The People’s Queen by Vanora Bennett

I’ve had The People’s Queen by Vanora Bennett on my book shelves for a while, but only now I’ve read it. This is the second book I read about Alice Perrers, the first one was The King’s Concubine by Anne O’Brien. It’s quit befitting that I was reading her story now, when, in a few days is the 641 anniversary of the passing of King Edward.

When I started reading this book, I thought I should give it 5 stars. I went down to 4 after 15 chapters or so, only to go up to 5 in the end. The book has a lovely story and it’s nicely written, but I can’t imagine I will read it again. Although, I still think it deserves the 5 stars I gave it.

The People's Queen by Vanora Bennett

I mentioned the book is about Alice Perrers, the mistress of Edward III. At the same time, another character appears often enough to say that the book is about him too: Chaucer.
In Bennett’s book, Alice is born during the Black Death, to a teenage widow, that dies of the plaque after giving birth. She is raised by her aunt, her namesake. After getting married a few times, she manages to find herself at Queen Phillipa’s court. There she becomes King Edward’s mistress.

The story starts when the King is already weak and old. Alice did a complex scheme, so she could embezzle money destined for the Crown. She went through a trial in 1376, for this, but was acquitted. King Edward was still alive, but he was too old to intervene. The Duke of Gaunt intervened for her, but only to make her enemy in a short while. This happened after his brother’s death, when his nephew become King Richard II. She went through another trial, but ended up moving to the countryside and her last husband managed to get some of her proprieties back.

In the book, she has a love affair with Chaucer and his latest son is hers. For me, their love affair is a bit strange at times. She looks much more confident than he is, but he helps her a lot. It was not my favourite kind of romantic plot, but it was lovely to read.

I would recommend the book. Is a nice romantic book, but not too focused on that. It’s easy to read and nice.

The People’s Queen by Vanora Bennett

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars.
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Harper Collins
Year it was published: 2010
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Fiction
Pages: 533

About the author: Vanora Bennett was a journalist. She learned Russian and lived there for a while. Her books are historical fiction about England and non-fiction about Russia: Midnight in St Petersburg and The White Russian. At the moment, she is living in London with her husband and two sons.
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