Book review and giveaway: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter

Queen Elizabeth's Daughter Banner

Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter

Queen Elizabeth's Daughter

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter
Anne Clinard Barnhill

Publication Date: March 18, 2014
St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0312662122

Historical fiction

Source: Received
from the author through
Historical Fiction virtual book tour


Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

    2014 historical fiction New author challenge


new eiffel 4

Again, I’m grateful to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for introducing to something new to me: I had never heard about Anne Clinard Barnhill, and I’m not sure I had ever read a historical novel that much centered on Elizabeth I before. I had no idea about Mary Shelton and her connection to the Queen.
Actually the author is herself related to Mary Shelton, as her bloodline comes from from Mary’s older brother. How cool is that!

This is basically the story of Mary Shelton, the queen’s second cousin, whose parents died when she was very young, and so who was raised by the Queen herself. When Mary was of age, the Queen intended for her the best future possible, with some rich European noble possibly, but Mary had some other more humble and more romantic plans. Did she have to obey? Did she rebel? What happened to her and the one she truly loved?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, where all the major English political figures of the time are present, including one that keeps intriguing me since I met him in the Giordano Bruno’s series: John Dee.
I discovered a lot here about Elizabeth’s horrible character, with insane fits of anger:

Mary mulled these thoughts over, wondering if she would ever understand the woman who sat next to her. The queen seemed the most loving, considerate, and wise ruler a people could ever hope to have. Yet, she could change into a selfish, cruel mistress if the mood took her.

And I didn’t know much either about Elizabeth’s relationship with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the whole question of her virginity or not.
All the characters were presented like real people with feelings and intricate traits.
Mary Shelton particular appeared so very real, and not fearing to be herself and blunt with the queen.The sense of dread was excellent as for Mary and Skydemore’s future. You know what’s coming, but the way it’s coming slowly but surely is really creepy and almost unbearable.
It was interesting to see how Mary’s inner growth and evolution was described. I was amazed how at the end, after everything, she was not bitter, but was still of awe and love for Elizabeth.

And all this of course on the background of the religion problems in England at the time, as Mary, Queen of Scots, seems to be plotting with Norfolk to reintroduce Catholicism and take Elizabeth’s place on the throne. The growing tension related to this was very well rendered.
The background includes as well England’s difficult relations with France and Spain.

I enjoyed also how life at court was described in many details, with for instance a lot of emphasis on all that could touch your sense of smell, in a disgusting or pleasant way! There were lots of information as well on the queen’s summer travels.

The Author’s Note after the novel was really excellent at showing what was real and what modifications she introduced.

One thing that was not perfectly clear to me at first, was the nature of the pages in italics, here and there between “regular chapters”. First, I was thinking maybe they were thoughts going through Elizabeth’s mind. I believe they are actually more things that Elizabeth shared with her confidante Blanche. They are important passages.

And I noticed one typo which I hope disappeared form the final copy: pubic instead of public  on page 113.

VERDITC: Historical fiction about England too often focuses on the Boleyns. Through this rather sad story, Barnhill offers here a refreshing view on a major page of the end of the Tudor dynasty. Getting to know Mary Shelton, you will experience all the major troubles of the times, including the fits of a fierce royal character and the omnipresent looming shadow of the Tower. For all historical novel lovers.


Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.
Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds. [provided by HFVBT]


Anne-Clinard-BarnhillAnne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.

For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


[I take great care of my books,
this book is still in perfect condition,
as I received it form the publisher]
Click on  the Rafflecopter link

a Rafflecopter giveaway


when you enter a giveaway, I keep your email address only until a winner has been chosen and has confirmed. After that, I delete the form where your answers were stored during the duration of the giveaway. If you win and you email me your mailing address, I delete this email and its information as soon as I have mailed you the book.

Visit the Tour to read other reviews of this book,
and more chances to win a brand new copy!


15 thoughts on “Book review and giveaway: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter

  1. I haven’t read this book, but would love to do so. I cherish my books; books are considered sacred items in our home and are treated as such. It has been such a long time since I’ve read a novel about the queen that I can’t remember the name of it.


  2. There are just so many novels I love about Elizabeth I. Probably my favorite depicting her younger years would be Alison Weir’s The Lady Elizabeth. I also love Philippa Gregory’s The Virgin’s Lover. There are so many more but I just can’t think of them right now!


  3. Pingback: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2014 | Words And Peace

  4. Pingback: New Author Reading Challenge 2014 | Words And Peace

  5. Pingback: What’s in a Name 2014 Reading Challenge | Words And Peace

What do you think? Share your thoughts, and I will answer you. I will also visit your own blog

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.