Sarah Wagner's Reviews > The Traitor's Wife: A Novel of the Reign of Edward II

The Traitor's Wife by Susan Higginbotham
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's review
Oct 24, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, england, middle-ages
Read from October 24 to 30, 2010

** spoiler alert ** This tale recounts the story of Eleanor de Clare, granddaughter of King Edward I and wife of Hugh le Despencer. Married young, Eleanor lived with the homosexual relationship between her husband Hugh and her uncle Edward II. After Edward II was deposed and Hugh executed, Eleanor and her family struggled with the legacies left by her husband and his relationship with the king.
While I enjoyed this novel and the sympathetic treatment of Edward II, there were several plot points I found implausible. I thought it remarkable that Eleanor remained unaware of her husband's affair for years after it began and once she learned of it, accepted it so easily. I find it difficult to believe she would then proceed to sleep with her husband's lover. Nevertheless, The Traitor's Wife is an enjoyable, engrossing read by an author who has clearly researched the period and historical figures well.

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