Monday, 28 March 2016

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick blog post

Today it is my stop on the House of Shadows blog tour and I have been lucky enough to receive a post from 
Nicola Cornick‏, I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did. Please don't forget to check out the other stops on this tour. 

A bit about the book: 

London, 1662:
There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: 
Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

Why did you choose to write about Elizabeth Stuart, why she deserves to be recognised?

Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, has an impossibly romantic name and a history that was both tragic and picturesque, but she was also a strong and influential leader at a time when women in history were frequently excluded from power. I wanted to bring her story out of the shadows and celebrate all she achieved.

Born a Scottish princess in 1596, Elizabeth was the only daughter of James VI and I and came to England as a child when her father inherited the throne of England from Queen Elizabeth I. James had two sons; the role of the daughter was to be charming, preferably beautiful and above all, marriageable. Elizabeth fulfilled this part admirably. She was married to a German prince at the age of sixteen to secure a Protestant alliance and went to live in Heidelberg Castle, on the Rhine.

Yet there was another side to Elizabeth’s life. Her husband was defeated in battle and she and her young family were forced to flee into exile to escape the enemy. She was seven months pregnant during the flight and rode for mile after mile through the snows of winter without complaint. Frederick died young and Elizabeth assumed centre stage, fighting to regain her sons’ patrimony. She was a stateswoman, involved in international politics and diplomacy as well as being an influential cultural figure.

Certainly Elizabeth’s story has inspired me to look below the surface to find the strong and gallant woman beneath. It is this story I explore in my book House of Shadows. It’s the tale of the beautiful princess but also the Elizabeth who has been hidden; the woman who was a diplomat, a leader and an icon and who was also the founder of Britain’s Hanoverian dynasty.

About the author:
Nicola Cornick studied History at the University of London and has a Masters degree in Public History from Ruskin College Oxford. She acts as a history consultant for TV and radio and gives talks on local history and creative writing. Nicola also volunteers as a guide and historian for the National Trust at Ashdown House, where House of Shadows is based. Her award-winning novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into 26 languages. She lives in Oxfordshire.

This book is out now so make sure you grab a copy. You can do that here

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