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The Queen's Dwarf

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
It's 1629, and King Charles I and his French queen Henrietta-Maria have reigned in England for less than three years. Young dwarf Jeffrey Hudson is swept away from a village shambles and plunged into the Stuart court when his father sells him to the most hated man in England--the Duke of Buckingham.

Buckingham trains Jeffrey to be his spy in the household of Charles' seven
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Historical Fiction 2014
32nd out of 397 books — 2,334 voters
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Community Reviews

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"Who rules England? The king?
Who rules the king?
The duke of Buckingham.
Who rules the duke?
The devil.”
Between a rock and a hard place is where young Jeffrey Hudson the dwarf finds himself once he emerges with a flourish from the gilt-edged pie set before the queen. How so?

Jeffrey’s butcher father sells his beautiful and perfectly formed dwarfed son to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham, close friend and confidant of Charles I of England, in turn cunningly places Jeffrey in Quee
I had a wonderful weekend reading "The Queen's Dwarf." It was the perfect get-away! The gorgeous cover gave a glimpse of all that was inside, and author Ella Chase March delivered on her promises. This is a book to cozy down with an enjoy. I highly recommend it.

Ms March writes like the best of the historical fiction authors. There is a depth and sensitivity to her writing. The historical background is thoroughly researched, you can easily discern, as well as the cultural details. Her richness
Feb 04, 2014 Loreta rated it it was amazing
What a nice start of the 2014!Extremely enjoyed "The Queen's Dwarf". Anyone, who rated this book three stars or something like it,probably read something else.This books is definitely five stars and more.There is nothing right now out like it in historical fiction.I've read about 90% of all the historical novels out there and I assure you,there is nothing written about Henrietta Maria's dwarf Jeffery Hudson."The Queen's Dwarf" is impeccably researched book and everyone who reads it,breaths and l ...more
Jenny Q
Apr 22, 2014 Jenny Q rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
Giveaway thru May 5th @Let Them Read Books!

The moment I saw this book, I wanted to read it. I'm interested in learning more about the English Civil Wars, I'd been keen to read one of Ella March Chase's books, and I'm always on the lookout for something unique in English historical fiction, and if you are too, you should add The Queen's Dwarf to your list. Ms. Chase paints a vivid picture of life at court from an unusual and refreshing angle, that of an entertainer, and not just any entertainer
Dec 30, 2013 Blue rated it really liked it
Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for a copy of The Queen's Dwarf.

Chase's novel is loosely based on Jeffrey Hudson's life, as the historic note at the back of the book details. A fictional tale of treason and love is intertwined with the actual facts regarding the problematic reign of King Charles I with his French Catholic queen, Henrietta-Maria. The lives of some real-life royal entertainers, who served alongside Hudson to make the royals laugh, is augmented with the made-up tales of other "frea
Jan 10, 2014 Lissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book was a very pleasant surprise. I am a fan of historical fiction and read it widely, but this may be the first book of fiction that I have read relating the early marriage of King Charles I and Henrietta-Maria. The book follows Jeffrey Hudson, a teenage dwarf, who is sold into the service of the Duke of Buckingham who in turn gives him to the Queen in order to spy on her and her household. Jeffrey was a real person with a fascinating life and it is ingeniously written about in this novel ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Linden rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adult readers
Recommended to Linden by: an undergraduate art history class

Ella March Chase has written a fictional account of Jeffrey Hudson, the court dwarf of England's Queen Henrietta Maria of France, wife of Charles I of England. In 1626 his father sold him to the Duke of Buckingham. The Duke and Duchess presented him to the young Queen as the finale of a banquet. A large venison pie was brought in and Jeffrey arose through the crust. He was eighteen inches tall and wearing a suit of miniature armor.

