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The Lost Duchess

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  46 reviews
An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World.

Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.

Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in th
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Ebury Press (Fiction)
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Jenny Barden I can't be much help as regards other novels about The Lost Colony, but two excellent non-fiction books on the subject written in an engaging style ar…moreI can't be much help as regards other novels about The Lost Colony, but two excellent non-fiction books on the subject written in an engaging style are Big Chief Elizabeth by Giles Milton, and Roanoke: the Abandoned Colony by Karen Ordahl Kupperman. (less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

The Roanoke venture and the fate of the Lost Colony is an endlessly fascinating tale of courage, intrigue, and mystery in its own right, but Jenny Barden takes it one step farther, utilizing the 1587 attempt to settle the island as the backdrop of a sweeping sixteenth century romance.

The Lost Duchess is a provocative and imaginative historical, but I was pleased to discover it is also exceedingly well-researched. Embellishi
Jenny Q
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
International Giveaway @Let Them Read Books!

3.5 Stars. I absolutely love reading about early America (having grown up a hop, skip, and a jump from Jamestown, England's first permanent settlement in the New World), and Jenny Barden is an author I've been wanting to read, so I jumped at the chance to read her second novel, The Lost Duchess, which is a stand-alone follow-up to her first novel, Mistress of the Sea. The Lost Duchess tells the story of Emme Fifield, daughter of a baron, dutiful la
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In my almost five years of reviewing and recommending to friends, family and readers, there have been a few times, and only a few, when I have been completely and totally blown away by a book that I've read. This usually happens when there is a happy confluence of subject matter, writing prowess, research skill and character development, wrapped up in a believable, action filled story. If you haven't already guessed, The Lost Duchess, by Jenny Barden, is one of those books.

This second effort by
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jenny Barden’s second book, a stand-alone sequel to her Mistress of the Sea, moves smoothly from Old World court etiquette to New World exploits. There are comparatively few novels that imagine the Elizabethan Golden Age from the perspective of its explorers, and even fewer about the lost Roanoke colonists, so The Lost Duchess gets a warm welcome for those reasons alone.

Its heroine is an appealingly spirited young woman with a strong heart for adventure, and other highlights include the many bea
*Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
If you only gave the book a cursory look you could be forgiven for thinking this one another in a long line of books set with the Tudor Court of Queen Elizabeth I but you'd only be partially right in this assumption and might be in for a surprise while reading it. Yes, it does begin in the Elizabethan court but there is much more to it than that and it's a unique tale for me, nothing that I've read before and that's something I am very thankful for.

The central character is Emme Fifield, one of t
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
With a title like The Lost Duchess and an opening chapter set at the court of Elizabeth I, describing an encounter between one of the Queen’s ladies and Lord Hertford, you may think this sounds like just another Elizabethan court romance – but you would be mistaken. With the arrival of Sir Francis Drake bringing stories of his adventures in the New World comes the first hint of what this book is actually about. And when Emme Fifield, the lady who had that confrontation with Hertford, decides to ...more
Sharon Cook
Dec 05, 2013 marked it as never-finished
Shelves: fiction
Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, Emme Fifield’s only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America.
Emme joins Kit Doonan’s rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia, but such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.
As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw w
Jo Barton
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Emme Fifield is lady- in -waiting to Queen Elizabeth and as such holds a privileged position at the English court, but this protection does not extend to the capricious nature of a courtier who is hell bent on claiming Emme has his own. When personal scandal threatens to overwhelm Emme, she persuades Sir Frances Walsingham to intervene with the Queen, and gain her approval to allow Emme to sail for the New World, ostensibly to report back to the Queen on activity in one of the new world colonies ...more
The Lit Bitch
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all know there is a ton of historical fiction out there that takes place in Elizabethan England….typically in the court.

The market is simply flooded…so how do you create a new and different take on a saturated topic?

Well you take your Elizabethan heroine out of the court!

This was a new and exciting twist for me in the ‘Tudor lit’ genre. I loved getting out of the traditional court setting and exploring the vast unknown in the new world.

