Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Pleasure Palace

by Kate Emerson
358 pages

Jane Popyncourt is just eight years old when her mother hastily moves from France to England.  Once in England, Jane becomes enters royal service in order to help King Henry VII’s daughters learn French.  Jane’s mother dies shortly thereafter, leaving her an orphan with no inheritance and a ward of the king.  Jane grows into a young woman and becomes a lady-in-waiting to Princess Mary.  She longs to fall in love, get married, and find out more about her family’s past, but many roadblocks stand in her way.

Emerson obviously did quite a bit of research on this time period because this book includes details about dress, hygiene, and customs of the time period that are often lacking in other books.  The book also includes maps, royal family trees, and short biographical notes about the real people who appear in the novel.  Overall, I appreciated Emerson’s attention to detail, and I feel that her efforts made this book worth reading.

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