine Howard, and does address how young and foolish she was, being sympathetic to her plight of wanting love from a younger man rather than from a heavy old man with a stinking leg. Katherine Parr and Lady Elizabeth are hardly mentioned, while Lady Mary is clearly his favorite member of the Tudor family. He is in awe of Henry an often refers to him as the "Tudor". As an insider and confidante, Will sees a more compassionate, sometimes insecure side to the King. The other major Tudor players, Cromwell, Thomas More, Caridnal Pole, etc. are mentioned, but not given too much space in the story.
Margaret Campbell Barnes, the author has a very eloquent style in writing. She develops the characters well and makes them appear beliveable. This book is written in 1st person which I always prefer. You will find yourself wanting to highlight many of her eloquent passages to refer to later.
For once the main character is not Henry, or one of his wives, but a quite observer who has a life of his own with various complexities.
Good character wins in the end. Will Somers through his moral convictions overcomes his limitations and succeeds.
I will point out that if you are not up on your Tudor history, you may get a little lost, but the story is still excellent and worth reading. You can always look up the people you do not recognize on Google.
I loved the book, even with the obvious preducies. Margaret Campbell Barne's literary talent and keen historic knowledge is very aparent in this book. The story flows from one chapter to the next.
I now look forward to reading her book "My Lady of Cleves".
4 **** out of 5
You may enjoy The King's Fool teaser...