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Kenilworth: A Classic Historical Fiction

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Kenilworth; A Classic Novel by Scottish Writer (Annotated) by Sir Walter Scott includes author's biography and active table of content. From Wikipedia Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time. Scott was the first English-language author to Kenilworth; A Classic Novel by Scottish Writer (Annotated) by Sir Walter Scott includes author's biography and active table of content. From Wikipedia Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time. Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, an Scott's first success was his poetry. Since childhood, he had been fascinated by stories in the oral tradition of the Scottish Borders. This drew him to explore the writing of prose. Hitherto, the novel was accorded lower (and often scandalous) social value compared to the epic poetry that had brought him public acclaim. In an innovative and astute action, he wrote and published his first novel, Waverley, under the guise of anonymity. It was a tale of the Jacobite rising of 1745 in the Kingdom of Great Britain. Its English protagonist was Edward Waverley, by his Tory upbringing sympathetic to the Jacobite cause. Becoming enmeshed in events, however, he eventually chooses Hanoverian respectability. There followed a succession of novels over the next five years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Mindful of his reputation as a poet, Scott maintained the anonymity he had begun with Waverley, always publishing the novels under the name Author of Waverley or attributed as "Tales of..." with no author. Even when it was clear that there would be no harm in coming out into the open, he maintained the façade, apparently out of a sense of fun. During this time the nickname The Wizard of the North was popularly applied to the mysterious best-selling writer. His identity as the author of the novels was widely rumoured, and in 1815 Scott was given the honour of dining with George, Prince Regent, who wanted to meet "the author of Waverley". CHAPTER III.      Nay, I'll hold touch the game shall be play'd out;      It ne'er shall stop for me, this merry wager:      That which I say when gamesome, I'll avouch      In my most sober mood, ne'er trust me else.   THE HAZARD TABLE. "And how doth your kinsman, good mine host?" said Tressilian, when Giles Gosling first appeared in the public room, on the morning following the revel which we described in the last chapter. "Is he well, and will he abide by his wager?" "For well, sir, he started two hours since, and has visited I know not what purlieus of his old companions; hath but now returned, and is at this instant breakfasting on new-laid eggs and muscadine. And for his wager, I caution you as a friend to have little to do with that, or indeed with aught that Mike proposes. Wherefore, I counsel you to a warm breakfast upon a culiss, which shall restore the tone of the stomach; and let my nephew and Master Goldthred swagger about their wager as they list." "It seems to me, mine host," said Tressilian, "that you know not well what to say about this kinsman of yours, and that you can neither blame nor commend him without some twinge of conscience."


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Kenilworth; A Classic Novel by Scottish Writer (Annotated) by Sir Walter Scott includes author's biography and active table of content. From Wikipedia Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time. Scott was the first English-language author to Kenilworth; A Classic Novel by Scottish Writer (Annotated) by Sir Walter Scott includes author's biography and active table of content. From Wikipedia Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time. Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, an Scott's first success was his poetry. Since childhood, he had been fascinated by stories in the oral tradition of the Scottish Borders. This drew him to explore the writing of prose. Hitherto, the novel was accorded lower (and often scandalous) social value compared to the epic poetry that had brought him public acclaim. In an innovative and astute action, he wrote and published his first novel, Waverley, under the guise of anonymity. It was a tale of the Jacobite rising of 1745 in the Kingdom of Great Britain. Its English protagonist was Edward Waverley, by his Tory upbringing sympathetic to the Jacobite cause. Becoming enmeshed in events, however, he eventually chooses Hanoverian respectability. There followed a succession of novels over the next five years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Mindful of his reputation as a poet, Scott maintained the anonymity he had begun with Waverley, always publishing the novels under the name Author of Waverley or attributed as "Tales of..." with no author. Even when it was clear that there would be no harm in coming out into the open, he maintained the façade, apparently out of a sense of fun. During this time the nickname The Wizard of the North was popularly applied to the mysterious best-selling writer. His identity as the author of the novels was widely rumoured, and in 1815 Scott was given the honour of dining with George, Prince Regent, who wanted to meet "the author of Waverley". CHAPTER III.      Nay, I'll hold touch the game shall be play'd out;      It ne'er shall stop for me, this merry wager:      That which I say when gamesome, I'll avouch      In my most sober mood, ne'er trust me else.   THE HAZARD TABLE. "And how doth your kinsman, good mine host?" said Tressilian, when Giles Gosling first appeared in the public room, on the morning following the revel which we described in the last chapter. "Is he well, and will he abide by his wager?" "For well, sir, he started two hours since, and has visited I know not what purlieus of his old companions; hath but now returned, and is at this instant breakfasting on new-laid eggs and muscadine. And for his wager, I caution you as a friend to have little to do with that, or indeed with aught that Mike proposes. Wherefore, I counsel you to a warm breakfast upon a culiss, which shall restore the tone of the stomach; and let my nephew and Master Goldthred swagger about their wager as they list." "It seems to me, mine host," said Tressilian, "that you know not well what to say about this kinsman of yours, and that you can neither blame nor commend him without some twinge of conscience."

