The Adventures of Alianore Audley (1995) by Brian Wainwright was a fun historical romp set in 15th Century England. It’s obvious that the novel is very well researched and also a page-turner. The author does an excellent job of weaving fact with fiction and mixing in bits of biting humor and wit. This book was rec’d by Jayne from Dear Author. I enjoyed it immensely.
Much of the narrative is tongue-in-cheek and the plot moves at a swift pace. Our narrator is Alianore Audley and she shares many of her adventures that include her spying for her cousin, King Edward IV and for the Yorkist cause. She also shares her disdain for those “Woodvilles” and spares nothing in her opinion of the War of the Roses that secured that “Tudor Slimbag” Henry Tudor to the throne.
The author’s wicked sense of humor included many exchanges like this one where Lady Tegolin comes to the Audley home and takes Alianore as her pupil for her teachings because she believes she has a gift.
“One night, as we sat by the fire, she asked what I could see in it.
“Sticks burning. Smoke. Flames. Ash.” I said.
or this one where Alianore is unwilling to see her gift, Lady Tegolin gets angry with her:
“If only you could overcome your handicap! I can see your power. It glows around you. Do you not feel it?
I feel a draught from the door.”
And here’s my favorite scene, where Alianore is at the convent, discovers a body lying in the grass and suspects that there has been foul play made ” by a heavy blow from a blunt instrument.”
“This proves nothing,” said the Prioress, airily. “You are wasting time, child, which could be better devoted to our prayers for this unfortunate man’s soul.”
“There’s one other small piece of evidence, ” I continued, standing up again. “You obviously dressed in some degree of haste. No doubt that’s why you’re wearing his drawers on your head instead of your wimple.”
The Prioress ripped off her unsuitable headdress and threw it as far away from her as her strength allowed. Do you know, she was not the least bit amused.
This book is available as an ebook in Adobe format (boo!) or as a paperback novel from Amazon.com. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this novel is not to be missed. While reading this novel, I was reminded of another favorite author, Diana Norman. Both authors have complete authority of their facts and can create a captivating tale that doesn’t feel like a history lesson. The Adventures of Alianore Audleywas a very good read and a strong recommend for historical buffs. My grade, A.
[tags]Brian Wainwright, Historical Fiction Review, Ebook[/tags]