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All the Queen's Players

All the Queen's Players

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At Queen Elizabeth’s palace, intrigue abounds. And when a naive girl with a gift for keen observation enters the court, she can hardly imagine the role she will play in bringing England—indeed, the whole of Europe—to the brink of war. Nor can she foresee her own journey to the brink of ecstasy and beyond. . . .

When she becomes a junior lady of Queen Elizabeth’s bedchamber, Rosamund is instructed by her cousin, the brilliant and devious secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham, to record everything she observes. Her promised reward: a chance at a good marriage. But through her brother Thomas, Rosamund finds herself drawn to the forbidden, rough-and-tumble world of theatre, and to Thomas’s friend, the dramatic, impetuous playwright Christopher Marlowe. And then Rosamund meets Will Creighton—a persuasive courtier, poet, and would-be playwright who is the embodiment of an unsuitable match.

The unsanctioned relationship between Rosamund and Will draws the wrath of Elizabeth, who prides herself on being the Virgin Queen. Rosamund is sent in disgrace to a remote castle that holds Elizabeth’s cousin Mary Stuart, the imprisoned Queen of Scots. Here, Walsingham expects Rosamund to uncover proof of a plot against Elizabeth. But surely, nothing good can come of putting an artless girl in such close proximity to so many seductive players and deceptive games. Unless, of course, Rosamund can discover an affinity for passion and intrigue herself. . . .

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Feather conspires with history to tell this dazzling story about two very real, very wily queens— and one impassioned young woman whose life they change forever.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439168981 | 
  • April 2010
List Price $8.99

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Jane Feather: All The Queen's Players

Jane Feather steps beyond the bounds of the romance genre with a mainstream historical novel that brings Elizabethan England vividly to life.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Scadbury Park, Chiselhurst, Kent, May 1586

THE LEMONY LIGHT of the early-spring sun seemed to accentuate the delicate new greenery of the apple trees and the soft blush of pink on the creamy white flowers. The blossom was so delicate, so fragile, so impossible to capture to her satisfaction, that Rosamund Walsingham, from her perch high in the crotch of an apple tree, muttered an imprecation under her breath, wiped the slate clean of chalk, and began anew. Chalk was not a good medium for such dainty work, but paper was a luxury as Thomas was always telling her. His usual refrain of not being made... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for All the Queen’s Players includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Jane Feather. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Rosamund Walsingham is not your average sixteenth-century lady. Plucked from her simple country home by her conniving cousin, the secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham, Rosamund is sent to London to spy on Queen Elizabeth’s court. Francis asks her to gather information by keeping a sketchbook and diary of everything she observes and overhears in the queen’s private chambers. Her work at the court leads to an unexpected romance with a young playwright and courtier, Will Creighton. In the throes of romance, Rosamund’s affair is discovered, and she is banished from Elizabeth’s court, but Francis believes Rosamund can be of use to his cause of entrapping Mary, Queen of Scots, who is suspected of planning a conspiracy to assassinate Elizabeth and overtake the throne. But distance cannot shake Rosamund’s feelings for Will, and serving Queen Mary teaches Rosamund what it means to be loyal and selfless even in the face of ruthlessness.

Questions and Topics for Discussio see more

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