30 review for Kenilworth: A Classic Historical Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Free download available at [email protected] Due to the Scottish Independence Referendum, which occurred in Sept. 18, I decided to read a couple of books written by two great Scottish writers: The Master of Ballantrae (see my review here) by Robert L. Stevenson and the present book. The love affair between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, is very well-known and has been described in several books. However the role played by Amy Robsart, Dudley's wife, into this plot was never Free download available at [email protected] Due to the Scottish Independence Referendum, which occurred in Sept. 18, I decided to read a couple of books written by two great Scottish writers: The Master of Ballantrae (see my review here) by Robert L. Stevenson and the present book. The love affair between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, is very well-known and has been described in several books. However the role played by Amy Robsart, Dudley's wife, into this plot was never put in a first plan, on the contrary. The Kenilworth Castle - Dudley's castle to which the tittle refers played an important historical role, from the Siege of Kenilworth in 1266 to the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne. Even if this book has some historical inaccuracies, such as the circumstances of Amy Robsart's death as well as the real date of her death (Sept. 8, 1560), Scott manages quite well to write a masterpiece on this historical period. Two TV series were made based on this book: Kenilworth (1957– ) and Kenilworth (1967– ) with Jeremy Brett, John Bryans, John Fraser. 4* Rob Roy 3* The Heart of Mid-Lothian 4* Ivanhoe 3* Waverley 4* The Fair Maid of Perth 4* The Bride of Lammermoor $* Kenilworth TR The Monastery TR The Pirate TR The Waverly Novels: Anne of Geierstein TR The Two Drovers TR The Antiquary TR The Lady of the Lake TR The Talisman

  2. 5 out of 5

    Briynne

    I’m sorry to say that I hated this a little bit. I had such hopes for Walter Scott, and I find myself in a pickle because I’m determined to finish my three-novel omnibus regardless of my impression of this first attempt. With any luck Ivanhoe and Quentin Durward will be better, but I just don’t know how hopeful I am. What really gets me is that I thought the plot had such promise; it’s the story of Amy Robsart, the secret wife of Queen Elizabeth’s famous favorite, the Earl of Leicester. I like c I’m sorry to say that I hated this a little bit. I had such hopes for Walter Scott, and I find myself in a pickle because I’m determined to finish my three-novel omnibus regardless of my impression of this first attempt. With any luck Ivanhoe and Quentin Durward will be better, but I just don’t know how hopeful I am. What really gets me is that I thought the plot had such promise; it’s the story of Amy Robsart, the secret wife of Queen Elizabeth’s famous favorite, the Earl of Leicester. I like court intrigue and Golden Age England. I was looking forward to mentally tsk-tsking Leicester for being such a duplicitous and falsely charming little weasel. Furthermore, I thought that the hidden countess had all the makings of a proper tragic heroine. Basically, I had already written a nice and cozy Gothic melodrama in my head only to be confronted with what Scott actually wrote. Saving the bits with Elizabeth herself, who is beautifully written in her vanity, mistaken affection, and intelligence, this was trekking through mud to read. Amy is a simpering fool who threw away a good man for the absent and feckless Leicester; my resounding lack of pity for her surprised even me. Her maid was tolerable, but Amy herself was painful to read. Leicester wasn’t even fun to hate, as he might have been if he had seemed like the master of any of his decisions. As it was, he seemed more an Othello to Varney’s Iago, and I just thought him useless. Varney, granted, was vile and cunning enough to be interesting, but was so tamely written that it again just sort of all canceled out into dullness. The real problem with this book, unfortunately, seemed to be Scott. There is a prissiness and gentrified smugness to every line in this book that is practically insufferable. You can hear the delicate 19th century sensibilities much louder than the 16th century plot, and it’s as distracting as it is annoying. I felt like there wasn’t any depth to the story or characters – they just seemed to float airily along with very nice manners and improbably formal speeches at every turn. Scott was such a popular favorite that I expected something better, but hopefully things will improve with my next try. Wish me luck, as I might need it :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    As the book opens, Amy Robsart has left her family home and has secretly married Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Amy's father, Sir Hugh and the man her father intended her to marry, Edmund Tressilian, have no knowledge of Amy's whereabouts and suspect foul play at the hands of Dudley's sneaky master of the horse, Richard Varney, and Tressilian goes in search of Amy at an old manor house, Cumnor Place. As Elizabeth I's attraction to Dudley grows, so does Dudley's ambitions to reach for the star As the book opens, Amy Robsart has left her family home and has secretly married Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Amy's father, Sir Hugh and the man her father intended her to marry, Edmund Tressilian, have no knowledge of Amy's whereabouts and suspect foul play at the hands of Dudley's sneaky master of the horse, Richard Varney, and Tressilian goes in search of Amy at an old manor house, Cumnor Place. As Elizabeth I's attraction to Dudley grows, so does Dudley's ambitions to reach for the stars and a greater place at court than he ever dared for, and Amy becomes a bit of a liability -- especially to Varney who hopes to rise in power alongside his master--and thus the game is on. This is the first Walter Scott that I have read, with the exception of Ivanhoe and that was many years ago when I was a young child. I admit to almost giving up a couple of times, as the vernacular used by the characters was hard to follow at times, but it's worth slugging through the first 50 or so pages until the story starts cooking along as Scott takes the reader on a grand ride through the court of Elizabeth Tudor. Even Walter Raleigh makes a wonderful secondary character, his characterization of Elizabeth I was spot on, and I loved the way Scott worked Dudley's famous fete of Elizabeth at his castle at Kenilworth into Amy's story. Although Scott based this tale on an old English Ballad (which is printed in the back of the book) and not known history, it's still a jolly good yarn peopled with interesting characters, poison, astrology, treachery and all the well known intrigues of the Court of Elizabeth I. Those of you who are well versed in Tudor history already know the fate of Amy Robsart and I will have to warn those potential readers who are picky about historical accuracy that Scott definitely diddles with history in this tale. But for those readers who are willing to forget what's in the history books and ready to enjoy a jolly good yarn by a master storyteller about Elizabethan England, this is one book worth checking out, and I intend to read other books by this author. Five stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie Jones

