It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory. ‘Political intrigue, rebellion, and scandal in the royal court of the Stuarts, brought to life by one of the nation’s foremost historical novelists’
About the Author
Philippa Gregory is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognised authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels, reaching their dramatic conclusion with The King’s Curse, were the basis for the highly successful BBC series, The White Queen.
Philippa’s other great interest is the charity that she founded over twenty years ago: Gardens for the Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for over 200 wells in the primary schools of this poor African country. Philippa graduated from the University of Sussex and holds a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 at Edinburgh University. In 2016, she received the Harrogate Festival Award for Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction. Philippa lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire. Follow @PhilippaGBooks on Twitter
About the book
In a divided country, power and loyalty conquer all… It is 1685 and England is on the brink of a renewed civil war against the Stuart kings with many families bitterly divided. Alinor, now a successful businesswoman, has been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save Queen Mary from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.
Inspired by news of a rebellion against the Stuart kings, Ned Ferryman returns from America with his Pokanoket servant to join the uprising against roman catholic King James. As Ned swears loyalty to the charismatic Duke of Monmouth, he discovers a new and unexpected love.
Meanwhile, Queen Mary summons her friend Livia to a terrified court. Her survival, and that of the Stuart kings, is in the balance, and only a clever and dangerous gamble can save them…
A compelling and powerful story of political intrigue and personal ambition, from one end of the empire to another, set between the palaces of London, the tidelands of Fowlmire and the shores of Barbados.
This is the third book in the Fairmile series, all of them can be read as standalone, but I would recommend reading Tidelands and Dark Tides just because they are great reads. They are also for the majority based on a set of fictional characters entwined with certain historical facts – a tad different from previous series.
What remains the same is the way this author in particular puts historical women at the forefront of her stories. The women who tend to be written out of history, forgotten and are often falsely portrayed. Their subtle manipulations from the side-lines, their importance as political tools, and perhaps most underestimated their power to drive the agenda as mothers, daughters and wives.
Moving slightly away from the usual political intrigue and power plays at court, although the court of the Stuarts gives plenty of fodder for those who seek it. The story also moves into other areas that carry the stamp of colonial oppression – the slave trade and the sugar industry for instance.
I’m not going to go through all the characters we know and love (or dislike) from the previous books – needless to say Livia is doing what Livia does best, Ned follows his heart and a keen sense of justice or rebellion, depending on where you stand. At the core of this is a family, how they are tied to each, their experiences and home.
The author always delivers a riveting historical read – story and reader come before all else.