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In the Shadow of the Crown by Jean Plaidy Review

Title: In the Shadow of the Crown

Author: Jean Plaidy

First published January 1, 1989

554 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780006177395 (ISBN10: 0006177395)

Rating: 3.92


In “In the Shadow of the Crown,” we follow the life of Princess Mary, the only surviving child of King James V of Scotland. As the heiress to the throne of Scotland, Mary’s future seemed bright.

However, her reign would prove to be anything but easy. After her father’s untimely death, Mary was shipped off to France to be raised in the French court.

She would later marry the Dauphin, and then become queen consort of France when he ascended the throne. But Mary’s troubles were far from over.

After the death of her husband, she returned to Scotland to take up her place on the throne. Her reign was marked by religious strife, political intrigue, and personal tragedy.

With the help of her trusted advisors, Mary navigated the treacherous waters of Scottish politics, but in the end, she would prove to be her own worst enemy. This gripping tale of power, passion, and betrayal is sure to captivate readers of all ages.

About the Author

Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert was a prolific British author who wrote around 200 historical novels. She used pen names such as Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, and Philippa Carr to differentiate between the various subjects and themes of her books.

Her most famous pen name, Jean Plaidy, sold over 14 million copies by the time of her death. Although she had other pen names, such as Eleanor Burford and Elbur Ford, they were not as well-known.

Interestingly, many of her readers were unaware of her use of multiple identities.

Editoral Review

In the Shadow of the Crown by Jean Plaidy is a historical fiction novel first published in 1989. Jean Plaidy is a pen name for English author Eleanor Hibbert, who wrote over 200 novels in her lifetime, many of them historical fiction.

In the Shadow of the Crown is a prime example of her skill in this genre, as it transports readers to the Tudor era and brings to life the personal struggles and political intrigues of the time.

The novel is set during the reign of King Henry VII and focuses on the story of his daughter, Princess Margaret, who is forced into marriage with King James IV of Scotland as part of a political alliance. Margaret is torn between loyalty to her father and her growing affection for James, who is a charming and charismatic ruler.

As tensions rise between England and Scotland, Margaret finds herself caught in the middle of a dangerous game of politics and power.

Plaidy’s writing style is engaging and descriptive, transporting readers to the Tudor court with vivid detail. The characters are well-developed, with Margaret standing out as a strong and independent protagonist who struggles to navigate the complex political landscape she finds herself in.

The pacing of the plot is well-balanced, with tension building steadily throughout the novel.

One of the strengths of the book is its historical accuracy, as Plaidy draws on extensive research to create a believable and immersive Tudor world. The novel also addresses themes of loyalty, duty, and power, which are still relevant today.

However, some readers may find the plot predictable or formulaic, and the ending may feel rushed or unsatisfying. Additionally, some may take issue with the romanticization of historical figures or events.

Overall, In the Shadow of the Crown is a well-crafted and engaging historical novel that will appeal to fans of the genre. The book is recommended for readers who enjoy richly detailed historical fiction that transports them to another time and place.

As a book reviewer, I would give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, based on its strong writing, engaging characters, and historical accuracy.