The Lady of the Tower


Author: Elizabeth St John / Narrator: Bridget Thomas

Publication Date: 8th May, 2018 / Audio Length: 14 hours 40 minutes

Also available in ebook and paperback

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London, 1609. When Lucy St.John, a beautiful highborn orphan at the court of King James, is seduced by the Earl of Suffolk, she never imagines the powerful enemy she creates in his beloved sister, the Countess of Rochester. Or that her own sister Barbara would betray her and force Lucy to leave the court in disgrace. Spirited, educated, and skilled in medicine and precious remedies, Lucy fights her way back into society, and through an unexpected love match, becomes mistress of the Tower of London.

Living inside the walls of the infamous prison, she defies plague, political intrigues and tragic executions to tend to aristocratic prisoners and criminals alike. Now married into the immensely powerful Villiers family, Barbara unites with the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, to raise the fortunes of Lucy and her family to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes treachery, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of deceit and debauchery.

Elizabeth St.John’s critically acclaimed debut novel tells the true story of her ancestress Lucy through her family’s surviving diaries, letters, and court papers. Lucy’s personal friendships with historical figures such as Sir Walter Raleigh and the Stuart kings brings a unique perspective to the history of seventeenth century England. 

“Elizabeth St John has brought the Stuart Court vividly to life. She weaves together the known facts of Lucy’s life with colourful scenes of fictional imagination, drawing on innocent romance and bleak deception to create a believable heroine and an intriguing plot.” Historic Novel Society Book Review 

“The Lady of the Tower is a beautifully produced novel with a well-crafted story that will keep you both engaged and entertained. A joy to read. Thank you for sharing your world with us.” Writers Digest 24th Annual Book Awards


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Here is an excerpt from the book:

Chapter Eight


Barbara got up from Frances’s side and walked across the room to me. Under the pretense of an embrace, she whispered clearly.

“’Struth, Lucy, if you intend to pursue this road with Theo, judge your odds and be prepared to wager the stakes, for those who aim high can also fall far. Do not look to me for aid, for you choose your own path, and if ruin is the outcome, I shall publicly disown you.”

I stepped back involuntarily.

“What have I ever done to make you hate me so much?” I asked. “I don’t understand why you are this way to me.”

“Not hate. Indifference. I do not see what others see in you. And my plans will not be compromised by your foolishness. Straighten your gown — you reveal too much.” She pulled the soft muslin across my reddened skin, kissed my cheek as though she were Judas, and left.

“Theo . . .”

I turned to him for reassurance, but he was gone. Drawn into Carr’s circle, he was loudly joking and drinking steadily from a goblet of wine. As I stared at him, trying to reconcile this frivolous courtier with the man I loved, he shrugged, laughing at his situation, and turned back to his friends. The musicians, who sounded so glorious when I first arrived, now rang discordant. I sickened of the entire confusing visit to White Hall and wished myself back in the peace of Lydiard.

“But you know this is the way of the court.”

The night lay between us, and we met at the Stone Gallery again during the afternoon promenade. The pavement reflected a cold light; falling snow continued to swathe the palace in gauze, softening the angles of the roofs and chimneys, and settling on charcoal-etched branches. A woman in a crimson cloak hurried across the privy garden, a daub of color in a black-and-white landscape. I wondered whose arms she was seeking, so swiftly, in such inclement weather. All my thoughts turned first to lovers now.

I touched Theo’s arm to bridge the distance.

“I know, I am not stupid. Anne has told me of her years at court where she witnessed firsthand the deceptions and lies, the flattery and untruths. It just does not sit right with me to see you in that world.”

“Ah, Lucy, it’s just a game. Seize the opportunity to know us better, and you will find this amusing. As long as you do not take yourself seriously, there is no harm in playing these subtleties.”

“Is that what last night was?”

“No, that was no game, for you have captured my heart and enchanted my soul, Titania.” He pulled me to him, ignoring the glances of those around us. “Learn the ways of White Hall, and enjoy courtly love.”

And here is a snippet from the audiobook:

Author Bio:

Elizabeth St.John’s critically acclaimed historical fiction novels tell the stories of her ancestors: extraordinary women whose intriguing kinship with England’s kings and queens brings an intimately unique perspective to Medieval, Tudor, and Stuart times.

Inspired by family archives and residences from Lydiard Park to the Tower of London, Elizabeth spends much of her time exploring ancestral portraits, diaries, and lost gardens. And encountering the occasional ghost. But that’s another story.

Living between California, England, and the past, Elizabeth is the International Ambassador for The Friends of Lydiard Park, an English charity dedicated to conserving and enhancing this beautiful centuries-old country house and park. As a curator for The Lydiard Archives, she is constantly looking for an undiscovered treasure to inspire her next novel.

Elizabeth’s books include her trilogy, The Lydiard Chronicles, set in 17th Century England during the Civil War, and her newest release, The Godmother’s Secret, which explores the medieval mystery of the missing Princes in the Tower of London.

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2 thoughts on “The Lady of the Tower

  1. Thank you very much for hosting Elizabeth St.John today, and for featuring the audio version of The Lady of the Tower.

    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

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