Gera finds herself thrown into the political webs of the Tudor court, complete with drive to kill Henry Tudor himself. The Irish Princess felt like a run-of-the-mill Tudor novel. Though it seemed like Harper's goal was to give a different view of Henry VIII's reign through the eyes of an unknown historical figure and tell here story. Instead, I felt like I was reading a brief history of Henry VIII's reign from the vantage point of a very minimal side character and, even though some interesting things do happen to her, mostly in the romance department, I never felt like the story was fully about her.
Perhaps I'm just Tudor-mania-ed out, but I really didn't care about re-counting all of Henry's wives, yet again, and hearing about the family Tudor drama. Sadly, I felt like Gera's story just wasn't compelling enough to keep me going. While she had some interesting motivations and a unique past, she didn't really seem like she was moving toward much of a future.
I'm not sure if it was Gera or Harper, but I felt like there was little direction for much of the novel. Plus, I feel as though Harper's writing quality had dropped here. Not great, but not horrid. I'd give Irish Princess a pass. Apr 13, Donna rated it really liked it. The majority of events are indeed based on facts, with, I'm sure, a few liberties thrown in, but they create a very engaging story that is not easy to put down.
Mar 23, Meg Ulmes rated it it was ok. This books is an easy read. I love historical fiction--especially about Great Britain. This novel is written almost at a young adult level--nothing wrong with that--but it has been merchandised as an adult novel.
Too much of the novel is telling instead of showing--not much depth--a lot of shallow narration. The story is an excellent one that could have and would have made a more serious adult read. The characters are appealing--but some are well drawn and others are quite flat. Some of the plot This books is an easy read.
Some of the plot events that allow a happy ending are not only unbelievable--they are unsatisfying as well. I was very frustrated by its lack of depth, detail, and seriousness. Jan 19, Makita rated it it was amazing. What a heroine! I wish they made a really long movie about this story. Jan 13, Caitlin Pate rated it it was amazing. As a reader who adores history especially Irish history this was a home run for me. The main character Gera is extremely interesting and personable; I found myself whispering her family battle cry along with her.
The story focuses on Gera whose family has been uprooted and torn at the seams. We see her transplanted from her beloved Ireland into the treacherous Tudor court. I thought the writing was artfully done. I've seen a complaint that the author sometimes "tells" us information instead of "showing;" however, this is a novel that spans more than a decade of time.
It would not be useful for the author to show every little thing that happens. She shows us the important things then allows the narrator, Gera, to summarize. I think this works because the novel is supposed to be Gera looking back on her life, so she wouldn't go into detail about everything, especially with so many people in and out of Tudor court. And it would have been too long and would drag had she done that.
So, I stand by Harper's narration and detail style. I think it works very well, and I never felt like anything was too rushed over. I adored this novel and devoured it even though I obviously had other things to do as well. It enveloped me into its world. Truth be told, I'll probably read it again someday. A Geraldine! Jul 10, L P rated it it was amazing. Karen Harper does an excellent job weaving a story with historical accuracy about Elizabeth Fitzgerald - known as Gera. This is the 4th book I've read by Harper. Each one has been an adventure.
Jun 18, Jackie rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. With murder in her eyes and a dagger in her hand she is intent on revenge for the damage the king has caused to her family. Just as she is about to plunge the dagger into the King he turns and whispers to her. We are then spirited back to Ireland where Gera grew up.
She is part of what would have been royalty if Ireland had royalty. At this time in history, Ireland was not an independent nation, but a part of the English crown. Ireland was not considered part of the empire yet, but was still overseen by English governors. Gera was part of one of the remaining Irish families that were still allowed to rule with the approval of the King. This peaceful coexistence was short-lived for Gera. When Gera was only 11 her father is imprisoned in the Tower of London with claims that he was trying to start a rebellion in Ireland. Not long after being imprisoned her father dies.
When this happens Gera and her brother, the heir, are the only Fitzgeralds left at their home in Mayhoon. When the rebellion begins Gera stays and Gerald is sent away to the continent so that he will be safe. After a few months of hiding the five uncles are tricked into a meeting to discuss terms of peace. They are shackled and taken to the Tower of London. Gera is now sent to England to live with her mother and her siblings.
