Hailes Castle, 1511. Midnight on a doom-laden Hallowe'en and Elisabeth Hepburn, feisty daughter of the Earl of Bothwell, makes a wish - to wed her lover, the poet David Lindsay. But her uncle has other plans. To safeguard the interests of the Hepbum family she is to become a nun and succeed her aunt as Prioress of St. Mary's Abbey, Haddington.
However, plunged into the political maelstrom and religious turmoil of the early Scottish Reformation, her life there is hardly one of quiet contemplation. Strong-willed and independent, she clashes with those who question her unorthodox regime at St. Mary's, including Cardinal David Beaton and her rival, Sister Maryoth Hay.
But her greatest struggle is against her thrawn godson, John Knox. Witnessing his rejection of the Roman Catholic Church - aided by David Lindsay - she despairs that the sins of her past may have contributed to his present disenchantment.
As he purges himself from the puddle of papistry, Knox finds his voice, denouncing everything he once held dear, but will that include his godmother, Prioress Elisabeth? And by confessing her dark secrets, will Elisabeth steer Knox from the pernicious pull of Protestantism or drive him further down the fateful path he seems hell-bent on; a path that leads to burning at the stake?
In a daring attempt to shed light on a wheen of unanswered questions about John Knox's early, undocumented life, this novel throws up some startling claims and controversial conjectures.
Book one of The Knox Trilogy.
About the author
Hailing from the historic Honest Toun of Musselburgh, six miles from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, Marie Macpherson (née Gilroy) developed a love for literature and languages from an early age. Brought up on the site of the Battle of Pinkie and within sight of Fa’side Castle, she was haunted by tales and legends from the past. The Ballads of the Scottish Borders stirred the romantic in her soul and the works of Sir Walter Scott kept her enthralled during the long, dark winter evenings (and more often nights, reading with a torch beneath the bedclothes).
While she studied French and German at school, followed by Spanish and Italian at university, none of them enthused her so much as seeing the film, Dr. Zhivago, which sparked a desire to read the works of the Russian literary giants in the original. After gaining an Honours Degree in Russian and English, she spent a year in Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg) researching her PhD on the work of the 19th century Russian writer, Mikhail Lermontov, said to be descended from Thomas the Rhymer of the ancient Scottish family of Learmont. Though she has travelled widely, teaching languages and literature across Europe from Madrid to Moscow, she has never lost her passion for the rich history and culture of her native Scotland.
Now retired from the hurly-burly of academia, her life in the foothills of the Lammermuirs is hardly quiet. With all the various activities organised in her village, from reeling at Scottish Country Dancing to hill-walking, from book clubs to film shows, she has to make time to research and write.
We begin this story when their are three young girls...Elizabeth, Meg, and Kate. As they bloom into young woman and take their paths. Meg is chosen to marry, and we feel sorry for her. Kate is taken off to the Kings Court, and Elizabeth...she becomes a Nun and later the Prioress of St. Mary’s Abbey. She is hopelessly in love with David Lindsey, he goes off to war and she takes her vows...but there is a secret!
We travel with her as she is let to where a baby is about to be born. Elizabeth then and saves infant John Knox's life. She becomes his Godmother. She wants the best for him, knowing his mind is very bright.
This book although fiction is totally based on fact, the one thing that I personally didn't care for was the sex in the story...yes I know that is probably all true also. This is a marvel of Scottish History. These people are real, and we are following their destiny.
If you enjoy historical fiction with a twist...could of happened this way, then this is for you. Enjoy!
I received this book through Know Robinson Publishing book blogger program, and was not required to give a positive review.