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The Queen's Dwarf

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  56 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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3.60  · 
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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
Jan 26, 2014 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
Dec 18, 2013 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
Oct 21, 2013 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
Nov 11, 2013 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
Nov 17, 2013 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!
Maddie Fritz
Aug 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 04, 2015 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
The Lit Bitch
Feb 06, 2014 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
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 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Hoo boy, another stinker. Let's check off the list for bad fiction:

1) A female protagonist who exhibits all the traits of a Mary Sue? - check.

2) the Mary Sue's eventual love interest being as unappealing as possible; presumably to ram home the pathos (bathos?) of the situation? - check

3) An obviously evil (and sexually deviant) male Villain? - check.

4) Obviously evil male villain has an equally depraved femme fatale sidekick? - Check

5) Contrived plot with an unrealistic murder plot against sa
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
Nov 17, 2013 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
Nov 18, 2013 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
V.E. Lynne
Mar 15, 2014 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
Donna Peterson
Nov 16, 2013 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
Nov 01, 2013 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
**I received this as part of a goodreads giveaway**

I was so excited to read this, I usually love historical fiction, especially ones set in Britain. But, this book just turned out as a disappointment for me. It took SO long to even become remotely interesting, and honestly it never got that interesting. There were so many details that I felt like it was slowing down the progress of the story. The premise was original and would have been an extremely great read if it wasn't bogged down with borin
Nov 17, 2013 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
Nov 02, 2013 rated it liked it
It took me awhile to become absorbed in this book. Perhaps it was the style of writing, which seemed overly descriptive, that caused this. Once I reached about page 100, the story became much more interesting and I was then curious to find out the rest of the story. Some of the subject matter was a bit disturbing, but I think the author was staying true to how things were in the 1600s. The story wrapped up nicely. A satisfying read for those interested in historical fiction.
Jan 26, 2015 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.
Debby Dimeglio
Nov 17, 2013 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 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?
Nov 17, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
I temporarily lost interest in this so I'm putting it aside for a while. I'm sure I'll go back to it when the mood strikes. For now ive marked it "read " just to get it off my currently reading shelf since it makes me anxious, staring at me the way it does.
Mark Levandoski
Dec 21, 2013 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!
May 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book did not hold my interest - moved too slow.
Kiki Hughes
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book describing a little known character in history. Absolutely loved it
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
stopped halfway through. too wordy. I read the last 10 pages and I was good.
Rachel Chiapparine
I just finished reading “The Queen’s Dwarf” by Ella March Chase. I picked up a soft-cover copy of the book from (I paid for it myself) because it seemed interesting. My personal review of the book is as follows:

For me personally I didn’t fully see the heart of the book and become truly invested in the characters and the main storyline until around page 150 after that point (especially the last few chapters) I was hooked I felt like I was watching “Tyrion” from “Game of Thrones” no
Ashleigh Willett
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great piece of historical fiction. Took a bit for me to get into, but became a lot more interesting from about the mid point. Well written, with lots of twists and turns throughout. The main character was also pretty awesome.
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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
“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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