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Lady In Waiting

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Handsome and gifted, Walter Ralegh was a star even in a court of brilliant men ruled by one of the greatest monarchs of all time, Elizabeth I.

Ralegh held position and power, and was loved by the Queen, but his dream was to conquer new lands for Elizabeth, to find El Dorado.

Bess Throckmorton was one of the Queen's Maids of Honour.

Shy and retiring, her dream was to captur
Published (first published 1956)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Generally I really like books by Rosemary Sutcliff, but this was not my favorite of hers. There was enough plot to keep one's interest, but at times it seemed to move very slowly. (Especially when Walter is imprisoned.)

Pluses to the book are that the main character/story line are atypical; that is, Bess is 'old' even by today's standards when she marries, and that is quite early in the book. At the end, she's an old lady. The following a life's story happens so rarely in books. (Perhaps because
And I thought The Lantern Bearers was bleak.

This is unmistakably Sutcliff, for all that it's outside of the range for which she's better known, and it showcases all her strengths: the nature description, its use to reflect atmosphere and mood, the way she captures people being people--imperfect, sometimes oblivious, sometimes lashing out--while still depicting them with tenderness and sympathy. And yet--I can't say I enjoyed that. Partly that was the bleakness (I can't be the only one who finds
Not a romance, as the cover picture and text suggest, but historical fiction, or rather, fictionalized history. Raleigh (or Ralegh, as it's spelled here) is a man obsessed, ruled by his dream of exploration and discovery; Bess puts up with and enables his single-mindedness, because that is what she admires most in him.

The ending is not a happy one, but it's foreshadowed from the very beginning, and of course if you're up on your history you already know what happens. Sutcliff's language is, as
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
A book by Sutcliff for older readers about Sir Walter Raleigh's wife. I think I first learned of Bess Throckmorton in Molly Costain Haycraft's Too Near the Throne.
Christina Baehr
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Oh, dear, this was sad, sad, sad.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting, worth the read.
charlene schneider
It is a sad story....she loved him so much. He, on the other hand. Showed her no respect or love. He put his dream before her. He was not a role model for his sons.
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I do not know why the blurb and the title described and suggested that this book was about Bess Raleigh. The book settled more on Bess' husband, Sir Walter Raleigh. The book was surprisingly easy to read despite the author's overly long sentences and too many punctuation marks to service those sentences. That it is perfectly all right to use more periods and fewer colons and semicolons wold be my message to the author and editor of the book.

Set in England under the reign of
I believe this book had a lot potential to be better - I thought I would like it a lot more since I've fallen in love with historical fiction quite a lot in the last months. Didn't pay much attention to this genre in the past which makes me kind of needy for good books to read. I stumbled about this one while browsing free books for my kindle and the synopsis was awesome.

'Lady in Waiting' is the story of Bess, a Queen's Maid of Honor, and Walter Ralegh who's an adventurer on his search for grea
May 22, 2010 rated it liked it
A good book, but historical "fiction" (fiction only in the sense that emotions and minor events are invented--all the characters and major events are historical fact) about real people that one already knows something about can be very depressing--one knows only too well what's going to happen, which is bad, if most of what happened was bad. And while Raleigh fit a lot of action into his life, very little of it was likely very satisfying to him, and I find it removes my desire to finish a book, ...more
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The title of this book is extremely deceptive. This is not a book that focuses over much on Elizabeth I and the intrigues of her court, or really even on Bess's role. Her time at court is only briefly touched on. Instead, this is a book about loving the dreamer who is Walter Raleigh. It's a well written and well researched book which does the most justice to Raleigh's character, leaving Bess a little flat at times. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Maureen E
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good but so sad! Even worse because I knew what was coming. It's one of the few Sutcliff books with a woman as the main character. It's also far less plotty than many of hers, which was fine with me. I was strongly reminded in places of Elizabeth Goudge, in terms of the general style & also the key importance of an ilex tree!
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I fully admit to my Philippa Gregory Chick Hist/Chist Lit guilty pleasure, however there was something about the writing style that made it not an easy read. Lots of authentic/old language perhaps? Whilst was interesting learning about Raleigh it dragged on rather boringly.
Ghost Ryter
Meh. Maybe if I hadn't spent most of the book wanting to strangle Sir Walter Raleigh...
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Walter Raleigh and his wife, Bess, and all the plotting at Queen Elizabeth's and King James' courts. I thought the view of Robert Cecil was interesting
Ness Kingsley
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this one. Rosemary Sutcliff really is a splendid author and sort of just catches things in her words.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Apr 25, 2015 01:34PM  
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Rosemary Sutcliff was a British novelist, best known as a writer of highly acclaimed historical fiction. Although primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults, she herself once commenting that she wrote "for children of all ages from nine to ninety."

Born in West Clandon, Surrey, Sutcliff spent her early youth in Malta and other naval bases where her fa