Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Hold the Crown

This isn't my first Jean Plaidy book. She wrote under several pseudonyms but probably the best one is Jean Plaidy. A lot of people who are attracted to the Tudors tend to gravitate towards her since she has written so much about them. I must be a total weirdo, because I cannot get into her writing. Mostly I feel like I'm being talked down to while I read her stuff. Well, I had decided that even though I didn't like the other book of hers I had read (Murder Most Royal), I needed to give her another shot. It's hard to judge harshly on an author if you have only read one of their books. Well, To Hold the Crown wasn't any better and a book that should have taken me days to read ended up taking me weeks. I learned a little, but grumbled a LOT about trying to finish this book.

To Hold the Crown is the story of Henry VII. If you go look at the synopsis, Elizabeth of York is touted as a main character, but Henry dominated for the most of the book. It told very little of their story together and Elizabeth is treated as a brood mare for the large majority of the book. When she dies, I felt nothing for her character. I wasn't sad because I hadn't known her at all throughout the book.

My biggest problem with this book was the editing. Whoever sent it to print, didn't do a great job. The letter "c" randomly popped up in the most weird words (ex matcurity). My second biggest problem was how she treated young Henry VIII. Now the ladies over at Goodreads in the Tudor History Lovers group will tell you that I am a staunch Henry VIII supporter. I feel that while he wasn't a great person in his later years, his younger years are often overshadowed by some of the misdeeds he had done. That being said, Jean Plaidy wrote a 12 year old Henry VIII like he was a blood thirsty womanizer, who wanted nothing more than to count the heads on London Bridge and constantly get his own way. Henry apparently wanted to take the crown at the tender age of 3 from his older brother who he felt wasn't suited for the job. Now I realize this is historical fiction. But seriously, make it a little bit believable for me.

I have a couple of quotes, but I'll just cull it down to one. This particular quote deals with the mother of Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth Woodville. Woodville's husband was Edward IV, a yorkist king who died leaving the contention of the crown in an awkward standing. Edward had been a heavy drinker, partier, and he loved sex. He had several mistresses. In this quote, Woodville is talking about the relief she felt in his mistresses. In Woodville's own words (again don't have pages because I'm reading from a Kindle) "Not that she ever attempted to (get rid of any mistresses) for she had been secretly glad that there were other women to cater for his insatiable sexuality." Now, I don't know about you, but if my man was off with other women, there is no way I'd be secretly glad. Maybe that's just me? It didn't ring true for me.

For those of you who are Plaidy fans, the book can be found here. Other people have mentioned a liking towards her style of writing, but as for me, I think I can now officially say that I don't think I'll be reading another one of her books for a very very long time.

1 comment:

  1. I'd have to agree with you Aly, Plaidy is not my favourite author, he books make me feel sleepy to be honest, I can't manage to even want to read it... the last book of hers that I read (and I cant even recall the name) it took me months to finish because I had no interest in her writing. If I recall I think the topic of the book was actually an interesting one, but Plaidy really spoiled it for me.

    Again, the story of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York should be an interesting story, but I dont think I'll be picking up this book anytime soon. Thanks for your honesty :)