Throne of Shame by Fran Norton
Betrothed at nine and premier countess of England by the age of fifteen, Alice de Lacy might have expected a life of ease and privilege. Political turmoil at the end of the thirteenth century ensured things turned out very differently. Wealth and titles were no defence against a bullying lecherous husband, especially one whose uncle was King Edward I. After her husband's execution, Alice enjoyed all too brief a period of happiness in the Shropshire countryside with her second husband. Once again widowed with only a faithful lady-in-waiting to help her, Alice found herself a prey to ambitious men. Surviving abduction and rape she was forced into a third marriage with a husband. Will Alice escape?
ISBN 978-09570781-3-0 192pp PB £8.99 Publication date 30th October 2012
Review in the Shropshire Star
The back cover of this book shows one of the splendid stained glass windows in St Laurence's Church in Ludlow, and the publishers are based in Much Wenlock so this is very much a 'Shropshire' book even before you read a single word of the novel.
The story features Alice who is the only surviving daughter, and inheritor, of the Earl of Lincoln, Henry de Lacy. Henry is delighted when Alice is accepted for an arranged marriage to the king's nephew, Thomas Plantagenet, as he sees this move as a way of securing her future. Sadly Henry knows very little about his prospective son-in-law whose true nature causes even his uncle, Edward the First, much concern.
Set within a framework of actual historical events, the story follows Alice and Matty, her faithful lady-in-waiting, through a difficult married life and the strife and civil wars of one of history's most turbulent periods. I enjoyed every word, and applaud the author for this stylish and very readable offering which is a must for all fans of Shropshire's history.
Review for the Shropshire Star by Sally Bunn