The Lost Duchess

The Lost Duchess

3.88 (112 ratings by Goodreads)
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Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.

Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the New World, where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.

Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a trip will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 27mm | 302g
  • Ebury Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0091949246
  • 9780091949242
  • 1,071,778

Review Text

An excellent work of historical fiction
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Review quote

Exciting, exotic and tantalising * Lancashire Evening Post * Barden expertly weaves intricate historical detail around her love story * * A wonderfully complex story of intrigue, mystery, hardship and betrayal * Historical Novel Review * A cracking read! -- Hazel Gaynor * author of The Girl Who Came Home * An excellent work of historical fiction * Historical Fiction Obsession *
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About Jenny Barden

Jenny Barden has had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city solicitor, did little to help displace her early dream of becoming a knight. Impelled by a fascination with the Age of Discovery, she has travelled widely in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for Mistress of the Sea came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama.

Jenny has four children and lives in Hertfordshire with her long suffering husband, a loving Labrador and a deadly Bengal cat.

More about Jenny can be found at
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Rating details

112 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 34% (38)
4 35% (39)
3 21% (23)
2 6% (7)
1 4% (5)

Our customer reviews

If you only gave the book a cursory look you could be forgiven for thinking this one another in a long line of books set with the Tudor Court of Queen Elizabeth I but you'd only be partially right in this assumption and might be in for a surprise while reading it. Yes, it does begin in the Elizabethan court but there is much more to it than that and it's a unique tale for me, nothing that I've read before and that's something I am very thankful for. The central character is Emme Fifield, one of the Queen's ladies in waiting and after a rather unpleasant encounter with Lord Hertford her life is turned upside down. After a chance encounter with the mysterious mariner, Kit Doonan, Emme finds herself wanting to change her life completely and to do that she needs to remove herself from the rules and restrictions placed on her by the Queen. So in an effort to do so she finds herself on a ship heading for the New World and the infamous Roanoke. Anyone who knows the history of the New World and the English colonists will know the story of the Roanoke settlement and how the colonists vanished but how do you feel about exploring one possibility to explain it? Well you should read this then as THAT is what this book is really about, throw in a handful of romance between beautiful Emme and dashing Kit and you have a truly wonderful historical novel.... I hate to name anything I read as a romance book as I don't do romance but love historical based novels (yes, they boil down to the same thing but my brain doesn't think so, so shhhhhhh don't tell!). Emme is a strong character but also a very soft one, she knows what she wants and needs to do to make her life the one she wants but often struggles with her own emotions and for good reason considering what has happened to her (no spoilers here!). You watch her grow into a very strong and independent women and fall deeply for the handsome Kit. Kits is a very interesting man indeed, he has the usual troubled past but it is an interesting one that I really would have liked to hear a bit more detail about but you get enough to make his back story a good one, he opens himself up to Emme but keeps getting the door slammed in his face, eventually he breaks through and the romance between them is a touching tale and one they both deserve! Other characters in the book are based on the real colonists including the first English person born in the new world, Virginia Dare (who Emme helps to bring into the world!) This is the first novel I've read by Jenny Barden but I do find myself curious to read more as she is a wonderful talent. Saying that I might not have found her by myself so thanks to Dizzy C's Book Blog's blog review of the book back last year that bought this book and author to my attention as without you I wouldn't have requested this book from Netgalley and might have never read it! And that would have been very sad as it's a wonderful read, full of intrigue, hardship, fear, love, wonder and adventure, a truly exceptional mix of so many emotions that make for an exceptional book and one that I would recommend for anyone who likes their 'period drama' book as much as I do. In conclusion, it may not be quite the book you expect at first glance but by the time you reach the end you really won't care as you'll have read something really classy that had put you right through the emotional wringer, wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL!show more
by Thea Wilson
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