I especially loved the Roanoke island theories in this no
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Upon finishing The Lost Duchess, I felt I had surfaced from an epic adventure. The book starts out with a fairly shocking scene that ensures the reader is invested in finding out what becomes of poor Emme, Queen Elizabeth I’s lady-in-waiting. Volunteering herself for a dangerous expedition as a way of escaping her shame, Emme sets sail for Chesapeake in the hope of forging a colony in the New World and thus begins an action-packed tale.

I’m not particularly ‘up’ on my history and was slightly wor
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book via Goodreads and am so pleased as this is an author whose work I haven’t come across before. I am a great fan of historical fiction and especially the Tudor period. Set during the Court of Elizabeth 1, this is historical fiction with a difference. Incredibly well researched, the novel embraces Walter Raleigh’s discovery of The New World. The settings are so well portrayed that the reader feels they are embarking on a voyage too. I was parti
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From it's shocking and gripping opening chapter of this novel by author Jenny Barden, the reader is hooked. I could not help but feel empathy for the heroine's plight and her need to start a new life away from the scandal that threatens to destroy her life through no fault of her own. So she finds a way to escape to the New World via a ship of settlers. It is to the infamous Roanoke that they are to venture to, where the mystery of what happened to its inhabitants has yet to be understood. What ...more
Geoffrey Gudgion
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had previously read and enjoyed Jenny Barden’s ‘Mistress of the Sea’ so I opened ‘The Lost Duchess’ with keen anticipation, and was not disappointed. The themes are similar in having a young, single, Elizabethan woman set sail for the New World, and in being both an adventure and a love story. Some characters appear in both books, but they can be read as stand-alones.

Barden has researched her subject extremely well, and has the ability to bring both people and places to life. The characters an
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a fabulous read. The Lost Duchess redefines the Tudor historical novel. Not only is the court of Queen Elizabeth I beautifully evoked, with a powerful love story at the heart of the book, but The Lost Duchess will plunge you into an incredible sea voyage to the New World, more real and vividly imagined than any film depiction.

The book is brilliantly paced, with edge of the seat action keeping the story pressing ever onwards, and with a tangible sense of threat and danger. But most imp
Hazel Gaynor
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Duchess is a cracking read! Jenny Barden's eye for historical detail is fantastic. From the Tudor court of Queen Elizabeth to the swell of the ocean and the life of settlers in Virginia in the New World, the author skilfully creates a sense of place and high drama. I almost felt nauseous as I swayed around on the gunwale with the heroine, Emme! There is much to love about this book which is both an epic adventure and a tender love story. A pacy, authentic account of a remarkable period ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
'You like to hear of the world, don't you? To learn who's doing what and why. For a young maiden you have a lively curiosity.'

Only a few pages into this novel, the above lines are used to describe Emme Fifield, and we know immediately that she desires more from her life, beyond the realms of her role as lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, she wonders about the world that Sir Francis Drake and those who travel with him see; 'To think of such places!' she imagines, as she speaks with Lord Hertford
Gill's likes reading
Jenny Bardon sets a fictional tale around well researched and detailed facts of the lost Colony of Roanoke.

It is 1587, and bound for Virginia in the New World Emme Fifield, Duchess of Somerset is escaping from a scandal that threatens to ruin her. Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I, she joins Kit Doonan and a ‘rag-tag band of idealists, desperados, and misfits’ along with men, women, and children to set up a colony (planters) in Virginia under Governor John White. The trip is far from
Erin Al-Mehairi
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have been intrigued and slightly obsessed since my teen years with the fate of the 'Lost Colony of Roanoke,' which in the late 1500s became the first English colony in America. Studying more of this era from the Colonial American stand point in high school and for my BA degree in History here in the U.S., I mostly looked at it from an American soil standpoint. I haven't delved as much yet into the background information from the Elizabethan England side of the adventure of colonization.

When I
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jenny Barden's latest release, The Lost Duchess, is not your typical work of Elizabethan-era historical fiction. While the novel opens at Queen Elizabeth I's court and includes a familiar cast of aristocrats (Edward Seymour, Earl of Surrey), adventurers (Sir Walter Raleigh) and political advisors (Francis Walsingham), it is the Roanoke Colony and the people who sought to establish it that are at the heart of this novel.

