I have read all the Tudor novels that Philippa has written but my history knowledge is a bit hazy after Elizabeth 1 so I was excited to read this, as to me, this is the best form of learning, and with Philippa's descriptive writing you really get sucked in and understand the sense of what it was like to be in those times. I did initially think that with the main character being a gardener this would bore me, that not even philippa's beautiful writing could enrapture me. Throughout my conflicting journey reading this, I was reduced to tears by the end. I will continue on with Virgin Earth and I am looking forward to the beauty of the descriptions, but honestly, I am missing the Tudor Court novels, 4 stars from me this time.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story - the second novel featuring the Duke of Buckingham that I've read within a month!
Earthly Joys is the story of John Tradescant, gardener extraordinaire and collector of rare and strange plants.
Its the story of a very famous and one of the first celebrity gardeners, John Tradescant who was a gardener to many famous people during the reign of three monarchs, Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. After he dies, John moves around from master to master until he is ordered to the new and fabulous estate of George Villiers first Duke of Buckingham, the most powerful man in the land and favourite of the then King, James I.
I liked this book, and learned quite a bit about King James's court, King Charles, and the Duke of Buckingham.
But if you don't want to read a description about a gay encounter, then don't read a book shelved as GLBT!
Earthly Joys is the first book I've read by Gregory. Earthly Joys is written through the eyes of and life of gardener John Tradescant. Gregory's research is detailed and her fictionalization of Tradescant's life is fascinating. He captured the character of John the Elder perfectly, using his voice to interpret Gregory's work and bring it life. Earthly Joys covers the whole of John the Elder's life.
Gregory conveys the thrilling possibilities of an age when any journey might result in discoveries of plants and animals - and an age when an expanding world was also the catalyst for new ideas about duty, kingship and the rights of the people. I haven't read many of Gregory's books and I enjoyed this much more than I expected to.
Visitors to her site, www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings. A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing.