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The author of THE INTOXICATING MR LAVELLE returns with more scandal, sex and intrigue, but set in the court of King James I - with added philosophers, murderers and playwrights.
The kingdom of love is a frightening place. A dangerous place. What kind of fool wants to live there?
How have I, Francis Bacon, well-known as the cleverest man in England, been caught in this trap? For years I survived the brutal games of the English court, driven by the whims of the idiot King James I - and finally, I was winning. Forget what my friends Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare say about love. I had that which men truly crave above all else: power.
But now, at the moment of my greatest success, a deadly alliance of my enemies has begun closing in on me. Led by the King's beautiful and poisonous lover Carr, this new alliance threatens to turn our foolish King against me, so that I may rot in the Tower.
I refuse to go down without a fight. I have concocted a brilliant new plan: I will find my own beguiling young man and supplant Carr in the King's bed, and take power for myself. All I need to do is find him, my beautiful and mysterious creature, my perfect chess move.
In the dangerous kingdom of love, those who understand desire win. And I intend to win, at all costs."
Author: Neil Blackmore
Paperback Published 20 July 2021 320 pages
Read and Recommended by Graeme:
"The court of James I of England is brought richly and vividly to life through the eyes of writer, philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon. This is a world of male favourites, complicated plots to win royal favour, spies in the royal bed chamber, secret messages written in ciphers, and the looming threat of imprisonment, torture or some grisly execution. The novel is based on real-life people (King James I, Queen Anne, playwrights William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson) but as the Dramatis Personae makes clear at the start of the book, Blackmore is writing in an irreverent modern style. King James is described as ‘a sodomite and failed intellectual’, his favourite Robert Carr as ‘a pretty whore’. The crux of the story is like something from a high octane soap opera - Bacon is the King’s righthand man but is frustrated by the King’s favourite Robert Carr, who relishes using his power to punish Bacon at his whim. Note - Bacon also once made a sexual overture to Carr and was rejected! Bacon retaliates by plotting with Queen Anne to groom a more beautiful and compliant favourite to win over the King and supplant the troublesome Carr. Enter the perfect sensual youth, George Villiers - however, Bacon makes the fatal mistake of falling for this boy himself.... This novel is certainly not Wolf Hall and you will likely wonder about the historical facts but the book is an absolute page-turner and so thoroughly entertaining you are unlikely to care."