Kirkus Star


Email this review


**A child bride, a child queen, seven year old Isabella of France, who was married to Richard the II of England in a marriage of convenience, lives again in Hilda Lewis' spirited, sparkling, poignant fictionalized biography. Here are portraits of ""Richard, tender and cruel, faithful and false, betraying and betrayed"", seen through the eyes of fifteen year old Isabella Clinton, raw from the country and Woman to the Queen. The author has selected with a sure instinct for the dramatic, incident and dialogue depicting the fate of the ""French King's daughter"" in her marriage to the British monarch who early in his reign was devoted to peace, to learning and to beauty and the arts. The pleasure and haven he found in his child Queen amidst the plottings of false friends and open enemies at court is perfectly credible in this portrait of a man who delighted in ""a flower, a little painting or a small song"". Her loyalty to her King and husband as he became more intent on power and finally blind to prudence and justice, the fortitude with which she bore her own heimoch for France characterize a stout-hearted heroine. Almost as fascinating as the Queen's story is that of the narrator, whose romance with Gilles Cobham is interwoven with Tyler's rebellion, the abduction of the Duke of Gloucester, the banishment of Henry Bolingbroke and Richard's defeat and death. The story of the small queen, the gentle falcon who loved her cage and her captor, is princely reading fare.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1957
Publisher: Criterion