Feb 26, 2013

The Plantagenet Series by Juliet Dymoke

The Synopses of The Plantagenet Series by Juliet Dymoke

©BurtonBookReview



I was very lucky to be put in touch with someone selling some of their out of print historicals, and this lot of Juliet Dymoke titles is exactly what made me want to buy the whole box of books, even though there were some duplicates within. I had these Juliet Dymoke books on my wish list forever but I was only able to find the USA version of Lady of the Garter once in my local used bookstore. The ones shown above are the UK editions, from 'New England Library' (London based) which are now happily part of my personal library. Some of the novels may be found via Amazon, I linked their titles above directly to their Amazon pages in case you want to buy them for yourself.

I hadn't been able to find much information online about them regarding their plot points etc., so I wanted to share the descriptions from back covers with you, keeping in mind I kept those words which are UK spellings:


A Pride of Kings
The first king whom William Marshal met had nearly hanged him. That was Stephen of Blois. Years later William Marshal, the landless, penniless younger son who earned his living with his sword on the tourney fields of Europe, and rose to the highest office in the land under the crown, served five kings of the great Plantagenet line. One died in his arms, one accused him without cause, one raised him to high honours, another turned against him.

Throughout it all, William Marshal never swerved in his loyalty to the quarrelsome, unpredictable, charming and autocratic brood of Henry II, founder of the Plantagenet dynasty.

A Pride of Kings is the first of a series of novels which tell the story of the Plantagenet monarchs through the eyes of the men and women who served them, loved them or betrayed them.


The Royal Griffin
The love story of Princess Eleanor, proud daughter of the Plantagenet dynasty, and Simon de Montfort who though not a commoner was no more than the younger son of a Norman baron, is one of the great romances of the thirteenth century.

His own qualities as much as his kinship to the royal house raised Simon to a position of importance in England, but his friendship with the vain weathercock king soon changed to bitter enmity. Simon became the champion of all those, from barons to peasants, who wanted a curb put on the king's power. Inevitably, he grew too powerful himself, and came to blows with both Henry III and his son the Lord Edward.

Throughout a lifetime of conflict and divided loyalties, Eleanor never lost sight of her royal heritage as the king's sister, but until the final disaster she remained Simon's devoted wife.

The Royal Griffin continues the fascinating story of the Plantagenet family, which began in A Pride of Kings.


The Lion of Mortimer
All the ability, strength and charm of the Plantagenets reached their peak in the person of Edward I, and Simon de Montacute was proud that his own son William should in his turn serve the old King's heir.

Though the second Edward was weak and frivolous, and his passion for Piers Gaveston roused his barons against him, he retained and repaid William's loyalty, and William shared the King's growing hatred for Roger Mortimer as that grasping baron rose to power and too great an influence over Edward's slighted Queen. It was left to young Will de Montecute, friend and close companion of Prince Edward, to play a part in  Mortimer's downfall and the resurgence of the royal Plantagenet line.

Following A Pride of Kings and The Royal Griffin, The Lion of Mortimer continues the turbulent story of the Plantagenet dynasty, their faithful friends and their bitter enemies.


Lady of The Garter
Overshadowed by her brilliant husband and then by her wayward and ill-fated son, the Princess Joan might have been remembered only as the Black Prince's wife, Richard II's widowed mother.

But Joan's life had its fill of drama and romance. Despite a secret betrothal in girlhood, she was married to another man. The King took her as his mistress; the common folk loved her for her kindliness and beauty.

For of all the Plantagenet women, Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, was perhaps the most beautiful. Her passionate love story was lived against the background of such great events as the victories of Crecy and Poitiers, at the brilliant court of Edward III and among his sons and daughters who had their full share of Plantagenet pride and ambition.

Lady of the Garter is the fourth is this series of novels retelling the magnificent story of the Plantagenets.

{The US edition is the same, except for "at the brilliant court of Edward III, and among his proud and ambitious sons and daughters.... a series of historical novels which tell the story of the Plantagenet monarchs through the eyes of the men and women who served them, loved them, or betrayed them, and in so doing, helped shape the events of English history.}


The Lord of Greenwich
Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, wrested the throne from his cousin Richard II and sowed the seeds of conflict between York and Lancaster. Now Henry V must keep what his father had won.

So Henry turned to his brothers for support and Humfrey of Gloucester gave in unstintingly, though he later tried to wield power during the minority of his nephew, Henry VI. And there was another side to Humfrey's character. A genuine scholar, he loved books in an age when learning was for cloisterman, not courtiers.

But Humfrey inherited not only the Plantagenet charm and energy, but also their talent for stirring up trouble. He quarrelled bitterly with the staider members of the family over his marriages and love affairs, for Humfrey's wild passions could always attract women,

Soldier, scholar and lover, Duke Humfrey embodied the best and the worst qualities of the Plantagenet dynasty, whose earlier story is told in {the names of the aforementioned books}.


The Sun in Splendour
The throne of England, seized by Henry IV, is disputed by the heirs of York and Lancaster. Edward IV, brilliant and handsome in the Plantagenet mould, rules a land split by rival factions, and his secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville has alienated many of his supporters.

Experiencing the excitement of court life, anxious months in hiding while the Lancastrian party control England, Edward's final victory and her own personal griefs, Bess Bourchier {Elizabeth Tilney} shares tragedy and triumph with her friend the Queen, and with the King whom she idolizes. Later as she tries to make the best of a loveless second marriage, Bess sees the inevitable decline of Plantagenet greatness which will revive only briefly under Richard III, last of the dynasty.

The Sun in Splendour is the sixth and final novel in a series which traces the fortunes of the Plantagenet monarch through nearly four hundred years.




So far, this is my Juliet Dymoke collection. I have since ordered two more of her novels, and will probably buy the rest as I find them.

Juliet Dymoke is a pen name for Juliet Dymoke de Schanschieff (1919-2001). Her work should appeal to readers of Sharon Kay Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick. There is a list of other novels by the author located here.

9 comments:

  1. I had Book 5 of this series on the shelf when I was a kid. It stayed there for years until about 6 years ago when I did a major clean out of the shelves and all books that were remnants of the series were donated to the library. But I keep thinking about that book. I really should check the series out from the library....which would bring my book life full circle.

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    1. Awwww I have books like that too, where I do not have them anymore and I miss them; I remember them from my younger years and I just kinda wish I could transport myself back there.

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  2. These books sound interesting, though I've never read anything but the other authors you mentioned, either ;-) I will have to check them out!

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  3. Nice matched set! I've read a couple of them and thought they were pretty good.

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  4. These sound marvelous!!! I can't believe I've never heard of Dymoke -- she sounds like the kind of classic hist fic my mom would have loved.

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  5. I have these! Sadly, my Lion of Mortimer (the cover you have here) doesn't match the other five I have, which are from another edition.

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  6. Why did I look here? Not only did this post get me with 6 BBs, but the sidebars got me too!

    Cheli
    Cheli's Shelves

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  7. I have never heard of her, but will definitely be watching for titles by her now. You have sparked my interest!

    Lovely set! Congrats!

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  8. It's fun to collect books from a series that you've always wanted to read. I hope you enjoy them all.

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