His purpose, from Buckingham's perspective, was to spy on the Que
Meg - A Bookish Affair
3.5 stars. "The Queen's Dwarf" is the story of Jeffrey Hudson, a dwarf, who becomes a part of Queen Henrietta Marie's (consort of King Charles I) menagerie. Yes, he becomes more of a pet than a part of the court. It was sort of sad to me how he was treated but such was life for so many that didn't fit the definition of "normal" in 1629. Jeffrey becomes a spy in the court for the Duke of Buckingham, a guy that leaves something to be desired in the way of congeniality. I enjoyed following Jeffrey' ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it
This is a highly original and very well written book. I was entertained from the beginning and the unique perspective kept me captivated all the way through. I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a television series at some point in the future! Highly recommend!
The Lit Bitch
Mar 03, 2014 The Lit Bitch rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I can honestly say this novel is much different than anything out on the market currently. The main character, Jeffery Hudson, is based on a real life person and real life events.

I have read a lot of Tudor/Stuart era lit recently and a lot of it seems to run together without a lot setting one story apart from another, but this one sets itself apart from the genre.

Jeffery is cunning, cleaver, and reading from his perspective was a delight. I thought the author did a fine job bringing his
V.E. Lynne
Apr 24, 2014 V.E. Lynne rated it really liked it
At the age of sixteen, Henrietta Maria of France is sent to England to marry King Charles I. Henrietta is a Catholic and, at a court still scarred by the after effects of the Gunpowder plot of 1605, she immediately becomes a figure of suspicion. Her husband is completely dominated by the sinister Duke of Buckingham and Henrietta is left to fend for herself. She gathers about her a 'Royal Menagerie of Freaks and Curiosities of Nature' one of the whom is the dwarf Jeffrey Hudson, known as 'Lord Mi ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing
There are two things that I require in my historical novels, first I want to learn something about the time period that the book is set in and second, I want a compelling story. The Queen's Dwarf met both of those criteria. I really enjoy books about the inner workings of the courts of Europe during the 1500s to 1700s. The opulence, and expense seems overwhelming as does the total immersion of the upper class in providing the king and queen with constant entertainment. In this book, Chase tells ...more
Book received for free through GoodReads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the book!

Ms. Chase really knows how to bring history to life. From the harsh world of the London slums to the vivid colors of Stuart courtly pageants, she drops her readers smack daub into a world of intrigue, emotion, and life. I really enjoyed the timeframe she chose to write about. I personally didn't know that much about it, so learning something while enjoying my fiction was an added bo
Jan 09, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Thank you to the Goodreads First Reads giveaways program for choosing me to receive The Queen’s Dwarf. It is truly such a gift for book lovers to “win” the opportunity to own, read and review books before they are released to or realized by the wider public.

Ella March Chase’s historical novel is set in 1629 London, during the reign of King Charles I and Henrietta-Maria, the young French queen. The story follows Jeffery Hudson as he leaves the familiarity of the village shambles and enters the lu
Donna Peterson
Dec 31, 2013 Donna Peterson rated it really liked it
The Queen's Dwarf was a fantastic novel that did not have a dull moment. It keeps readers on their toes throughout the entire thing. Jeffery Hudson is a fantastic character who does not settle for second best, he endears many hardships that cause him to admit to things he has wrongly done however is forgiven under the circumstances that he is a necessity to everyone and they would not know how to get on without him. The curiosities are a wonderful mixture of talent and skill that leaves readers ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Brandi rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was unexpectedly surprised with the enjoyment I got out of this book because when I started reading I didn't know if it would be much to my taste. However, the way Ella March Chase portrayed the characters in her book and brought them to life was a joyful time spent reading The Queen's Dwarf. I had a hard time putting down the book whenever I needed to get something done besides reading. Ella really knows how to suck you into her characters lives so you feel like you are living through the ups ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*First Reads Giveaway*

I was a bit skeptical how the storyline would go with this book. A dwarf as a spy? Sounded a bit out there. But, Game of Thrones had introduced a compelling dwarf character, so I thought I would give this one a try too. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. All the intrigue, betrayal, and drama of a royal historical novel, with a twist. And the story was completely believable and very enjoyable. Most interesting was the historical notes at the end. Jeffrey and his menagerie frien
Sara Rast
Feb 23, 2014 Sara Rast rated it it was amazing
So good!
Mar 10, 2015 Regina rated it it was amazing
This book was immensely intriguing and so well written. I have not read much from the time period of King Charles the 1st and The Queen's Dwarf was a lovely introduction to this era. This was an incredibly entertaining tale from a unique perspective, and I cannot wait to read more from this time period or from this author.
Kiki Hughes
Mar 03, 2014 Kiki Hughes rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book describing a little known character in history. Absolutely loved it
Feb 17, 2014 Gaja rated it liked it
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads.

