review by Maryom
Until four years ago Eleanor's life was happy and contented. Then her father Lord Walter Hungerford accused his wife of witchcraft and had her imprisoned in one of the castle's towers. Since then Eleanor hasn't seen her mother but sends messages and food to her via trusted servants. At 15 though, her father has decided Eleanor should be married off to Lord Stanton, a man chosen by him, as soon as possible. They may be betrothed but it doesn't make Eleanor like Stanton and she believes him to be part of a plot to murder her mother. She realises that if she is ever to help her mother escape she must act now, before her proposed wedding...
Set in Tudor England, The Lady In The Tower is a compelling, enjoyable adventure story for teen readers. The unfairly imprisoned lady in the tower sounds like something straight out of a fairy tale but this story is based on real events that took place at Farleigh Hungerford castle at a time when the actions of an important man like Walter Hungerford could easily go unchallenged.
Eleanor is an adventurous, tom-boyish heroine, who fights against the restrictions imposed on girls in Tudor times. She's certainly far fonder of riding her horse Ariana and jousting alongside her brother and cousin than sitting demurely with her sewing, and would love nothing more than to be allowed to take part in a joust tournament herself - but of course such unladylike behaviour is banned! Despite this, Eleanor has very little control over her life; whatever her father says, goes - she can't even pick the man she will marry!
Living in the past may at times appear romantic but Eleanor's story goes to prove it isn't!
Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Genre - teen fiction, historical romance/adventure
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