Sunday, December 4, 2011

Queen Elizabeth in the Garden

Trea Martyn
Blue Bridge
United Tribes Media
January 30, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-933-34636-6
$ 22.95
336 pages

There have been numerous novels about the Queen Elizabeth I but none have ever considered the
the style of gardens that hold her name and how those gardens affected her decisions in ruling her

Most of this book revolves around the creation of these magnificent gardens by two of her advisors,
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicaster and William Cecil, Lord Burghley, her chief minister. These two
constantly competed to be Elizabeth’s favorite and sought her attention by the constant
expansion and creation of artistic masterpieces in their gardens to the point of almost bankrupting

Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire was Robert Dudley’s home and Cecil lived at Theobalds Palace in
Hertfordshire. Influenced greatly by artists in Italy and France, these two elaborate places rose to a
decorating Renaissance height that has seldom been achieved in history.

It is amazing to think about those magnificent gardens with the mazes, labyrinths, decorative hedges,
herbs, and the rivalries of Elizabeth’s many advisors to each vie for her favored attention.

For us to go back in time and think about the numerous influential people who owned, tended, or were
guests in these magnificent creations, this book allows the reader to see through the eyes of a visitor
who might have personally known Shakespeare or to witness even the discussion of executing Mary,
Queen of Scots.

QUEEN ELIZABETH IN THE GARDEN is Trea Martyn’s believable account of what likely happened in the 1500s. Martyn excells at understanding how the development and continual expansion as well as perfecting of these gardens influenced history. Dudley was considered to be a possible suitor for Elizabeth, but frequently she enjoyed both men’s efforts to please her at extravagant costs.

This perspective of historical fiction was fascinating and frequently shocking at the lengths and expense both men would go to for Elizabeth’s pleasure. The events seemed believable and were well-researched.

I was amazed at how enthralling the novel seemed as the characters, real historical people, became real in the writing. I look forward to Trea Martyn’s next novel project.

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