I’m reading a couple of books at the moment, both historical, both very different. Firstly, The King’s Curse by Phillipa Gregory. This is part of the Cousins’ War Series and although it’s highly readable and fascinating with the detail of the Tudor age and Henry VIII, my favourite remains The White Queen. The King’s Curse is a touch repetitive at times and tends to drag in places however Gregory ensures that no historical moment of intrigue is left unmentioned and she is nothing but true to her subject matter, the story of deposed royal Margaret Pole, and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s rise to power in Tudor England.

kings curseRegarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret is buried in marriage to a steady and kind Tudor supporter—Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales. But Margaret’s quiet, hidden life is changed forever by the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret’s destiny, as an heiress to the Plantagenets, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty and rebellion against the new royal family, luck restores her to her place at court, but her trials are far from over. Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Princess Mary are just some of the players in this most remarkable and tragic period of English history.

I’ve only just started The Longing By Candice Bruce. Set in Australia in the 1840s, Ellis MacRorie is shipped to Victoria from her Scottish homeland by her bankrupt father. Forced to marry a man she does not love, and isolated from longingall society, Ellis is resigned to a solitary life on the remote Western District homestead of Strathcarron. It is here she meets Louisa or Leerpeen Weelan, her Aboriginal servant. Louisa has lost her tribe in a bloody act of violence, but she becomes a steadfast source of guidance and strength for Ellis. When the American Romantic landscape painter, sketcher and collector Sanford P. Hart comes to stay at Strathcarron, the two women’s lives are changed. The story has an interweaving narrative switching between the contemporary art world and the National Gallery of Victoria, and back to the 1840s. A slow, lyrical read that will appeal to history and art enthusiasts alike.