On her trip over she meets Edward Clinton.
This clandestine first meeting will continue to appear throughout the book. Her random encounters spur on the love story between them. Though Gera has a lot of tragedy in her life primarily caused by the Tudor family she also has some unexpected happiness while in England. This is one story that you just want to learn more about. Karen Harper does a phenomenal job on this book. Her detailed illustration of the court intrigues and the political gauntlets that are thrown down during this time is extraordinary.
Taking a fairly well-known subject of Tudor London and highlighting a little known character with an incredible backstory that is heartbreaking. I personally wish I had met the real Gera. I think she would have been a loyal and exciting friend to have. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in a good historical fiction that highlights many smaller characters in a part of history that was so large. Jul 24, Cornerofmadness rated it liked it Shelves: historical. While I read a lot of historical mysteries, it's rare I read plain historical fiction.
I read it even less when it's about real people. However, I received this as part of a gift I won from my local library so I felt like I should read it. It was pretty entertaining and if you like fictionalized British history, you'll probably really enjoy this. It follows first person point of view the life of Elizabeth "Gera" Fitzgerald and yes she is real and at least some of this really happened from her While I read a lot of historical mysteries, it's rare I read plain historical fiction.
It follows first person point of view the life of Elizabeth "Gera" Fitzgerald and yes she is real and at least some of this really happened from her teen years on. And when her father ends up in the Tower of London and her elder brother, Thomas rebels, the whole family almost ends up dead. Gera and her younger sisters survive and her young brother, Gerald escapes to the continent. Gera ends up being bartered to the English court and is taken to London by a young naval officer who is an up and comer in Henry's court, Edward Clinton.
Gera learns that the only thing worse than being a penniless peasant in this time period is to be rich and in court where the king watches your every move and one wrong word gets you beheaded. Gera plots murdering the king even as she observes his queen and her other royal cousins. Eventually she befriends the girl who will grow up to be Lady Jane Grey along with his bastardized daughters, Elizabeth and Mary the former more so than the latter. As she grows up during this turbulent time, she takes the only protection she can as she works to getting the attainment removed from the family name: marriage to an older man even though she is sure she loves Clinton.
There is some weird pacing in this.
In the author notes Harper did say to include all the details would have made this pages long and I believe that. Gera is an interesting person, someone I haven't heard much about this is not really my favored piece of history. If you like Tudor history, you'll probably enjoy this. May 10, Pamela rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction , romance , favorites , tudor-era. This book was a great read. I love the Tudor history, as awful as it was.
This book begins in Ireland, where the Fitsgeralds have ruled for the king for generations. The new King Henry the 8th wants an accounting, concerning his lands, and the people there.
A little background on Boudicca
Elizabeth Fitsgerald does not trust this king, after all he has set away his first wife Katherine. Her father goes, as commanded, and is imprisoned. His sons demand his release, but one step son plays false and opens the way for the English s This book was a great read. His sons demand his release, but one step son plays false and opens the way for the English soldiers to take over her castle. Her mother is of English birth, and royalty and has sailed with her youngest brother, and sister to England.
She will try to get her husband released through diplomatic relations, through the court. Her other uncles have come to a meeting to talk with the English, but soon are apprehended as well. Elizabeth is returned to her mother, and their begins her journey. Her story takes you through the many changes at the Kings court, and hidden secrets, and the failed marriages, and fallen families.
Gera, or Elizabeth wants only a few things done.
One the death Of the king, and the other the death of Lord Dudley. She meets a man on the ship on her way to England, and throughout the book they care for each other, although they are separated most of the time through out the book. This book is like putting the royal history all together, and throwing in a great story. Karen Harper did a great job. I started the book, and in 2 days was finished. I liked the ending.
The kings reign was bloody, as was his daughter Mary's. That is fact. Lots of court intrigue I loved Gera's passion, and strength of will. This book is hard to put down once you get into it. Feb 12, Bookaholics rated it really liked it. Even so, he is eventually summoned to London and thrown into the Tower where he died. Her family is crushed and subdued and Gera is sent to England to live with her mother. What follows is her journey as she struggles to survive in the treacherous English court.
