WIFE TO GREAT BUCKINGHAM by Hilda Lewis

WIFE TO GREAT BUCKINGHAM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The weakness here may be in the focus of the story -- the man of ""some faults and many gifts"" who was the favorite of two kings, who abused the power that was given him, but who was the ""shining orbit"" of his wife Kate -- my lord of Buckingham, but the recreation of the story of the Queen's necklace (here a fabulous shoulder- knot) still can capture the imagination. Told by Kate, this pictures James I at first with annoyance, later with pity; reveals the love his son Charles had for Buckingham; and, through the reports of others, follows Buckingham's surge to popularity, his passion for Queen Anne of France and, through this, his dedication to free French Protestants which, in turn, led to his death struggle with Parliament, and his eventual murder. Kate, always at odds with the upstart Villiers, champions her sister-in-law Fran (daughter of the great Coke) and tries to turn the Villiers' vengeance away from her; she bears her babes in the midst of Buckingham's frenzied excursions; she watches him pursue his self-destruction with never-ending patience and great endurance; and her tale balances the extravagances of those days, their politics and ambitions. But her ""dear love"" remains hers alone -- a memory and a legend rather than the compelling figure she suffered for -- and with. But there's enough history, period detail, and womanly forebearance to overshadow the shadowy, much excused ""my lord"".

Pub Date: April 1st, 1960
ISBN: 1443731838
Publisher: Putnam