The other day I reviewed the wonderful sixth book in Barbara Kyle’s Thornleigh series, called Queen’s Exiles! I was thrilled to find out she included some of the history of the Dutch resistance to Spain’s massive empire (and nasty overseer) during their control of the Netherlands during the Elizabethan Era. You can read that review HERE.
Today, Barbara has been so kind as to write a guest article in continuation of her tour of the blogosphere. Enjoy!
ELIZABETH I AND THE SEA BEGGARS
by Barbara Kyle
The Elizabethan period is considered a golden age. We picture England bursting with confidence and vigor, her queen triumphant and proud. But, in fact, at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign in 1559 England was a small, weak country, standing alone. Philip II of Spain, the most powerful monarch in Europe, whose empire spanned half the globe, itched to conquer the island nation. By the second year of the young Queen Elizabeth’s reign, Philip set out to destroy her. Within a few years she was fighting for her life.
My new novel, The Queen’s Exiles, is set in 1572 when Spain’s armies were feared and triumphant throughout Europe. Nowhere were they more feared than in the Netherlands, which was suffering under Spain’s brutal occupation. To strike at England, Philip’s troops would sail from there, less than a hundred miles off Elizabeth’s shores.
With no standing army, and a small and underfunded navy, Elizabeth’s only weapons against her powerful Spanish adversary were her cleverness and courage. Taking a gamble, she extended safe conduct to a motley little fleet of Dutch privateers who had fled Spain’s occupation. These rebels called themselves the Sea Beggars and carried out raids on Spanish shipping. They play a major role in The Queen’s Exiles when my heroine, Fenella Doorn, joins their fight.
For several years Elizabeth allowed the Sea Beggars to make Dover and the creeks and bays along England’s south coast their home as they continued to harry Spanish vessels. This infuriated Philip. When his fury grew dangerous, Elizabeth ordered the Sea Beggars to quit her realm. It was assumed she expelled them to placate Philip, but it turned out that she had struck a powerful blow at Spain: by forcing out these fierce privateers she unleashed their latent power.
For a month the Sea Beggars wandered the Channel, homeless and hungry. Then, in April 1572, on the verge of starvation, they made a desperate attack on the Spanish-held Dutch port city of Brielle. They astounded everyone, even themselves, by capturing the city. The Sea Beggars’ victory provided the opposition’s first foothold on land and launched a revolution: the Dutch War of Independence against Spain. It took many more years, but the brave Dutch people finally gained their independence.
The rebel Sea Beggars’ fight is the backdrop of The Queen’s Exiles. I hope you enjoy the adventure.
The Queen’s Exiles, Synopsis~
Europe is in turmoil. A vengeful faction of exiled English Catholics is plotting to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and install her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. And in the Netherlands the streets are red with the blood of those who dare to oppose the brutal Spanish occupation. But amid the unrest, one resourceful young woman has made a lucrative enterprise. Scottish-born Fenella Doorn salvages crippled vessels. It is on one of these ships that she meets wealthy Baron Adam Thornleigh. Secretly drawn to him, Fenella can’t refuse when Adam enlists her to join him in war-torn Brussels to help find his traitorous wife, Frances—and the children she’s taken from him. But Adam and Fenella will put their lives in peril as they attempt to rescue his young ones, defend the Crown, and restore a peace that few can remember. With eloquent and enthralling finesse, Barbara Kyle illuminates one of history’s grimmest chapters. The Queen’s Exiles breathes new life into an extraordinary age when love and freedom could only be won with unmitigated courage.
Praise for The Queen’s Exiles~
“Riveting Tudor drama in the bestselling vein of Philippa Gregory” – USA Today
“A bold and original take on the Tudors that dares to be different. Enjoy the adventure!” – Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author
“This moving adventure pulses with Shakespearean passions: love and heartbreak, risk and valour, and loyalties challenged in a savage time. Fenella Doorn, savvy and brave, is an unforgettable heroine.” – Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival
“Brilliant. A page-turner of love and loyalty in treacherous Tudor times. A truly unforgettable adventure.” – Deborah Swift, author of A Divided Inheritance
“A vivid and compelling novel by an author at the very top of her craft.” – Diane Haeger, author of I, Jane
Praise for Barbara Kyle’s Books
“Kyle knows what historical fiction readers crave.” – RT Book Reviews on Blood Between Queens
“A complex and fast-paced plot mixing history with vibrant characters” – Publishers Weekly on The King’s Daughter
“An all-action thriller, bringing to life the passion and perils of the Tudor period.” – Lancashire Evening Post on The King’s Daughter
“Riveting…adventurous…superb!” – The Historical Novels Review on The Queen’s Gamble
“An exciting tale of the intrigue and political manoeuvring in the Tudor court.” – Booklist on The Queen’s Captive
“Boldly strides into Philippa Gregory territory…sweeping, gritty and realistic.” – The Historical Novels Review on The Queen’s Lady
Buy the Book~
Author Barbara Kyle, Biography~
The Queen’s Exiles
Blood Between Queens
The Queen’s Gamble
The Queen’s Captive
The King’s Daughter
The Queen’s Lady
Barbara was a speaker in 2013 at the world-renowned Stratford Festival with her talk Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers’ organizations and conferences. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.
Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thequeensexilestour
Tour Hashtag: #QueensExilesTour