The Queen's Dwarf

A Novel

Ella March Chase

Thomas Dunne Books

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A richly imagined, gorgeously written historical novel set in the Stuart court featuring a unique hero: Jeffrey Hudson, a dwarf tasked with spying on the beautiful but vulnerable queen

 

It's 1629, and King Charles I and his French queen Henrietta Maria have reigned in England for less than three years. Young dwarf Jeffrey Hudson is swept away from a village shambles and plunged into the Stuart court when his father sells him to the most hated man in England—the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham trains Jeffrey to be his spy in the household of Charles’ seventeen-year-old bride, hoping to gain intelligence that will help him undermine the vivacious queen’s influence with the king.

Desperately homesick in a country that hates her for her nationality and Catholic faith, Henrietta Maria surrounds herself with her "Royal Menagerie of Freaks and Curiosities of Nature"—a "collection" consisting of a giant, two other dwarves, a rope dancer, an acrobat/animal trainer and now Jeffrey, who is dubbed "Lord Minimus."

Dropped into this family of misfits, Jeffrey must negotiate a labyrinth of court intrigue and his own increasingly divided loyalties. For not even the plotting of the Duke nor the dangers of a tumultuous kingdom can order the heart of a man. Though he is only eighteen inches tall, Jeffrey Hudson's love will reach far beyond his grasp—to the queen he has been sent to destroy.

Full of vibrant period detail and perfect for fans of Carrolly Erickson and Philippa Gregory, The Queen's Dwarf by Ella March Chase is a thrilling and evocative portrait of an intriguing era.

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Book Excerpts

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ONE
 
 
April 1626
Three Years Earlier
Fourteen Years Old
Oakham, Rutland
I was sure I would not sleep my last night in the shambles. I had lived my whole life amid the butchers’ shops that lined the narrow street. The strangely human screams that rippled through the animals when their fellows’ throats were slashed became my lullaby. But the eerie silence that fell when the men put down their knives seemed filled with frightening possibilities. Never more so than tonight, when I had no more knowledge of my fate than the beasts barred in the holding pens.

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Reviews

Praise for The Queen's Dwarf

Praise for The Queen’s Dwarf:

“Entertaining… a fascinating glimpse into 17th-century court life, rife with ladies in waiting who could be confidants or backstabbers; lush, wasteful banquets; and people like Jeffrey who are treated kindly but were essentially pets for royalty.” –Publishers Weekly


“Rich in detail and brimming with intriguing characters, Chase’s novel will please fans of historical fiction.” --Kirkus

“There’s a new queen of historical fiction in town and her name is Ella March Chase… Captivating, enthralling, and incredibly crafted, The Queen’s Dwarf is the must-read historical novel of the year.  You’ll be hooked from page one. Jeffery and his fellow “freaks” are masterful characters and the intrigue, drama, and danger of the Stuart court breathe fire across the pages.  Tudor fans, you’re in luck. Chase’s writing is entirely fresh and utterly engaging. Enjoy.” –San Francisco Book Review

“A tour de force on many levels… Jeffrey became a living, breathing person to me. As the story is told in the first person, we become privy to Jeffrey’s darkest inner monologues, his deepest wishes, his personal struggles. To his peers and the King and Queen, Jeffrey’s physical size says nothing of his great humanity, his courage and his ability to love… A marvelous, engrossing and highly recommended read.” –Historical Novel Society

“There’s an animating intelligence to the whole thing that feels at times almost magisterial. This is by a wide margin Ella March Chase’s best novel.” –Open Letters Monthly

 

"The Queen’s Dwarf is a feast for readers told by a masterful author. Ella March Chase beautifully renders myriad facets of life in seventeenth century England: the sumptuous and the gritty, the magical and the terrifying. The seemingly fantastical—yet historically accurate—collection of characters will tug at your heart." –Tahsha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Behind the Shattered Glass

 

"Enthralling, unexpected, and mysterious, this vivid novel set in the rarely explored world of acrobats, mages, giants and dwarves who populated Queen Henrietta-Maria's court offers a fascinating tale of an unlikely hero and his companions' hunt for a royal assassin, even as an infamous love affair threatens to overturn the kingdom. The Queen’s Dwarf proves that Ms. March-Chase has a very bright future in historical fiction!" - C.W. Gortner, author of The Tudor Conspiracy

 

The Queen’s Dwarf is a beautiful tapestry, authentic history carefully woven together with a curiously engaging story. I love the in-depth look at a rarely written about queen,  and the perfect blend of beautiful language and action that compels turning of page after page.  Clever bits of irony threaded throughout and a cast of fresh characters, low and nobly born, make this a delightful pleasure read.” --Sandra Byrd, bestselling author of Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I

 

“Masterfully written, The Queen’s Dwarf is hard to put down. This engrossing, atmospheric novel paints a vivid portrait of the early days of the reign of Charles the First, bringing a little-known period of English history to glorious life.” --Kate Emerson, author of Royal Inheritance

 

“A tour de force. To take such an unlikely hero, to surround him with a cast of freaks and yet to create with them a story of intrigue, derring-do, humanity and romance is indeed an achievement for writer Ella March Chase.” --Rhys Bowen, author of The Family Way

 

"This book is a banquet--Sumptuous and delicious; I devoured every word, and still wanted more. Its pint-sized hero leapt straight into my heart." --Brandy Purdy, author of The Queen’s Pleasure

“I loved this book; with its new look at English history told by a fresh viewpoint. Chase did a wonderful job of creating heartfelt characters, weaving actual historical figures with imaginary, all to make a novel that will have fans of historical fiction eagerly turning each page. I will be picking up this author’s books with anticipation from this point on.” –NightOwlReviews.com

"Combines the fascination of a Grimm’s fairy tale with the heft of history… Penning a tale of royal intrigue from the perspective of a court fool offers a unique glimpse into the queen’s inner circle… It is these unusual characters, these ‘curiosities,’ who breathe life into a tale of Stuart England." –CurledUp.com

“[Chase’s] descriptions are vivid, sumptuous and well-detailed, and her characters are fully realized and easy to love and hate. The Queen's Dwarf is a wonderful historical novel in the vein of Margaret George and Philippa Gregory, and Ella March Chase is a gifted storyteller.” –ReaderToReader.com

“Chase’s book offers vividly realistic details about daily court life, as well as insight into the intrigue and deception that was prevalent in the kingdom… If one is mesmerized by a distant time filled with plot twists and turns, this is a book worth picking up.” –PortlandBookReview.com

“A winner… It's a truly unique novel full of interesting characters, intrigue and betrayal, woven around moments of magic and wonder, laughs and love.” --letthemreadbooks.blogspot.com

 


Reviews from Goodreads

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About the Author

Ella March Chase

ELLA MARCH CHASE cannot remember a time she did not want to write historical fiction.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.  She lives in a house filled with books and music and is lovingly herded by a loyal Shetland sheepdog named Oliver. Chase is the author of The Virgin Queen’s Daughter and Three Maids for a Crown, a story of the Grey Sisters. 

Ella March Chase

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Queen's Dwarf
A Novel
Ella March Chase

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
January 2014
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250006295
ISBN10: 1250006295
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$26.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
1/13/2015
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250061362
ISBN10: 1250061369
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$16.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
January 2014
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250038524
ISBN10: 1250038529
384 pages
$12.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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