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The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson
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The Pleasure Palace

by Kate Emerson

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2961857,234 (3.4)None
  1. 00
    The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both lushly descriptive, compelling historical fiction series take place in Tudor-era England. Strong, well-developed female protagonists anchor these character-driven stories full of romantic drama, royal intrigue, and evocative period atmosphere.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This novel tells the fictionalized account of the life of Jane Popyncourt, a girl from Brittany who flees to England with her mother and finds a place in the court of Henry VII, and later Henry VIII. A fast-paced Tudor novel, this tale was filled with the expected romance, mystery, intrigue, and scandal. My biggest issue with the novel was the lack of facts. While many other novelists such as Allison Weir and Philippa Gregory have taken liberties with the details (and even bigger parts) of lives of these characters, the stories that they choose are well-rooted in rumors and ideas surrounding the Tudors. Though little is known about Jane, Emerson took a few too many liberties in my opinion, especially when asserting that she is the illegitimate granddaughter of Henry VII when it appears that he was very devoted to his wife, unlike his son would come to be with his wives. ( )
  serogers02 | Jun 10, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book, for the most part, and would recommend it to other fans of historical fiction, especially other Tudor fans like I am.

That being said, though I did love the main character, Jane, I felt the "big mystery/secret" was very obvious, from the very first time it was hinted about. The series being called "Secrets of the Tudor Court", I was looking for secrets, plural, and the only other "secret" was a pretty silly, no one really cares kind of secret. I was definitely disappointed in that aspect.

My other big disappointment is from all of the reviews I had read about this book (reviews read after I bought the book), I was really expecting to get swept away in the historical narration & details, and I actually found them extremely lacking. If it wasn't for the historical names thrown about & the names of various castles/locations, you wouldn't have had any idea that the book took place during the Tudor court.

Otherwise, the book was a fast read, and I mostly likely would read the next book in the series, but I wouldn't rush to read it, either. ( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
3.5 - 4 stars

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would; the ludicrous title really doesn't fit at all (thankfully). There were some problems though; I thought Jane's story was slightly contrived at times and you could tell almost from the beginning what her family secret was. The story wasn't as gripping as it could have been and was lacking a little bit that wow-factor that makes you want to keep turning the pages.

On the plus side, the author stuck closely to the historical facts and by far the most enjoyable aspect of the book for me was the descriptions of court life, e.g. the pageants, the meals, the clothes, the living arrangements. The itinerant nature of the court was also well described, and it's things like this that bring a book to life for me. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
No one really knows the particulars of Jane Popyncourt except: she was taken into the Tudor family, taught French to princesses Margaret & Mary at Eltham, grew up with Henry VIII, was in the retinue of Caterina de Aragon, was mistress to Duke de Longueville, and eventually returned to France to live out her life.

This book is well written, entertaining & it held my interest....I just kept getting interrupted. I'd say the "liberties" taken to make this a fictional account sounded like a "true" account to me. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
3.5 Stars

Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace tells the story of Jane Popyncourt, who, along with her mother, fled France for England as a child to live at the court of Henry VII. While Emerson does a good job of bringing the personalities of the Tudor Court to life, especially Jane, the novel does not have that 'can't put it down' factor. Jane's questioning of why her mother fled France underlines most of the storyline, but the outcome was entirely too predictable and unoriginal. Certainly an entertaining read, but it hasn't left me wanting to read more even though the second novel in Emerson's Secrets of the Tudor Court series is available.

On a related note, I don't think the title fits this novel, and I admit that I originally avoided the book because the title gave me the impression that it would be heavy on the romance. I'm glad my original impressions weren't correct, but I can't help but wonder how many other fans of historical fiction have avoided it because of the title? ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
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For Meg and Christina
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I was a child of eight in April of the year of our Lord fourteen hundred and eighty-nine.
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Beautiful. Seductive. Innocent. Jane Popyncourt was brought to the court as a child to be ward of the king and a companion to his daughters -- the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for a powerful marriage, or perhaps even marriage at all. But as she grows into a lovely young woman, she still receives flattering attention from the virile young men flocking to serve the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she cannot help giving some of her heart -- and more -- to a man she can never marry. But the Tudor court is filled with dangers as well as seductions, and there are mysteries surrounding Jane's birth that have made her deadly enemies. Can she cultivate her beauty and her amorous wiles to guide her along a perilous path and bring her at last to happiness?

Basing her gripping tale on the life of the real Jane Popyncourt, gifted author Kate Emerson brings the Tudor monarchs, their family, and their courtiers to brilliant life in this vibrant new novel.

[retrieved 2/11/2015 from Amazon.com]
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Jane Popyncourt, a real-life member of the royal court of Henry VIII, exposes the darkest corners of Tudor England in this captivating novel.

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