Arbella Stuart is a name I've often heard, but I've never read much about her life, so I was delighted when the publisher of my history of Mercia offered me a review copy of the paperback version of Jill Armitage's Arbella Stuart: The Uncrowned Queen.
Arbella was a cousin of both Queen Elizabeth I and James VI of Scotland, so she had blue blood to say the least. Her grandmother was another famous lady, Bess of Hardwick.
Arbella's life was not easy though - whose was in those times of intrigue and politics - and being related to royalty was no guarantee of a long and happy life.
Arbella was, seemingly, a pawn, used in discussions for marriage alliances and ultimately being imprisoned for marrying without royal permission.
Armitage's book is extremely readable, packed full of information and providing extensive end notes for those who wish to research/read further. She has a natural flair as a story-teller who has a great deal of sympathy for her subject.
A wonderful book - informative and entertaining if, inevitably, rather sad.
Purchase the paperback from Amazon or Amberley Books
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