I recently finished reading Trust and Treason, by Margaret Birkhead. Originally, I intended to use it as a reference for Elizabethan language, grammar, phrases, and word usage, since I’m in the middle of researching that period. However, the story was so captivating, I was quickly drawn in.
The story focuses on two generations of the Woodfall family in Elizabethan England. Happy and prosperous, their lives change dramatically when two brothers and one of their sons are unjustly accused of treason and imprisoned in the Tower.
One of the most interesting things about this book is the complex character of Robert Emory. A bastard son of the Woodfalls, he was kidnapped as a child and raised by minions of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the Queen’s closest and most trusted advisor. Emory was trained as a spy, but was also well educated. When the Woodfalls need him, he must make a choice that will threaten the life he has carefully created for himself.
If you’re a fan of Phillipa Gregory, or others who write about the Tudors, you’ll love this book. I googled Margaret Birkhead, but it appears that she hasn’t published anything else. Darn!