The King’s Confidante – Book Review

kings-confidanteThe King’s Confidante: The Story of the Daughter of Sir Thomas More by Jean Plaidy

Previously titled “St. Thomas’ Eve,” “The King’s Confidante” is the story of Sir Thomas More, an advisor to Henry VIII, and his daughter Margaret.  History tells us that Margaret and More, who believed in educating his daughters to the same level as he wold sons, had a very close relationship.  The story is told primarily through Margaret’s eyes, watching as her father became more and more influential at court and eventually rebelled against Henry’s tyranny, particularly in the dissolution of his marriage to Katherine and his marriage to Anne.

This book was fairly entertaining and was an interesting perspective on the reign of Henry VIII, the narrator being just outside the circle of the royal court.  I think I would have really enjoyed this book had the title not been changed when it was republished.  “St. Thomas’ Eve” may not be immediately catchy, but it does reference an extremely important plot point in the story.  Although “The King’s Confidante” sounds quite intriguing, it is completely misleading.  First of all, as the subtitle states, the book is primarily centered around Margaret, using her to tell her father’s story.  Margaret was in no way a confidante of Henry, not in the least.  “Okay,” you’re probably saying, “but Thomas More was one of Henry’s close advisors.”  This is true, and many books depict More and Henry as very close, at least before Henry breaks with the church.  However, many of these books also depict their closeness as something that Henry may feel more than Thomas does.  “The King’s Confidante” does not depict the men as particularly close at all, perhaps because Margaret is not around to witness their relationship.  Because of this, it didn’t even seem quite right to call More a confidante of the king.

Although the title drove me crazy, I would still recommend this if you’re looking for a good fictional account of More’s life and the life of his family, I did feel I learned a lot.

Have you ever had a book’s title impede your enjoyment of the book, either because you hated the title or because it led you to expect something else?

Buy this book on Amazon.

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