The Queen’s Promise
This is yet another book on the life of Anne Boleyn and her part in the reign of Henry VIII, but I was very pleased and relieved to find that it did not follow only life at court and the historical facts that we all know so well. Instead it centres more on Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland, and his love for the 16-year-old Anne before she became Queen of England.
A sickly boy, he is taken by his father at the age of 11 on a raid against reivers on the Scottish Borders and there meets Will Chatton, also 11 years of age, who has just seen his home burned and his father murdered. He becomes Henry’s squire and lifelong friend. At 17, Henry enters the household of Cardinal Wolsey and takes Will with him, and in the course of time meets and falls in love with Anne Boleyn, who agrees to marry him. This cannot be allowed, of course, and the couple is rapidly parted.
This is a very refreshing change of outlook on a very turbulent period and gives insight into the lives of ordinary people. Will Chatton and his family did not exist, of course, but Lyn Andrews has skilfully married fact with fiction and historical characters with fictitious ones to create a powerful story which keeps the reader hooked until the final page when the sword descends on Queen Anne. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.