    Review to come later. Here are some of my favorite quotes: "...when stakes are made, the game must be played; that is gamester's law, all over the world." ~ chapter III "Well--it is wise to practice beforehand the part which fortune prepares us to play--the young eagle must gaze at the sun, ere he soars on strong wing to meet it." ~ chapter V "I had never more need that the heavenly bodies should befriend me, for my earthly path is darkened and confused." ~ chapter XVIII "...but the truth is, that a Review to come later. Here are some of my favorite quotes: "...when stakes are made, the game must be played; that is gamester's law, all over the world." ~ chapter III "Well--it is wise to practice beforehand the part which fortune prepares us to play--the young eagle must gaze at the sun, ere he soars on strong wing to meet it." ~ chapter V "I had never more need that the heavenly bodies should befriend me, for my earthly path is darkened and confused." ~ chapter XVIII "...but the truth is, that a regard for personal appearance is a species of self-love, from which the wisest are not exempt, and to which the mind clings so instinctively, that not only the soldier advancing to almost inevitable death, but even the doomed criminal who goes to certain execution, shows an anxiety to array his person to the best advantage. But this is a digression." ~ chapter XXX "An eagle am I, that never will think of dull earth while there is a heaven to soar in, and a sun to gaze upon." ~ chapter XXX

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This is a truly terrible piece of work on many grounds. Historically, it's a complete shambles - Scott has plain made up a great deal of the back story, and not very well at that. Dialogue is hopelessly stilted, the long descriptions of the revels at Kenilworth seem to be written by a completely different author, and the last couple of chapters read as if the author has suddenly realised he had a deadline to meet. Scott's earlier works are muddled and hard to understand with their Scottish diale This is a truly terrible piece of work on many grounds. Historically, it's a complete shambles - Scott has plain made up a great deal of the back story, and not very well at that. Dialogue is hopelessly stilted, the long descriptions of the revels at Kenilworth seem to be written by a completely different author, and the last couple of chapters read as if the author has suddenly realised he had a deadline to meet. Scott's earlier works are muddled and hard to understand with their Scottish dialect (I'm thinking of The Antiquary, or Old Mortality), but they did feel to be written in the author's genuine voice. This tripe is like bad Hollywood 100 years before its time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This dragged for me. I read Walter Scott for adventures and heroics, but this book is about a weak man tempted into foulness, aided by a rotten servant, and not helped by a useless wife and her annoying ex. I never cheered for anyone. It's a mismatch between expectation and reality -- the book does what it wanted to, but that's not what I wanted.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I was lucky enough to find this book at work. Really enjoyed it as I’ve always found the story of Amy Robsart intriguing as a kid.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Malvina

    *Slight spoilers below* I was told to read this because I hope to visit Kenilworth Castle. Part 1 sets the scene for this tale of mystery, deception, court politics and murder, set in 1575 when Elizabeth 1 did indeed visit one of her favourites - Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester - at Kenilworth. There is a large smattering of historic licence from Walter Scott, but it all makes for a terrific tale. It's rather a hard slog to read at first, but it picks up in Part 2 with the entrance of Elizabeth *Slight spoilers below* I was told to read this because I hope to visit Kenilworth Castle. Part 1 sets the scene for this tale of mystery, deception, court politics and murder, set in 1575 when Elizabeth 1 did indeed visit one of her favourites - Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester - at Kenilworth. There is a large smattering of historic licence from Walter Scott, but it all makes for a terrific tale. It's rather a hard slog to read at first, but it picks up in Part 2 with the entrance of Elizabeth 1 (and even Walter Raleigh, in splendid form). From then to the end of part 3 the story races along, with wonderfully poetic prose from the master. As the introduction in this volume proclaims, the novel contrasts: '...a brilliant but deeply flawed society and its destined victim whose integrity, strength and essential innocence expose its moral bankruptcy...' What causes all this deception and deceit? The suspicion that Elizabeth 1 will not approve of the (secret) marriage of the Earl of Leicester to lovely Amy Robsart, sadly languishing most of the time like a luxuriously caged bird at Cumnor-Hall. The story is fabulously entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the references to Elizabeth 1 when she suddenly transforms from 'woman' to the unmistakable 'daughter of a line of kings', or shows her queenly blood as 'that of Henry VIII'. Watch out! *Ending spoilers* I love the last two verses included in the book from the beautiful elegy translated by William Julius Mickle, titled 'Cumnor-Hall'. They say it all: The village maids, with fearful glance, Avoid the ancient moss-grown wall, Nor ever lead the merry dance Among the groves of Cumnor-Hall. And many a traveller has sigh'd, And pensive mourn'd that lady's fall, As wandering onward he has spied The haunted towers of Cumnor-Hall.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Hmmm, what to say. Once I was about 40% into this book, I enjoyed it much more. Granted the ‘stage’ had to be set so much back-story was provided before the real interesting bits began (read that to mean the character of Queen Elizabeth I entered ). Having visited Kenilworth for the second time this last summer and being honored to see the recreated gardens that were mentioned by Scott (from a primary source of the time of Elizabeth’s visit) this book had added enjoyment and interest. The myster Hmmm, what to say. Once I was about 40% into this book, I enjoyed it much more. Granted the ‘stage’ had to be set so much back-story was provided before the real interesting bits began (read that to mean the character of Queen Elizabeth I entered ). Having visited Kenilworth for the second time this last summer and being honored to see the recreated gardens that were mentioned by Scott (from a primary source of the time of Elizabeth’s visit) this book had added enjoyment and interest. The mystery that surrounds Amy Robsart’s death has provided fertile ground for speculation ever since it occurred. The one thing that remains is the fact that the cloud which hung over it ended Leicester’s hopes of marriage to Elizabeth—if there were ever any chances. My only concern for this book, being a historian, is the aptness for readers to assume it is the truth. I encountered that often as a history teacher where students would have seen a historical event fictionalized on film or television (some may have even read fictional books) and think it was true. In many cases I wasn’t teaching history so much as un-teaching Hollywood’s version of history. Sorry for the leap there, but thanks for letting me get that little editorial out in the midst of this book review. Since the Tudor era is my favorite time period, this book would get recommended regardless and the footnotes include an inventory of Kenilworth that I had never seen before and thoroughly enjoyed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I picked this up on a recent visit to Kenilworth Castle and I had high hopes for it as it features one of my favourite historical figures in Robert Dudley. I can't say exactly why but it just didn't do it for me. The plot revolves around Elizabeth I's progress in 1575 where she was entertained at Kenilworth Castle by Robert Dudley in what was considered a last ditch attempt at romantic courtship. In Scott's novel the subplot is the concealment of Dudley's marriage to Amy Robsart, the eventual un I picked this up on a recent visit to Kenilworth Castle and I had high hopes for it as it features one of my favourite historical figures in Robert Dudley. I can't say exactly why but it just didn't do it for me. The plot revolves around Elizabeth I's progress in 1575 where she was entertained at Kenilworth Castle by Robert Dudley in what was considered a last ditch attempt at romantic courtship. In Scott's novel the subplot is the concealment of Dudley's marriage to Amy Robsart, the eventual unveiling of this union and the murder of Amy by a servant of Dudley's. And this is where the truth is waylaid for poetic licence. By the time of the revelries at Kenilworth, Amy had been dead for 15 years and Dudley was married to Lady Douglas Sheffield. There are various other 'untruths' in the novel and it just didn't really hold my interest. As a whole, I thought the book was okay but the historical inaccuracies prevented me from liking it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    This was a very slow book to get in to, but I'm tolerant and once all of the background information was behind me I really enjoyed the story. The copy I read had notations of what was historical fact and fiction. I found it so interesting. I usually need happy endings, so I was surprised how much I liked this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Williamacrane