Headstrong and willful almost to a fault, Gera is a captivating heroine who is sometimes too rash and too bold. I particularly enjoyed the romance with Gera and her love interest. Even though you know that she and Lincoln are meant for each other, Karen Harper keeps the reader in suspense, wondering when or if they ever get together, especially since he is married! I highly recommended this read for those who are interested in the Tudor era and love court intrigue and politics.
The Irish Princess is a definite keeper for historical buffs. Reviewed by Pauline from the Bookaholic Romance Club Jun 10, Jayme Swallow rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , uk. I enjoyed The Irish Princess; it was nice to be introduced to a new character and storyline. I feel like Harper really captured that Irish "feel" that Gera needed, though I'm no expert in that area.
Gera was a fun character to read about; she's stubborn, outspoken, and reminded me of what I've read of Elizabeth I, which makes sense because they were close friends. Most of the story was true to history, Harper obviously took some liberties, but Gera was a real person and her relationships were also true. It was an enjoyable read, but at times I found myself wishing that Philippa Gregory had written it, because it got a little dry and felt a little long. I also wish Harper had included a family tree in the front of the book, like Gregory always does.
Overall, though, it was a pretty good book and I recommend it to my fellow historical fiction lovers! Feb 27, Debbie rated it really liked it. The story appeared to be very well-researched, and the author said she kept true to the facts about Elizabeth "Gera" Fitzgerald and simply filled in with fiction what history didn't record.
The author did an excellent job of weaving historical details into the story without ever slipping into a history lecture. The vivid setting and historical details brought the story alive in my imagination. While it seemed like "The Irish Princess" is a historical novel set in in Ireland and England. While it seemed like there was always something momentous happening, this novel did have the somewhat slower pacing typical of historicals.
There was some suspense created by wondering if Gera and Edward would ever be able to marry each other and the danger of death to anyone who misstepped at court. The characters were complex and interesting. Gera sometimes took foolish risks, but her age and anger made them understandable. I liked how Edward didn't "rescue" her so much as act as a sympathetic and tempering force in her life. I liked how Gera apologized to him for being a bitter woman during the years she plotted revenge. There was a minor amount of "he cursed" style bad language.
There were no graphic sex scenes. And, though beautiful, Gera didn't try to seduce anyone. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written and interesting historical novel. I received this book as a review copy from the publisher. Jan 23, Kim rated it it was amazing Shelves: tudor-fiction. This is the second of Karen Harper's books that I've read, and I continue to be impressed by her work. The Irish Princess was a bit slow in the first few pages, but once I accustomed myself to the characters, I could hardly bear to put the book down. Gera was an absolutely fascinating heroine, and I loved reading about her adventures during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs.
Henry was guilty of so much cruelty that it was rather entertaining to see him get a taste of what he'd done to so many others. Gera's interactions with the other Tudors was also interesting. Her fiery friendship with Elizabeth, the ups and downs with her relationship with Mary, very nice mirroring of the historical events. I also enjoyed Harper's rendition of Edward Clinton, Gera's second husband. When I read his line, "Is there some impediment, some arrangement with another? If there is, I'm afraid I will have to kill him.
He rather reminded me a fair bit of Rhett Butler of Gone with the Wind! An excellent story and another feather in Karen Harper's cap! Mar 06, Theemmaolsen rated it liked it.
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Elizabeth Fitzgerald, the beautiful Irish rebel. Tudor England: where marriages, affairs, scandal, war, and torture abound. How could this book be not interesting? Well, let me tell you it was interesting. It was entertaining, and scandalous, and kind of everything you want in a book. At least for me, anyway. My only issue with it were that the voice of Gera didn't change from Elizabeth Fitzgerald, the beautiful Irish rebel. My only issue with it were that the voice of Gera didn't change from the time she was 11 to the time she was That's kind of a problem if we don't see any growth not in the character but in the character's narration.