Young Emme Fifield is a lady in waiting to the Queen, one with the world see
Carole Rae
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like earlier stated, I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.

First of all....I LOVE the cover. It's so pretty. :) The summary sounded good, but when I seen the cover it really was the cherry on the top. Also, I couldn't help but want to read Jenny Barden's "theory" on what happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Another great mystery of history that no one will ever, ever know the truth on. Honestly...this theory is close to what I think happened. I won't
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a gripping and tough opening - a rape scene in a Royal palace, a senior Earl taking his droit de seigneur on Emme, the leading character. Her disgrace then motivates her to go with the 'planters' to Virginia,and so she is on her way from being one of the Queen's Ladies in Waiting to one of the settlers on Roanoke Island. The fate of Roanoke will be known to many readers, and gives the story of Emme and Kit Doonan, the leading man, an added edge of suspense. Of course there is roman ...more
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Lost Duchess held several meanings for me. I love my countries history and I’m fascinated with the early settlers who came to the new world. The history holds such a profound interest to me not only because I love knowing about people of the past, how they lived and built a new world but because this countries founding history is engrained in my own family ancestry.

I have read several books about the early colonies where the story begins with the settlers already here. This story begins in E
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“The Lost Duchess” by Jenny Barden is an excellent work of historical fiction. I enjoyed reading it from beginning until end! Emme’s character is great. She is the type of character that you are rooting for from the beginning of the novel. She goes through so much hardship, but is such a strong person that she is able to pull through whatever is put in her way. She is definitely braver than most women of that time, I doubt many women would push to go across the world to start a new colony! It’s ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The Lost Duchess" made me wonder why there is not more historical fiction set in the Americas. I wonder this every time I read a good book that is set in the Americas. "The Lost Duchess" is a story about Emme, a lady in waiting of sorts to Queen Elizabeth I, who goes to live in the New World. Emme isn't sure what to expect when she gets to Virginia but she's sure that it has to be better than the potential scandal threatening her back in England. This book tackles what may have happened to the ...more
Book Preview Review
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book Description:

“Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.

Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.

Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenien
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I must admit to a total fascination with the lost colony at Roanoke. It's a tale from the beginnings of this country that has caused many people to wonder and theorize. Ms. Barden brings her imagination into the game with her very well written novel, The Lost Duchess. To fully enjoy this tale you really must just go along with the flow - don't try and make it fit to history with a scholar's list of rules. Just enjoy the possibility that this might have been.

In the story we meet a young ward of Q
Eileen Iciek
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am embarrassed to admit how much I have learned of very early American history from Jenny Barden's two novels, this one and Mistress of the Sea by Jenny Barden . The Lost Duchess follows up on the story of a secondary character from her first novel, Kit Doonan, and the woman he comes to love, Emme Fifield. The two of them, an experienced mariner and survivor of Spanish prisons and slavery in Central America, and a Maid of Honor to Queen Elizabeth, have more complicated and interesting histories than the main characters in th ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-purchased, 2014
I found the lost Duchess really enjoyable and quite different from other tudor fiction due to the New World angle. The writing was excellent and the characters fleshed out well and in such a way that I really did care about what they were going through.

The main female character was opinionated and strong and it was a nice change to see a woman who was obviously every bit the shrewd and political courtier that seems to be a role only fit for male characters in many other historical fiction novels
Christina Hollis
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love real life puzzles, and what happened to the lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the most enigmatic. Starting with actual accounts written at the time, Jenny Barden creates a believable story to explain the abandonment of the first European settlement in Virginia.
Emme Fifield’s honour is wrecked, and travelling with mariner Kit Doonan to the “new world” is her escape from the stifling restrictions of life in the court of Elizabeth I. Emme’s resilience and determination is tested time and agai
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For various reasons - mostly concerning available time - it has taken me longer than I hoped to finish this excellent book.

The establishment and loss of Roanoke settlement is a fascinating period in history, and this immaculately researched book effortlessly straddles the freedom of a novel with the constraints of recorded facts.

Jenny has an easy reading style, her characters are well defined at all levels and all these make up a really good read!

I am now looking forward to Jenny's next book

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I've had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the fo ...more

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