    I read this after visiting Kenilworth Castle. If your unaccustomed to reading eighteenth century English prose, you may struggle a bit with the language, but the reward does more than outweigh the effort. If you like castles, mysteries and history this book is for you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Richard Rogers

    I don't remember where this book came from. Probably, someone gave it to me. Possibly, I bought it, but so long ago I forgot. It was on the "books that don't fit anywhere else" shelf for years when I handled it again and thought about reading it. The copy itself is old, well over 100 years, but I can't verify exactly which edition. It's cool, though. And it is still a good book. Knowing literally nothing about the novel--setting, characters, plot, nothing--I just opened and read, and then I kept re I don't remember where this book came from. Probably, someone gave it to me. Possibly, I bought it, but so long ago I forgot. It was on the "books that don't fit anywhere else" shelf for years when I handled it again and thought about reading it. The copy itself is old, well over 100 years, but I can't verify exactly which edition. It's cool, though. And it is still a good book. Knowing literally nothing about the novel--setting, characters, plot, nothing--I just opened and read, and then I kept reading. It's quaint, yes, but despite the archaic language, it reads very modern. This is the story of a man, Tressilian, who loves a beautiful woman, Amy Robsart, the daughter of a country squire. He is hunting for her after she disappears. She has been taken by a powerful man, Earl Leicester, but with her consent, and she marries him in secret. The difficulty is that he keeps it a secret, and keeps her as a prisoner. Leicester, a favorite in Queen Elizabeth's court, could almost marry the queen if he had not been so foolish, and he has ambitions, while the man who loves the woman is a simple, good, and honest man. There are a number of interesting and fun characters, including Sir Walter Raleigh, who performs his cloak-across-the-puddle act in the novel, and I finally understand what that might have looked like. Raleigh is fun character, though minor, and his friend Blount, an honest soldier trying to play courtier with embarrassing consequences, deserves his own novel. The commoner Wayland Smith, a man of limitless wit and resources, feels like another protagonist, and the prankster referred to as Flibbertigibbet is like a force of nature whose playful sleight of hand has dire results. The antagonists, including a quick-thinking drunk, an alchemist, and Leicester's brilliant but amoral right-hand man, round out full cast of characters. A modern reader can hardly avoid noticing the lack of female characters and the condescension toward women. Queen Elizabeth holds her own--despite frequent asides by the narrator and actual character dialogue referring to female weaknesses and rather unattractive strengths--and Amy Robsart is a strong character in both senses, but that mostly covers it. The other women are not even secondary characters. You expect little more from a 19th Century novel set in the Sixteenth Century, but it disappoints nonetheless. (Ivanhoe, which I read several years ago, has a similar problem, as I suspect most of the Waverly novels do. In addition, it has an odd, mixed tone toward its Jewish characters that mars an otherwise very entertaining novel. Old dead white guys, right?) Still, the energy and inventiveness of the author is impressive, the plot brisk, and the entertainment undeniable. I liked it, and I recommend it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Karaiskos

