At Elizabeth's Court
In pitch-perfect and compulsively readable prose, Burgess recreates the world of Elizabethan England--from the court and its intrigue to the theater and its genius--in this life of Christopher Marlowe, murdered in suspicious circumstances in a tavern brawl in Deptford.
A lengthy, lusty, and historically detailed novel of the queen's life and loves. Winner of Britain's Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize and the Betty Trask Prize for a first novel.
What's one to do when "the other woman" is the Queen of England? There's little doubt that Elizabeth adored the dashing Earl of Leicester, known to his enemies at court as "the Gypsy." But when he finally tires of paying all of his devotion to the Virgin Queene, his new wife, the beautiful Lettice Devereaux, suffers the price for the queen's displeasure.
Troubled by visions, Tom O'Bedlam, the mad son of a prominent Catholic family, wanders the London streets, where he finds evidence that his brother has launched a scheme to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I.
The letter came in secret, with a pearl eardrop from an aunt long thought dead, resurrecting the forbidden past. Banished by her spiteful half sister, Queen Mary, to Hatfield House in the English countryside, twenty-five-year-old Princess Elizabeth cannot refuse the summons. The Boleyns are in grave danger. And Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, is marked for death by a master poisoner whose reign of terror may have royal sanction.
"Rebecca Lopez enjoys a life of privilege in Elizabeth's England -- yet she guards secrets she dares not reveal. The beautiful, tempestuous daughter of the queen's own physician, Rebecca is also a converso -- a Jew who practices her prohibited religion clandestinely -- helping others of her banned faith escape persecution and death. And her insatiable hunger for excitement often takes her to the bustling streets of London in male garb to experience the kind of adventure available only to men. But one such outing is leading her into a dangerous viper's nest built of intrigue and foul murder in the company of a dashing young actor who inflames her romantic passions, even as he escorts her toward peril, a charming and fearless would-be playwright who calls himself Will Shakespeare."
Katherine Ashley, the daughter of a poor country squire, happily secures an education and a place for herself in the Tudor court of Henry VIII. As a dying favor to the doomed Anne Boleyn, Kat becomes governess and surrogate-mother to the young Elizabeth Tudor ... ultimately emerging as the lifelong confidante to Queen Elizabeth I.
In order to quell widespread rumors about their supposed murderous intentions, Elizabeth I and Sir Robert Dudley dispatch one of her ladies-in-waiting, young widowed mother Ursula Blanchard, to help tend Lord Dudley's sickly wife, Amy. Despite Ursula's friendly attentions, Amy dies violently. Ursula's subsequent search for the murderer of a trusted retainer uncovers evidence of Catholic scheming and tests her love for a dashing Frenchman.
Narrated by a defrocked nun, a poignant victim of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, Unicorn's Blood is about a dangerous secret, the existence of a private diary kept by the Queen as a young princess. Should this stolen journal, embroidered with a unicorn that has a ruby for an eye, fall into the wrong hands, its intimate revelations would destroy the entire edifice of Tudor government.