Other than that, it's a quick read, probably because you won't be able to put it down after reading the prologue.
The Irish Princess
At least I had to know what happened, and that propelled me through the rest of the book. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to be entertained and educated at the same time, as I learned quite a bit about Henry Tudor, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth Tudor's England and the Geraldines. I enjoyed this book and I will check out some more books by this author, hoping to see more grown-up writing. Happy reading everyone! I guarantee you will enjoy this! Mar 15, Christie rated it liked it Shelves: england , royalty , romance , 16th-century , historical-fiction , biographical-fiction , kick-ass-heroines , ireland.
I, Gera Fitzgerald, was going to kill the king. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, known as Gera to her family, was born into an Irish ruling family with royal ties on both sides. When her father is arrested for treason and dies in prison by Henry VIII, and her brother and uncles are put to death as traitors, Gera vows to get her revenge.
After joining her mother and her remaining siblings in England, Gera heads to court in hopes to make the Tudor family pay. This is an enlightening novel about a not well-kn I, Gera Fitzgerald, was going to kill the king. This is an enlightening novel about a not well-known figure of Tudor history.
Karen Harper brings the Tudor era to life through Gera's eyes. The anger, tyranny, and fear are all here. Gera rubs elbows with well-known characters from the era. Harper sticks to the facts as much as possible and her author's note gives a lot of the real history behind the book. Occasionally the book is a bit dry and I felt the romance between Gera and Edward Clinton was not well-developed, but overall it is a good story that reveals a little-known side of this time in history. I would recommend this book to those interested in Tudor history and the history of Ireland during the 16th century.
Jul 27, Mary rated it really liked it. I really enjoy historical fiction. The author called this story"faction", she researched Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Edward Clinton and used the facts and filled in with what she thought the characters would say and do. I thought that was a good description of historical fiction.
Princes, Potentates, [ ] Warriers , the Flowr of Heav'n , once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can sieze Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place After the toyl of Battel to repose Your wearied vertue , for the ease you find [ ] To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n? Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the Conquerour? Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. They heard, and were abasht , and up they sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceave the evil plight [ ] In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to thir Generals Voyce they soon obeyd Innumerable. As when the potent Rod Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud [ ] Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind, That ore the Realm of impious Pharaoh hung Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile : So numberless were those bad Angels seen Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell [ ] 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires; Till, as a signal giv'n , th' uplifted Spear Of thir great Sultan waving to direct Thir course, in even ballance down they light On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain; [ ] A multitude, like which the populous North Pour'd never from her frozen loyns , to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread Beneath Gibralter to the Lybian sands.
Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve Got them new Names , till wandring ore the Earth, [ ] Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man, By falsities and lyes the greatest part Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake God thir Creator, and th' invisible Glory of him that made them, to transform [ ] Oft to the Image of a Brute, a dorn'd With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold, And Devils to adore for Deities : Then were they known to men by various Names, And various Idols through the Heathen World.
First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents tears, Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud Thir childrens cries unheard , that past through fire [ ] To his grim Idol. Peor his other Name, when he entic'd Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd [ ] Even to that Hill of scandal , by the Grove Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate; Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. For Spirits when they please Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is thir Essence pure , [ ] Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose Dilated or condens't , bright or obscure, Can execute thir aerie purposes, [ ] And works of love or enmity fulfill.
For those the Race of Israel oft forsook Thir living strength , and unfrequented left His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down To bestial Gods; for which thir heads as low [ ] Bow'd down in Battel , sunk before the Spear Of despicable foes. Thammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate In amorous dittyes all a Summers day, While smooth Adonis from his native Rock [ ] Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale Infected Sions daughters with like heat, Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led [ ] His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries Of alienated Judah.
He also against the house of God was bold: [ ] A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King, Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew Gods Altar to disparage and displace For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn His odious off'rings , and adore the Gods [ ] Whom he had vanquisht.
Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd [ ] Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood Or Altar smoak'd ; yet who more oft then hee In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons , who fill'd [ ] With lust and violence the house of God. Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night In Gibeah, when the hospitable door Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape. All these and more came flocking; but with looks Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd Obscure some glimps of joy, to have found thir chief Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost [ ] In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance , gently rais'd Thir fainting courage, and dispel'd thir fears.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air [ ] With Orient Colours waving: with them rose A Forest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms Appear'd , and serried shields in thick array Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood [ ] Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd To hight of noblest temper Hero's old Arming to Battel , and in stead of rage Deliberate valour breath'd , firm and unmov'd With dread of death to flight or foul retreat, [ ] Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain From mortal or immortal minds.
Thus they Breathing united force with fixed thought [ ] Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle ; and now Advanc't in view, they stand, a horrid Front Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield, [ ] Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief Had to impose: He through the armed Files Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse The whole Battalion views, thir order due, Thir visages and stature as of Gods, [ ] Thir number last he summs.
Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd Thir dread commander: he above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent [ ] Stood like a Towr ; his form had yet not lost All her Original brightness, nor appear'd Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess Of Glory obscur'd : As when the Sun new ris'n Looks through the Horizontal misty Air [ ] Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds On half the Nations, and with fear of change Perplexes Monarchs.
Dark'n'd so, yet shon Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face [ ] Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht , and care Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast Signs of remorse and passion to behold [ ] The fellows of his crime, the followers rather Far other once beheld in bliss condemn'd For ever now to have thir lot in pain, Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't Of Heav'n , and from Eternal Splendors flung [ ] For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood, Thir Glory witherd.
He now prepar'd [ ] To speak; whereat thir doubl'd Ranks they bend From wing to wing, and half enclose him round With all his Peers: attention held them mute. Thrice he assayd , and thrice in spight of scorn, Tears such as Angels weep , burst forth: at last [ ] Words interwove with sighs found out thir way. O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, As this place testifies, and this dire change [ ] Hateful to utter: but what power of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd , How such united force of Gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
For mee be witness all the Host of Heav'n , [ ] If counsels different, or danger shun'd By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Monarch in Heav'n , till then as one secure Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custome , and his Regal State [ ] Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd , Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own So as not either to provoke, or dread New warr , provok't ; our better part remains [ ] To work in close design, by fraud or guile What force effected not: that he no less At length from us may find, who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
But these thoughts Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird , [ ] For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr Open or understood must be resolv'd. He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of mighty Cherubim ; the sudden blaze [ ] Far round illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms Clash'd on thir sounding Shields the din of war, Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n.
There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top [ ] Belch'd fire and rowling smoak ; the rest entire Shon with a glossie scurff , undoubted sign That in his womb was hid metallic Ore, The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed A numerous Brigad hasten'd. Mammon led them on, Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell From heav'n , for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts [ ] Were always downward bent , admiring more The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold, Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd In vision beatific : by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, [ ] Ransack'd the Center , and with impious hands Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth For Treasures better hid.
Soon had his crew Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound And dig'd out ribs of Gold.
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Let none admire [ ] That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best Deserve the precious bane. And here let those Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell Of Babel, and the works of Memphian Kings Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame, [ ] And Strength and Art are easily out-done By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour What in an age they with incessant toyle And hands innumerable scarce perform.
Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd , [ ] That underneath had veins of liquid fire Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude With wondrous Art found out the massie Ore, Severing each kind, and scum'd the Bullion dross: A third as soon had form'd within the ground [ ] A various mould , and from the boyling cells By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook, As in an Organ from one blast of wind To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths. Th' ascending pile Stood fixt her stately highth , and strait the dores Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth [ ] And level pavement: from the arched roof Pendant by suttle Magic many a row Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed With Naphtha and Asphaltus yeilded light As from a sky.
The hasty multitude [ ] Admiring enter'd , and the work some praise And some the Architect: his hand was known In Heav'n by many a Towred structure high, Where Scepter'd Angels held thir residence, And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King [ ] Exalted to such power, and gave to rule, Each in his Hierarchie , the Orders bright.
As Bees In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides, Pour forth thir populous youth about the Hive [ ] In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank, The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel , New rub'd with Baum , expatiate and confer Thir State affairs.