Friday, September 9, 2011
Review: Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Source: Publisher (Advanced Reading Copy)
Richard II was a king like no other, he never intended or desired to become king. The sudden and unexpected passing of both his father and grandfather left him with a crown upon his head and political unrest in his country. Richard, a mere eleven years old began to rule under the control of regency council. 'Within the Hollow Crown' is a story of a young boy, at the mercy of his scheming, deceitful uncles who grows into a man and ruler. A man who steps out from the shadows, and proved himself to be a man of the people. The story comes alive once Anne of Bohemia becomes the newest Queen. A bittersweet love story, the essence of true love. Anne a political pawn in the politics of Europe falls in love with her husband and becomes his biggest supporter. Richard, a lonesome king, no longer felt alone. He wholeheartedly supported his wife, and together they would rule England. Anne disliked Richard's uncles intensely, and Richard himself had years of repressed emotions. For many years his uncles chose not to listen to him. Richard a boy who lacked confident, felt grossly ignored in a room full of people. This is simply a coming of age story about a young, oblivious boy who became a king.
Margaret Campbell Barnes is an amazing historical fiction writer. Her characterization is impeccable. She has a remarkable ability to bring the royal court alive. The story of Richard II was new to me. I had little background knowledge prior to reading this story. I have seen some reviews mention that her research is outdated. However, the story was a great read. I will certainly be doing more research myself. The story began slowly for me, once Anne stepped in I was hooked and wanted to keep reading. I highly recommend this one, and I will be reading more from her. I'm very happy that this has been reprinted. This is not a story as scandalous, and absorbing as Henry VIII but it is great nonetheless.