Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review: The Adventures of Alianore Audley by Brian Wainwright

From the Back Cover:

Alianore Audley is a good, submissive, demure woman of the fifteenth century...and if you believe that, you'll believe anything. But she is a spy in Edward IV's intelligence service, and the author of a chronicle that casts - well, a new light, let's say, on the times of the Yorkist kings. History will never be the same after Alianore. Nor will most other novels.

My Thoughts:

If you're looking for a little levity, you can't go wrong in spending an afternoon with Alianore, who is not your typical 15th century lady in waiting--she's a saucy, savvy, sexy little spy for her cousin, King Edward IV, employed in the household of her other cousin, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. At times she is biased and unreliable--she's got some fanciful stories about certain events that take place during Richard's reign--but she's always entertaining. Alianore finds herself in one jam after another as she contrives to balance the demands of political intrigue with her life's ambition to be an "ordinary knight's lady". This is a quick read and great fun, particularly if, like me, you've read more than your fair share of medieval novels.

Witness this recent entry from the Court Circular, in the Alliances Sought section:

     Damosel, XXI years. Warranted chaste and obedient. No visible blemishes. Offers to John Audley, at Eltham. Woodvilles, Hautes, etc. need not apply.

Or Paragraph Eighteen from the Knightly Code: 

     No knight, esquire, or armiger shall carry off, ravish or imprison any lady, damosel or gentlewoman (except for the purpose of taking her in canonical marriage against her will) under pain of six months banishment from all tournaments in Western Europe and a fine of twenty-four shillings.

Or the sign on the wall of a favorite London cook-shop: 

     Anne Neville, Duchess of Gloucester, worked here, 1471.

The author explains that he rattled off this little romp as a break to get his creative juices flowing again while writing his more serious work, Within The Fetterlock. Well, it's a delightful read and I highly recommend this little gem of a book!

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Stars


  1. This is on my list. High on my list. Thanks for the review.

  2. Bekah, thank you so much for becoming my first follower!! I hope you will read this book, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I loved it! Feel free to drop in on the discussion with the author on Goodreads.

  3. I love this book, although I have the feeling that there are jokes in it that I miss because my knowledge of the period isn't as good as the author's.

  4. I know, I think I'll have to read it again in a couple of years to see if I pick up on anything I may have missed. Thank you for following my blog!


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