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Ladies in Waiting Reviews

Ladies in Waiting by Anne Somerset

Ladies in Waiting: a history of court life from the Tudors to the present day

Anne Somerset

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: riverrun
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication date: 25 Jun 2020
ISBN: 9781529410662

An illuminating commentary on court life from the Tudors to the present day.

5 stars out of 5
23 Jun 2020

"a wild, raucous history of courtiers' miserable lives"

As Somerset points out, in an age where the monarch or their consort personify the state, one cannot dismiss as hyperbole the claims of Lady Mary Grey that she would desire “rather death than to be any longer without so great a jewel as Her Majesty’s favour”. The lives of these long-suffering women, raucously recounted in this immensely enjoyable book, offer an oblique, but very human, perspective on English history. As one maid of honour said of her famously cantankerous mistress, Queen Victoria, “I always feel fascinated when I am with her and forget all the inconveniences and worries connected with her service.”

 

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Anne de Courcy
20 Jun 2020

"Tudor courts were a maelstrom of intrigue, surreptitious liaisons, political in-fighting, struggles for the ear of the monarch and rampant greed"

Anne Somerset takes us on, through Queen Caroline’s eccentric behaviour and George IV’s numerous mistresses to Victoria’s overturning of a Tory government by her unconstitutional refusal to lose her mostly fiercely Whig ladies, her maltreatment of Lady Flora Hastings and the freezing gloom of Balmoral. As this book was first published in 1984, we learn nothing about today’s court, but it is a fascinating reprint.