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The Resource The King's witch : a novel, Tracy Borman

The King's witch : a novel, Tracy Borman

Label
The King's witch : a novel
Title
The King's witch
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Tracy Borman
Title variation
kings witch
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In March of 1603, as she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth of England, Frances Gorges dreams of her parents' country estate, where she learned to use flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. When King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne Frances is only too happy to stay at home. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism sees witchcraft in many of the old customs -- punishable by death. Yet when her ambitious uncle forces Frances to return to the royal palace, having bought her a position as a lady in the bedchamber of the young Princess Elizabeth, she becomes a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gathers pace, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Frances is surrounded by danger, finding happiness only with the King's precocious young daughter and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust. But Wintour has a secret that, when revealed, places Frances in conflict with her royal charge and in fear for her own family
Member of
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Historian Borman (The Secret Lives of the Tudors, 2017) embeds a fictional character in the royal court of James I in her promising debut novel. After nursing a dying Elizabeth I, healer Lady Frances Gorges is summoned, against her wishes, to the court of the newly crowned King James I. Mistrusting court politics, she attempts to navigate the twisted halls of the royal palace, where malice and intrigue reign supreme. Trained in her youth in herbology, Frances is now viewed with suspicion by many, including Robert Cecil, the king’s powerful Privy Seal. With witch-hunting season in full swing, women who possess medical knowledge and are skilled in the art of healing are prime targets of zealots like Cecil. By introducing Tom Wintour, a real-life figure, as Frances’ love interest, Borman adds a little historical heft and a lot of spice to her tale. The action culminates with the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, as the stage is nicely set for volume two of this projected trilogy. -- Flanagan, Margaret (Reviewed 6/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 19, p46)
  • Historian Borman tells a compelling story of the young noblewoman Frances Gorges and her service to Elizabeth I and then James I of England's daughter, Elizabeth. Spanning from March 1603 to January 1606, the book depicts court life and the plot to assassinate the king. Frances has the gift of healing and understands herbal remedies, which endears her to James's wife, Queen Anne. Those abilities arouse the suspicions of the king and his courtiers, who believe Frances is a witch. Borman balances a wealth of characters—the numerous courtiers, Frances's family members, the royal staff—and locations without overwhelming readers. Frances's character is the most developed, though others, including Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, and the assassination conspirators, are well crafted, too. Readers also get a sense of Stuart England through the seamless incorporation of vocabulary and descriptions of clothing, environment, and culture, especially the tensions between Protestantism and Catholicism and the fear of perceived witchcraft. Themes of loyalty, love, misogyny, and fear are also well delineated. The love story between Frances and another historical figure, Thomas Wintour, is cloying at times, but it is still realistic and enthralling. VERDICT A captivating work that brims with action and romance. For historical fiction fans.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY --Hilary Writt (Reviewed 05/01/2018) (School Library Journal, vol 64, issue 5, p106)
  • Borman (The Private Lives of the Tudors) lures readers into this first in a series of historical novels set during the reign of the Stuarts. In 1603 England, healer Lady Frances Gorges returns to her family home of Longford after nursing Queen Elizabeth I through her dying days. Frances is forced to leave the idyll of Longford at the demand of her uncle, Lord of Northampton, who has secured her a position in the household of young Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King James, Elizabeth’s successor. Though Frances warms to the effervescent princess and young lawyer Tom Wintour, she despises the court’s debauchery and is fearful of using her healing skills after witnessing the execution of a supposed witch. Yet Frances’s refusal to ignore pleas to help an ill child ends in disaster when the child dies, and she is arrested and tortured to determine if she is a witch. When the charges are dropped and she is released to tend to the ill Elizabeth, Frances’s blossoming romance with Thomas becomes complicated when he reveals a secret, and Frances must decide if she will remain loyal to Thomas. Borman is an astute chronicler of 17th-century English life, keenly depicting the excesses of the court and the dangers of religious persecution. The vivid detail and effortless storytelling will appeal to many readers, particularly fans of historicals in the vein of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 07/23/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 30, p)
  • Having turned out numerous history titles (e.g., The Private Lives of the Tudors), the joint chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces in the UK now launches a historical fiction trilogy. Here, Frances Gorges is forced by an ambitious uncle to serve at the palace of the newly crowned King James and soon senses the scheming around her that will culminate in the Gunpowder Plot. Can she trust charming courtier Tom Wintour? And what if folks find out that she's a gifted healer, which could mark her, dangerously, as a witch? --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 02/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 2, p67)
  • British historian Borman's (The Private Lives of the Tudors, 2016, etc.) debut novel depicts a lady-in-waiting caught up in the Guy Fawkes conspiracy. Borman's protagonist, Frances Gorges, is on the sidelines, literally "in waiting" much of the time. Amid the upheaval surrounding the accession of King James I to the throne recently vacated by Queen Bess, Frances is relishing her solitude at her family estate, Longford. Her parents—a marchioness and the lesser nobleman she married for love—and her ambitious sisters are living elsewhere, in semiexile. (Her family's absence is convenient; they might otherwise have pulled too much dramatic focus from Frances herself.) Her uncle, the earl of Northhampton, hoping to advance the family fortunes by using his niece as bait for highly placed suitors, insists that she come to court. The earl's motivations are never consistent—he ranges from being Frances' quasi-incestuous tormentor to her ally. At court, Frances is appointed to attend the king's young daughter, Elizabeth. Soon, though, Frances, skilled at herb lore and healing, is targeted as a witch by her uncle's archrival, Lord Cecil, who, to curry royal favor, is fanning James' anti-witchcraft fervor. Despite ample evidence that Cecil can't be trusted (he even takes Frances to witness the execution of an accused witch), she falls into his trap. In the Tower, she's forced (along with readers) to endure a lurid torture scene in which a "witch-pricker" searches her body for a telltale "Devil's Mark." Cleared of charges, Frances returns to court, whereupon the witchcraft angle gives way to much duller fare. Lavish depictions of architecture and scenery pad the narrative—buildings come alive, people less so. The book's second half is devoted to Frances' hand-wringing over whether or not the Guy Fawkes plot will succeed—her beloved, Tom Wintour, is a ringleader, and she sympathizes with the plot's ultimate aim: to replace James with Princess Elizabeth. Clichés abound: Hearts leap, eyes blaze, and far too many curtseys are "bobbed." A potentially intriguing take on regime change derailed by its choice of heroine. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10677115
Cataloging source
IG$
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Borman, Tracy
Dewey number
823/.92
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Frances Gorges trilogy
Series volume
book 1
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Stuart, House of
  • Healers
  • Women healers
  • Great Britain
  • Great Britain
  • Great Britain
  • Monarchy
  • Gunpowder Plot, 1605
Label
The King's witch : a novel, Tracy Borman
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • "First published in Great Britain in 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton, a Hachette UK company"--Title page verso
  • "First in a trilogy"--dust jacket
  • Series information from goodreads.com
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Extent
442 pages
Isbn
9780802127884
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
HISTORICAL FICTION
System control number
(OCoLC)1041192135
Label
The King's witch : a novel, Tracy Borman
Publication
Note
  • "First published in Great Britain in 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton, a Hachette UK company"--Title page verso
  • "First in a trilogy"--dust jacket
  • Series information from goodreads.com
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Extent
442 pages
Isbn
9780802127884
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
HISTORICAL FICTION
System control number
(OCoLC)1041192135

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