Friday, April 08, 2011

Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory

Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory
Historical Fiction

John Tradescant is an excellent gardener in 1600s England. He serves under a famous Lord who has the King's ear and learns a lot about politics and can do as he wishes in the garden. When his Lord is moved to a new house, Tradescant follows and with his new wages marries his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth always feels like second fiddle to her husband's master as he serves his master first, and his family second. They soon have a boy, J, and Elizabeth gets even more upset at John serving his master first.

After his Lord dies, John is put under the service of the Duke of Buckingham who is a beautiful man and a favourite to the King and Prince. John follows every order from Buckingham, including when he is sent away from home to do his bidding and find new plants. Buckingham calls for John more and more often, and John adores him more each time he is called. Elizabeth wants this to end but John can't put her before his master.

This is the first Philippa Gregory book I've read and I really enjoyed it. She perfectly brings to life that time frame and gives characters that weren't necessarily historical figures a life of their own. John Tradescant really was a gardener to the Duke, and through Gregory's eyes and some small facts known about him, he is brought to life, which makes for a page turning read. There's a sequel to this book which I'm looking forward to reading!

First Line: "The daffodils would be fit for a king."


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