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G. P. R. James

Book Overview: 

A stranger rides across the Kentish countryside when his attention is called to a cottage where violence is being done to an elderly couple. The knight, for such he appears to be, rushes to their aid. Soon after, the strange and prophetic Sir Cesar appears on the scene and foretells of danger ahead. We follow this knight as he encounters an evil landowner; the good and faithful Longpole, son of the elderly couple; the beneficent Duke of Buckingham--or is he a traitor?; and the coquettish Lady Katrine. He is reunited with his kindly but naif old tutor and a childhood companion, now grown into the beautiful Lady Constance. How will each help or hinder him in obtaining his goal of an audience with King Henry VIII and gaining back his ancestral home for his disgraced father and himself? A tale spanning the courts of Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France, the climax comes at the famous meeting between the two monarchs on 'the Field of the Cloth of Gold'

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Heartley, springing forward; "what does your reverence mean? Who is he? They told me his name was Maurice--Osborne Maurice."

"Osborne Darnley, they should have said," replied the young knight. "Your old lord's son, Dick Heartley."

Heartley threw himself at his lord's feet. "Why did not you tell me? Why did not you tell me?" cried he. "I'd sooner have chopped my hand off. I that first taught you to draw a bow and level an arrow! I that sought you all through the camp at Terrouenne to be your servant and servitor, as in duty bound, only that you were away guarding the fort bridge on the Lambre! Cut my hand off! I'd rather have ripped myself up with my dagger."

It may be supposed that the surprise of Lady Constance and of Jekin Groby was somewhat analogous to that expressed by Longpole on finding that the person they had known only as Osborne Maurice, or . . . Read More

Community Reviews

More than a little reminiscent of parts of 'Arabella Stuart' by the same author but with a much happier ending, 'Darnley' is not about the man who married Mary Queen of Scots, but it is full of romance and dashing deeds nonetheless. It is not clear if the eponymous hero was historical, although seve