This book wasn't bad. I greatly enjoy historical fiction, and I like that the book was well researched, but it didn't really grab me as much as I'd hoped. The big climax towards the end of the story seemed a little tacked on for extra drama, and there were a few places throughout where my suspension of disbelief was stretched harder than was needed. There were also a few spots where the foreshadowing was a little on the anivilicious side and it was obv
Debby Dimeglio
Jan 05, 2014 Debby Dimeglio rated it it was amazing
another book I won on goodreads. Loved it. An historical novel filled with intrigue, spies, the royal court life, love, hate and sadness. A book based on one person's life. A person you want to know. Who goes from rags to living in the palace although not a happy life a very interesting one. I highly recommend it.
Maureen Dittmar
Nov 08, 2013 Maureen Dittmar rated it it was amazing
Chase delivers a book that you can't put down. The characters become so real and compelling, that spending time with them becomes a priority! I loved it! Available now for pre purchase; out January 21st. This would be a GREAT book club selection. Are you listening Oprah?
Sarah Lawrence
Wasn't super in love with this one. Great premise and promise--I love historical fiction and I read so much about the Tudors that I was looking forward to something else. The perspective of a court fool was also intriguing, and didn't disappoint--it was delightful to see royalty from a distance.

Unfortunately, I just didn't connect to the story at all. I didn't understand why Jeffrey was in love with the queen at all. There didn't seem to be any reason, especially when she considered him a pet.
Maddie Fritz
Feb 05, 2016 Maddie Fritz rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I hate to place this book next to 'Narcropolis' in my "Couldn't Finish" shelf. By page 80, I was still waiting for the plot to happen. Too many details make for a great visual experience, but even that wasn't intriguing enough to keep me interested.
Jul 28, 2014 Hilary rated it liked it
3.5 stars

An unusual viewpoint, both from the protagonist and of the Queen. Although I was more familiar with Charles I - and a fictional Buckingham, thanks to Alexandre Dumas - I don't recall ever before reading anything from his wife's perspective. Interesting all round, but so bizarre I found it hard to figure out what was likely to be real while I was reading, and that removed some of my enjoyment as I ended up mentally treating it all as fiction set in a historical setting, rather than somet
Mark Levandoski
Jan 09, 2014 Mark Levandoski rated it really liked it
An enjoyable look into an interesting period of time. Fascinating to discover the realities,that are woven into the story.Very good reading!
Feb 18, 2016 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Full review available at All About Romance -

I had forgotten how very dense good historical fiction is - there is simply so much going on that you have to read more carefully, pay attention to the little details as they come up. It’s been a while since I last read historical fiction, and I think that The Queen’s Dwarf was a good place to jump back in. Heavy in intrigue, light on romance, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was definitely a fascinat
Mercedes Rochelle
Jan 24, 2015 Mercedes Rochelle rated it really liked it
I freely admit that most of my knowledge of the Duke of Buckingham came from "The Three Musketeers" and my knowledge of Henrietta-Maria was limited to her oh-so-sweet portraits by Van Dyck. So I picked up this book hoping to learn more about the both of them. Told from Jeffrey the Dwarf's point of view, we get an insider's look at the struggle between the two main protagonists of this court, complete with attempted assassinations, intrigue (on the Duke's side), and unfortunate faux-pas (on the Q ...more
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When Ella March Chase was in third grade, she informed her teacher she didn't need to learn multiplication tables because she was going to be a famous writer when she grew up. At twenty-five, she combined her passion for researching history and spinning stories. Her daughter Kate claims even the family dogs were discovered while researching King Charles II-- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
When tr
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“We are all twisted somewhere, Jeffrey. Some are freaks on the outside, where everyone can see; others are twisted inside.” I” 0 likes
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