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In Convent Walls The Story of the Despensers   By: (1836-1893)

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In Convent Walls by Emily Sarah Holt is a captivating historical fiction novel that takes readers on a journey through medieval England. Set against the backdrop of political intrigue, religious turmoil, and the power struggle within the royal court, this book sheds light on the lesser-known story of the Despenser family.

Holt's writing style is impeccable, effortlessly immersing readers in the world of medieval England. From the very beginning, I was transported back in time, experiencing the sights, sounds, and emotions of the characters. The attention to detail is remarkable, with the author effortlessly weaving historical facts into the narrative, providing genuine insights into the era.

The characters in the book are flawlessly developed and multidimensional. The protagonist, Eleanor, is a strong and determined young woman who artfully defies societal expectations. Her journey within the confines of the convent walls is one of self-discovery, as she grapples with her faith, her desires, and the restrictive environment in which she finds herself.

The Despenser family, around whom the story revolves, are compellingly portrayed. Their rise to power, their ambitions, and the consequences of their actions are expertly depicted. Holt skillfully walks the delicate line of presenting both the good and the bad aspects of these characters, leaving readers torn between sympathy and disdain.

One of the highlights of the book is the exploration of the tensions between the Catholic Church and the emerging Protestant movement. Holt delves into the conflicts arising from the Reformation, reflecting the tumultuous religious landscape of the time. This aspect adds depth and complexity to the narrative, further enhancing the historical authenticity of the story.

In Convent Walls is a captivating read from start to finish. The plot moves at a steady pace, with unexpected twists and turns that kept me eagerly turning the pages. This book is not only a work of fiction but also an educational journey into a fascinating period of history.

Emily Sarah Holt's mastery of historical detail, combined with her ability to create compelling characters, makes this novel a must-read for fans of historical fiction. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply looking for a captivating story, In Convent Walls will not disappoint. I highly recommend it.

First Page:

In Convent Walls, by Emily Sarah Holt.


The historical portion of this tale has been partially narrated in one of my previous volumes, "In All Time of our Tribulation," in which the Despenser story is begun, and its end told from another point of view. That volume left Isabelle of France at the height of her ambition, in the place to reach which she had been plotting so long and so unscrupulously. Here we see the Nemesis come upon her and the chief partner of her guilt; the proof that there is a God that judgeth in the earth. It is surely one of the saddest stories of history sad as all stories are which tell of men and women whom God has endowed richly with gifts, and who, casting from them the Divine hand which would fain lift them up into the light of the Golden City, deliberately choose the pathway of death, and the blackness of darkness for ever. Few women have had grander opportunities given them than Isabelle for serving God and making their names blessed and immortal. She chose rather to serve self: and thereby inscribed her name on one of the blackest pages of England's history, and handed down her memory to eternal execration. For "life is to do the will of God" the true blessedness and glory of life here, no less than the life hereafter.

"Oh, the bitter shame... Continue reading book >>

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