    In his third book referring to sixteenth-century events, the author deals with the very strange case of the death of Amy Robsart, wife of the Earl of Leicester, one of the most powerful men of the Kingdom at that time, considered by many to be a murder. The writer takes this case, changes a lot of facts and uses his writing talent to turn it into a very interesting Gothic adventure. Amy Robsart takes on the role of the classical protagonist of these stories as a woman innocent and sensitive who In his third book referring to sixteenth-century events, the author deals with the very strange case of the death of Amy Robsart, wife of the Earl of Leicester, one of the most powerful men of the Kingdom at that time, considered by many to be a murder. The writer takes this case, changes a lot of facts and uses his writing talent to turn it into a very interesting Gothic adventure. Amy Robsart takes on the role of the classical protagonist of these stories as a woman innocent and sensitive who falls victim to ambitious and ruthless men. From the end, of course, we understand that the noble saviour is absent or at least not doing his job well. Whatever the case, however, through this story, the author shows in a very vivid way the intense competition of the powerful men of the time in the court of Queen Elizabeth, which he shows her to be flattered by this behaviour, even encouraging it but at critical points to have the power and wisdom to control it in a way. These are the ingredients of a book that may start slowly and subtly, but then the intensity gradually increases at the right rate until the extremely interesting ending. A book in which his writer still holds his high standards of quality. Στο τρίτο βιβλίο του που αναφέρεται σε γεγονότα του δέκατου έκτου αιώνα ο συγγραφέας ασχολείται με την πολύ περίεργη υπόθεση του θανάτου της Amy Robsart, συζύγου του κόμη του Λέστερ, ενός από τους ισχυρότερους άνθρωπος του Βασιλείου εκείνη την εποχή, που θεωρήθηκε από πολλούς ότι ήταν δολοφονία. Ο συγγραφέας παίρνει αυτήν την υπόθεση, αλλάζει αρκετά στοιχεία και χρησιμοποιώντας το συγγραφικό του ταλέντο τη μετατρέπει σε μία πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα γοτθική περιπέτεια. Η Amy Robsart παίρνει το ρόλο της κλασικής πρωταγωνίστριας αυτών των ιστοριών, ως μία γυναίκα αθώα και ευαίσθητη που πέφτει θύμα φιλόδοξων και αδίστακτων ανδρών. Από το τέλος βέβαια καταλαβαίνουμε ότι απουσιάζει ολοκληρωτικά ο ευγενής σωτήρας ή τουλάχιστον δεν κάνει καλά τη δουλειά του. Ότι και να ισχύει, όμως, μέσα από αυτή την ιστορία ο συγγραφέας μας δείχνει με έναν πολύ γλαφυρό τρόπο τον έντονο ανταγωνισμό των ισχυρών ανδρών της εποχής στην αυλή της βασίλισσας Ελισάβετ, την οποία παρουσιάζει να κολακεύεται από αυτή τη συμπεριφορά, ακόμα και να την ενθαρρύνει αλλά στα κρίσιμα σημεία να έχει τη δύναμη και τη σοφία να την ελέγξει με ένα τρόπο. Αυτά είναι τα συστατικά από ένα βιβλίο που ίσως ξεκινάει αργά και υποτονικά αλλά στη συνέχεια η ένταση αυξάνεται σταδιακά με το σωστό ρυθμό, μέχρι το εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρον τέλος. Ένα βιβλίο στο οποίο ο συγγραφέας του εξακολουθεί να κρατάει ψηλά τον πήχη της ποιότητας.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Another masterpiece from Scott. Having read the introduction and several of the preceding Waverley novels I thought this might prove a somewhat predictable read. Far from it. I was absorbed by the plot and characterisation throughout. Some of the history, specifically the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Kenilworth castle at a time when Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, was currying her favour, was familiar to me. Much of the action, however, takes place prior to this in Berkshire where the heroine of t Another masterpiece from Scott. Having read the introduction and several of the preceding Waverley novels I thought this might prove a somewhat predictable read. Far from it. I was absorbed by the plot and characterisation throughout. Some of the history, specifically the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Kenilworth castle at a time when Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, was currying her favour, was familiar to me. Much of the action, however, takes place prior to this in Berkshire where the heroine of the piece is held captive. Scott's stories often contain colourful characters who with their virtues and vices make them interesting. The "goodly"pub landlord, his reprobate nephew returned from adventures abroad, the avaricious minder of the manor house where our heroine is confined, and his caring daughter are a few of these met in the opening chapters. As the plot proceeds more are introduced, all of whom contribute to the novel, which culminates in the aforementioned entertainments of the queen at Kenilworth. Here the story comes to its final denouement. Despite knowing how this was going to turn out it was not an anti-climax. Classical historical romance at its best!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This very enjoyable book follows the familiar formula, but adds to it interesting historical events in the reign of Elizabeth I. The ostensible main character of the book seems to be more observer than effectual, and even disappears for long periods in the narrative. Many well-drawn secondary characters suddenly are thrust forward as the main characters for a time, and then recede again into the background. And of course, the Other appears occasionally to either interfere or intercede in the wor This very enjoyable book follows the familiar formula, but adds to it interesting historical events in the reign of Elizabeth I. The ostensible main character of the book seems to be more observer than effectual, and even disappears for long periods in the narrative. Many well-drawn secondary characters suddenly are thrust forward as the main characters for a time, and then recede again into the background. And of course, the Other appears occasionally to either interfere or intercede in the workings of the plot, like a trickster. Maybe the best parts of the book are those when Elizabeth speaks, as the author does a masterful job giving voice to both the strength of character of Henry's daughter and the insecurities she must have felt as one who had been imprisoned as a child, whose mother had been executed by her father, and who was viewed as illegitimate as an heir and a queen by many. What a great mini-series this would make! Much better than the CW series Reign, which tries to "Game of Thrones" the same historical events.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jackson Cyril

    Though this isn't one of Scott's best, it does have its moments: the surprising, Poe-esque ending, with its triumph of evil over good, a very human picture of Queen Elizabeth, the proto stream-of-consciousness prose and (of course) Shakespeare's cameo appearance, all make this a terrific novel.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    It is almost entirely inaccurate in details beyond Elizabeth, Robin and Amy. That said, it’s a well written, amusing tale about a love triangle that did exist and a death that is still unsolved today. I liked the lens through which it was written, even if it is inaccurate in the extreme.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This book starts out rather slow and plodding, as was most of the writing of that era, but if you can hang on to the end, you'll be treated to a story worthy of CSI -- so maybe not quite high praise, but an intrigue, nonetheless.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julieann Wielga

