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Mistress Margery   By: (1836-1893)

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Mistress Margery by Emily Sarah Holt is a captivating historical fiction novel set in 16th century England. The story follows the life of Margery, a young and ambitious woman who defies societal expectations and challenges the norm with her unconventional choices.

From the very first page, Holt's vivid and descriptive writing style draws readers into a world of intrigue and danger. The author does an outstanding job of capturing the essence of the time period, with rich details and a thorough understanding of the historical context. The setting feels authentic, transporting readers to a time where the influence of the Tudor monarchy resonated in every aspect of society.

One of the strengths of Mistress Margery lies in the way the characters are portrayed. Margery herself is a strong and dynamic protagonist, a welcome departure from the typical damsels in distress often found in historical novels. She possesses a relentless determination to make her way in a world dominated by men, and her resilience is truly inspiring. Holt skillfully created a complex and multi-dimensional character, making Margery relatable and earning readers' investment in her journey.

The supporting cast is equally well-developed, each character adding depth and nuance to the overall narrative. Holt’s ability to capture different personalities and motivations adds complexity to the various relationships within the story. From Margery's conflicted love interest to the conniving antagonists, every character feels integral to the plot, enhancing the story's overall intrigue.

The plot itself is filled with unexpected twists and turns, keeping readers guessing and eager for more. Holt expertly weaves together elements of romance, mystery, and political intrigue, creating a narrative that is both engaging and thought-provoking. The pacing is well-structured, never lagging or rushing, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the story.

Moreover, Mistress Margery delves into important themes that are still relevant today, such as gender inequality and the limitations imposed on women. Through Margery's journey, Holt explores the boundaries of what was considered acceptable for women during the time period, shedding light on the struggle for autonomy and independence.

Overall, Mistress Margery is a compelling historical fiction novel that combines a well-researched setting, compelling characters, and an engaging plot. Emily Sarah Holt's talent for storytelling shines through in this captivating tale of one woman's fight against societal norms. A must-read for fans of historical fiction and anyone seeking a strong female lead.

First Page:

Mistress Margery, A Tale of the Lollards, by Emily Sarah Holt.

This is a short book, but it was quite hard to transcribe on account of so much of it being in mediaeval English, with its inconsistent and uncouth spelling.

Margery is a young woman of high birth, who goes one day to hear a sermon preached by one of the new Lollards, who advise people to read the Bible as recently translated by Wycliffe, and to believe only what they find therein. This was directly contrary to the view of the official church, which had made up all sorts of doctrines that could be seen to be not at all supported by the words of the Gospel. Margery can only get hold of a copy of the Gospel according to Saint John.

Margery is very much struck with the words of the Gospel, despite the hostility of all around her. Everyone was far too afraid of the extreme punishment meted out by "Holy Church" to those who questioned its teachings. And Margery ends up by being burnt at the stake for her belief in the Gospel, as opposed to what was taught by the Church.

But you will learn a lot about upper class life in the early years of the fifteenth century, and if you can put up with the forms of speech, you will gain thereby. Not recommended for audiobook, since a great deal of editing, such as removal of footnotes, conversion of mediaeval speech to modern, and so forth... Continue reading book >>

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