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "It is the privilege of tale-tellers to open their story in an inn, the free rendezvous of all travelers, and where the humour of each displays itself, without ceremony or restraint." I believe Scott is correct about the power of beginning a story in an inn because I was instantly captivated. Melville started Moby-Dick there also so he must have felt similarly. So begins Kenilworth, written in 1821 by Sir Walter Scott about the castle just outside of Warwick England, owned by Robert Dudley, Ear "It is the privilege of tale-tellers to open their story in an inn, the free rendezvous of all travelers, and where the humour of each displays itself, without ceremony or restraint." I believe Scott is correct about the power of beginning a story in an inn because I was instantly captivated. Melville started Moby-Dick there also so he must have felt similarly. So begins Kenilworth, written in 1821 by Sir Walter Scott about the castle just outside of Warwick England, owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and beau of Queen Elizabeth I. On July 9, 1575 after Dudley put in a pleasure garden and addition greatly adding to the size of his castle, designed to be the Queens own chambers, Dudley welcomed Elisabeth to his home among throngs of his countrymen, players, jousters, jugglers, lovers, drunkards, knights, ghosts,adversaries and ladies. The Earl was in apparent hopes of capturing Elizabeth's(42) heart. This scene, which Scott lifts from the chronicler Laneham, is the climax of this romp of a novel. Scott is in no hurry to tell his story. My Great Illustrated Classic had 452 pages. (The illustrations are taken from many other additions and add to the fun of the book.) In the Inn, we meet Tresselian of Cornwall who is a learned and noble man protector of the young and beautiful Amy Robsart who is the real center of the book. We meet Michael Lambourne, who is a cheap hire and a dandy, who is willing to be dedicated to anyone who will pay him handsomely. Recently home, he becomes the hire of Anthony Foster, an old friend and former Catholic, who is now turned protestant and the hired jailor of Amy. But Foster is not the evil one. It is Richard Varney who stops at no evil to obtain power through the rich and powerful Earl of Lescester. It is Varney who manipulates Lecester's ego to court the queen. Other characters are the evil astrologer and his assistant Wayland tjhe blacksmith, juggler, apothecary and , and his friend an imp or a boy Flibbergibit. The center of the novel is that although, in court, it was said that Amy was married to Varney, she was actually married to Dudley. Amy needed to be sequestered away so that the court did know of the earl's marriage. History is unclear of what actually caused Amy's death. It is said that she fell down the stairs perhaps due to some violence at 28 in 1560. Scott plays with the timeline much to the benefit of the reader. As the reader, I was on the edge of my chair as I turned to read the last page. For a few days afterward I have been unable to read anything else, since I did not want to leave the world of Elixabethan England and the memory of the ruins of the castle that I had visited, but that Scott had brought to glory. While with our family over Thanksgiving, my grown sons and I had the pleasure of having a lengthly conversation about commas. I said that I so enjoyed classic literature because so often the authors are masterful in connecting clauses after clauses. In two out of three randomly picked sentences, Kenilworth had 7 commas or semicolons per sentence. Colin said, "Read a sentence outloud, I do not think, I will be able to follow it." To his surprise, even orally ,the sentence was completely clear .First a poet and then a novelist, this book is pleasure for a brain who loves language.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I THINK this is the edition I've got. My copy has no publication date, but I would say it WAS a nineteenth century book. Some parts of it had evidently never been read: the pages hadn't even been cut. As with most Scott books, edition evidently matters quite a bit. The edition I have has a strangely lacking glossary. Only about 1/3 of the words I looked for were in the glossary. This edition also contains one of Scott's idiosyncrasies. I never have figured out why Scott decided to put indeces in n I THINK this is the edition I've got. My copy has no publication date, but I would say it WAS a nineteenth century book. Some parts of it had evidently never been read: the pages hadn't even been cut. As with most Scott books, edition evidently matters quite a bit. The edition I have has a strangely lacking glossary. Only about 1/3 of the words I looked for were in the glossary. This edition also contains one of Scott's idiosyncrasies. I never have figured out why Scott decided to put indeces in novels. But such indeces exist in all the earlier editions of Scott's works I've seen. If you're looking for a comedy (in the old sense of a book with a happy ending), this isn't it. There's an old saying that tragedies end with funerals, and comedies end with weddings. Although there are several weddings at the end of this book, funerals predominate. And although several characters consider just running away to some other part of the world (America seems the commonest destination proposed, but other places are sometimes suggested), nobody ever seems to follow through on such plans--at least in the book. In real life, of course, at least one character, Sir Walter Raleigh, did go to America, though he didn't stay. There's a tendency to judge historical novels on the basis of accuracy. Since Scott wasn't particularly a stickler for historical fact, this isn't a very good measure for any of Scott's works, and this principle applies to this one as well. I'm pretty sure that the book's presentation of Elizabeth I is merely conventional. Interpolating speculation of how she 'really' felt about things is, I've always thought, insufferably intrusive. Scott adds some other commentary, such as comments about the tendency of royal favorites to gain influence for reasons that have nothing to do with their expertise in statecraft or in other fields. But there are things he does NOT comment on that he probably should (like the tendency of teachers to beat students bloody, supposedly as an aid to learning. If there was anything LESS calculated to benefit scholars, none immediately spring to mind). One major flaw in this particular volume is that a lot of time and effort is put into developing interest in characters who are eventually casually killed off, after surviving any number of close calls. This is not good practice. It's bad enough that I feel it advisable to take the unusual step of suggesting reading the preface BEFORE reading the book--just so the reader will be warned not to expect a happy ending.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    1.5 stars. When I was 16 I visited Scotland, where our tour bus stopped at Loch Ness (naturally). Inside a tourist-trap souvenir shop I spotted on the bookrack two novels by Walter Scott: Ivanhoe and Rob Roy. I decided to pick them up, only knowing Rob Roy from a recently released cheesy Liam Neeson movie. After I got back to the States, I devoured these two hefty books in about two weeks, fascinated by the archaic language and feeling transported to these almost-fantasy worlds of the past. Sinc 1.5 stars. When I was 16 I visited Scotland, where our tour bus stopped at Loch Ness (naturally). Inside a tourist-trap souvenir shop I spotted on the bookrack two novels by Walter Scott: Ivanhoe and Rob Roy. I decided to pick them up, only knowing Rob Roy from a recently released cheesy Liam Neeson movie. After I got back to the States, I devoured these two hefty books in about two weeks, fascinated by the archaic language and feeling transported to these almost-fantasy worlds of the past. Since then, I had always wanted to explore more of Scott's Waverley novels, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I decided this summer--17 years after my high school trip to Scotland--was the time to revisit Scott. Kenilworth seemed like a fun place to start, since it involved Queen Elizabeth, Walter Raleigh, and an alchemist. Pretty cool, right? Well....what a let-down! Could this novel possibly be from the same writer who penned Ivanhoe? Was my memory of reading Scott as a teenager overly-nostalgic? Did I have shitty taste back then, or was Kenilworth just a crummy novel from an otherwise good writer? Unfortunately, I lost my copies of Ivanhoe and Rob Roy in a hurricane, so I couldn't go back to compare. I can only try to figure out why I disliked this novel. Where do I even begin? The Elizabethan language was embarrassing and distracting. Characters were quoting Shakespearean works that they couldn't possibly have known. The plot (which, according to the introduction, was lauded at the time as being Scott's best) was a mish-mash of painfully protracted scenes followed by brief spurts of interesting material followed by pages of purple prose and cringe-inducing dialogue. There were slight moments of interest (the court scene, the final few chapters) but these were spaced between long-winded and dull passages that were tough to get through. Even so, it wasn't bad enough for me to give up. It felt like driving a car on the interstate that sputtered and coughed for miles, but eventually was able to lurch into the closest service station before dying completely. Unfortunately, I bought three more Scott novels along with this one (Waverley, Guy Mannering, and The Bride of Lammermoor). I'm not sure I want to read them after this experience! At least they're all shorter than Kenilworth. Maybe I'll read the shortest next (Lammermoor) and hope that it's better, even if it doesn't approach my memory of reading Scott in my teens.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve R

    As stated in its introduction, an attempt to follow The Abbot's presentation of Mary Queen of Scots with a novel about Elizabeth. More specifically, it deals with one of her courtiers, the Earl of Leicester, who has rather illadvisedly married Amy Robsart, the daughter of a minor Duke. But since he is a favorite at court, and holds the desire to wed Elizabeth and thus become King, he keeps his wife secluded at Cumnor Hall and only visits surreptiously and rarely. His henchman Varney is a truly d As stated in its introduction, an attempt to follow The Abbot's presentation of Mary Queen of Scots with a novel about Elizabeth. More specifically, it deals with one of her courtiers, the Earl of Leicester, who has rather illadvisedly married Amy Robsart, the daughter of a minor Duke. But since he is a favorite at court, and holds the desire to wed Elizabeth and thus become King, he keeps his wife secluded at Cumnor Hall and only visits surreptiously and rarely. His henchman Varney is a truly dispicable character, one of Scott's best villians who, after taking his own life on the last pages of the novel, still held his sarcastic sneer. Tresselian, an early admirer of Amy's, tries toget her out of the clutches of Varney and Leicester, and briefly allies himself with the Earl of Sussex, the main rival to Leicester in the struggle for the Queen's affecions. The climax of the novel at Kenilworth, the castle of Leicester, when Amy makes herself known to Elizabeth but refuses to divulge her marital status, is really high drama. The bit parts of Wayland Smith, an 'artist' but more of a blacksmith and a doctor and his sometimes side-kick Donnie, are very well drawn, as is the poisoner Alasco who succumbs to his own potions. Walter Raleigh is cast as an up-and-coming courtier, complete with his cloak over the puddle scene to win Elizabeth's favour. The drunkard Michael Lambourne meets a violent end, but not one any discerning reader would care much about given the buffoon he is drawn to be. The eventual murder of Amy by Varney - albiet against the reformed wishes of Leicester, is not quite as tragic as it could have been since Scott really makes her seem like a relatively empty-headed beauty who was only desirous of social rank. Well crafted characters, an expansive but tightly controlled plot, and some real scenes of colour - for instance, that of performers mimicking the five invaders of the British Isles - Britons,Romans, Saxons, Danes, Normans - make it one of the Waverley series best.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Published by Sir Walter Scott in 1821, Kenilworth is loosely based on events in Elizabethan England in 1575. Historical inaccuracies aside, it is an engaging story with strong characterizations. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a favorite of the Queen and a man of driving ambition, secretly marries Amy Robsart. His deep love for her cannot prevent him, however, from keeping the marriage a secret from the Queen. Leicester’s love and his ambition provide the driving tensions in this novel, and hi Published by Sir Walter Scott in 1821, Kenilworth is loosely based on events in Elizabethan England in 1575. Historical inaccuracies aside, it is an engaging story with strong characterizations. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a favorite of the Queen and a man of driving ambition, secretly marries Amy Robsart. His deep love for her cannot prevent him, however, from keeping the marriage a secret from the Queen. Leicester’s love and his ambition provide the driving tensions in this novel, and his complex character is interesting. Purer and less mixed manifestations of love and ambition are presented in the figures of Tressillian, Amy’s formerly betrothed, and of the malevolent Robert Varney, Leicester’s Master of Horse and a true Iago force. Amy’s untimely death, presented in Scott’s version as obvious murder, does not prevent her achieving a degree of maturity and seriousness that one would not have expected early in the novel. Scott’s virtual invention of the historical fiction genre and his bringing it to a high degree of development are fascinating to observe, and his ability to use historical backgrounds and issues, even loosely, to achieve compelling narratives, make reading his work ever timely and enjoyable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This romantic story revolves around a damsel in distress, her husband Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and his evil genius, and the Virgin Queen of England, Elizabeth. From the beginning this damsel is in a difficult situation. She has married, but her husband is keeping the marriage a secret while he attempts to win Elizabeth. His evil genius reminds me of Rasputin who influenced Tsarina Alexandra or the character of Count Fosco in The Woman in White. At every turn Robert Dudley and Barney eva This romantic story revolves around a damsel in distress, her husband Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and his evil genius, and the Virgin Queen of England, Elizabeth. From the beginning this damsel is in a difficult situation. She has married, but her husband is keeping the marriage a secret while he attempts to win Elizabeth. His evil genius reminds me of Rasputin who influenced Tsarina Alexandra or the character of Count Fosco in The Woman in White. At every turn Robert Dudley and Barney evade detection and the fate of this damsel remains unknown to the last chapter. In deed it is so hard to predict the ending that I myself could not predict whether it would have a happy or unhappy ending at the start of the very last chapter. I recommend this book in audio format from Librivox.org because the language at first includes so many English words no longer in use that the text version would discourage the average reader and because it is so long that you will need a month or more to get through it. As the plot thickens, the language no longer seems difficult maybe because the author uses fewer unusual words.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I would give the book another half of a star if I could. I loved the history and interesting facts Sir Walter Scott included, and in fairness he tells the reader that he made Dudley possibly kinder than he was in real life. Many of the evils he assigns to Dudley's man Varney may more accurately belong to Dudley. Sometimes not knowing is fun, and sometimes it is frustrating because Robert Dudley has been romanticized as a man who one can feel at least a little sorry for. Perhaps I have been misle I would give the book another half of a star if I could. I loved the history and interesting facts Sir Walter Scott included, and in fairness he tells the reader that he made Dudley possibly kinder than he was in real life. Many of the evils he assigns to Dudley's man Varney may more accurately belong to Dudley. Sometimes not knowing is fun, and sometimes it is frustrating because Robert Dudley has been romanticized as a man who one can feel at least a little sorry for. Perhaps I have been mislead by literature and movies?? (she says in irony) I found myself becoming frustrated with the main female character Amy Robsart, but perhaps it didn't occur to her to be more assertive with her feelings? She didn't have a mom to teach her never to become involved with a guy who wants to keep your relationship a secret. I wanted to read another Walter Scott novel, and my parents gave me a beautiful and very old edition of this one. Scotland is perhaps my favorite place on this earth and I enjoy reading one their beloved authors.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Readitnweep

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I usually have low patience, if I'm not immediately drawn in, but I stuck with this one, and I'm glad that I did. The story is slow to progress and seems scattered initially. There is a divergence of plotlines, which is jarring and uncomfortable to the modern reader, but there is a growing suspense, and you are hanging on until the very end. I have seen this referred to as a romance; it is not. It's not a mystery, per se, either, but I was engaged in the later half. Complaints: the language can be I usually have low patience, if I'm not immediately drawn in, but I stuck with this one, and I'm glad that I did. The story is slow to progress and seems scattered initially. There is a divergence of plotlines, which is jarring and uncomfortable to the modern reader, but there is a growing suspense, and you are hanging on until the very end. I have seen this referred to as a romance; it is not. It's not a mystery, per se, either, but I was engaged in the later half. Complaints: the language can be obtrusive at times; the viewpoint renders it difficult to engage too deeply with any one character; I spent the first three-quarters wondering why the hell it was titled "Kenilworth," but now that I've finished I'm still wondering - Cumnor Place would have been a more apt title. Kudos: even at a distance there are some great characterizations; the history Scott researched, such as including the Kenilworth furniture list he procured; some truly funny phrasings and some incredibke decriptiins woven in. This is a long one but worth hanging in there.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hepple

    This book was a long haul. The plot is all about court intrigues in Elizabethan England, but Scott beats around the bush a lot, possibly to add more Elizabethan detail to the story. For example, Queen Elizabeth spend several pages debating the merits of the new-fangled Shakespeare plays compared to the more traditional pastime of bear-baiting. There are pages of descriptions of entertainments and banquets, as well as appendices giving further descriptions. Genuine historic characters are introdu This book was a long haul. The plot is all about court intrigues in Elizabethan England, but Scott beats around the bush a lot, possibly to add more Elizabethan detail to the story. For example, Queen Elizabeth spend several pages debating the merits of the new-fangled Shakespeare plays compared to the more traditional pastime of bear-baiting. There are pages of descriptions of entertainments and banquets, as well as appendices giving further descriptions. Genuine historic characters are introduced, sometimes as part of the plot and at other times seemingly at random, a kind of Elizabethan name-dropping. Walter Raleigh appears, puts his cloak over some mud in front of the Queen, and gets knighted for example, but makes no difference to the plot. There is also much use of strange archaic Elizabethan phrases – for example early on Lambourne says ‘I will willingly pledge you a cup of bastard’ – I’m still scratching my head over that one. Generally, enjoyed the novel just for it’s use of weird English phrases, but it could have been a lot shorter.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Once you get used to the language, Kenilworth is an interesting read. While it may not be historically accurate, it is Scott's vision of what went on during 1575 during the reign of Elizabeth I of England. In Scott's story, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester has become a favorite of Elizabeth I and has ambition to become king. There is only one little matter standing in his way and that is his marriage to Amy Robsart, who is not of royal birth. Also, being married is not such a great idea for a m Once you get used to the language, Kenilworth is an interesting read. While it may not be historically accurate, it is Scott's vision of what went on during 1575 during the reign of Elizabeth I of England. In Scott's story, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester has become a favorite of Elizabeth I and has ambition to become king. There is only one little matter standing in his way and that is his marriage to Amy Robsart, who is not of royal birth. Also, being married is not such a great idea for a man who wants to marry Elizabeth I for what he can get. Through intrigues, the question is resolved. Amy Robsart dies and the question then and for Scott is whether or not it was a natural death or murder. Scott gives us his opinion on the tragedy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Shephard

    Wow - I found it hard to believe that this book was written back in the early 1800's! It seemed much more recent. And yet, it really reminded me of Shakespeare's style and dramatic flare! This story is centered on Amy Robsart, a young woman wedded to Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester. She loves her husband but dislikes being confined in a country house of his - he claims that she and their marriage must be kept a secret because of how high he is in Queen Elizabeth's favor. But there is a group of m Wow - I found it hard to believe that this book was written back in the early 1800's! It seemed much more recent. And yet, it really reminded me of Shakespeare's style and dramatic flare! This story is centered on Amy Robsart, a young woman wedded to Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester. She loves her husband but dislikes being confined in a country house of his - he claims that she and their marriage must be kept a secret because of how high he is in Queen Elizabeth's favor. But there is a group of men, headed by her former lover Edmund Tressilian, that want to bring Amy home and back to her ailing father. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys drama, romance, and Shakespearean writing. Enjoy!

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