Few women of her time lived to see their name in print. But Katherine was no ordinary woman. She was Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother. This is her story.
Set against the turbulent background of a Devon rocked by the religious and social changes that shaped Tudor England; a Devon of privateers and pirates; a Devon riven by rebellions and plots, A Woman of Noble Wit tells how Katherine became the woman who would inspire her famous sons to follow their dreams. It is Tudor history seen though a woman’s eyes.
As the daughter of a gentry family with close connections to the glittering court of King Henry VIII, Katherine’s duty is clear. She must put aside her dreams and accept the husband chosen for her. Still a girl, she starts a new life at Greenway Court, overlooking the River Dart, relieved that her husband is not the ageing monster of her nightmares. She settles into the life of a dutiful wife and mother until a chance shipboard encounter with a handsome privateer, turns her world upside down.…..
Years later a courageous act will set Katherine’s name in print and her youngest son will fly high.
June 17, 2021, 1:37 p.m.
A week later, Katherine set her foot upon the well-scrubbed deck of the three-masted vessel. She felt light-headed, dizzy with delight, her legs suddenly weak as water. She really was on board the Trinity! Messengers were speeding to Uncle Gawen, to her sisters and to Johnny. What a family reunion it would be, and, oh, the thrill of it! She would see London for the first time. Perhaps they’d even see the King!
She had dressed with care, selecting a blue-green gown that was more comfortable than fashionable. At the last moment she donned a bead-trimmed headdress. It would not …
May 3, 2021, 12:36 p.m.
The Court House seemed full of unfamiliar sounds as the guests slowly retired to bed, feet echoing on the stairs, voices and laughter slowly dying away. All night long the sound of pots and pans banging and rattling drifted in through the open window as, in the kitchens, the cook set everyone to work on the wedding feast. But it was not the unusual nocturnal activity that kept Katherine awake. It was her struggle with the demons of the morrow that held her rigid into the small hours, sent her eyes flitting toward the still-dark window, and kept her mind …
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This book was my whole life for about a week. I fully enjoyed the Tudor aspect but the inner love story was even more captivating! I rooted for the new couple the whole way! Thumbs up.
Original review: https://www.netgalley.com/book/236081/review/441390See more
I admittedly love most Historical Fiction that is set in and around the Tudor period, especially when it is from the perspective of a woman. The fact the book is set in Devon (my home county) meant I knew a fair few of the places mentioned, which made it all the more enjoyable for me.
I enjoyed learning about Katherine’s life during a turbulent period of history, and how this affected both her and her family, even though they lived many miles away from the centre of things at court. It is fascinating to see her day to day life, …See more
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
My thanks to Rosemary Griggs, Matador and Net Galley for the ARC of A WOMAN OF NOBLE WIT.
Superb of course, the Tudor era is a favourite of mine and I loved the references to other characters that I had read so much about. How much they went through, the women in particular with their many painful births and losses. Katherine is Walter Raleigh's mother and her tale is an interesting foray into Tudor life and how they felt about the happenings within the Royal family, seen from an ordinary family's point of view. I …
I really enjoyed this novel, particularly the chance to revisit the history of the Tudor court, and the religious conflict of that age, through the less-familiar prism of a Devon family. Katherine-Kate is a well self-educated, dutiful wife and mother who encourages the love of learning in her children. I remember especially how she encourages one son to read.
She is so vividly drawn that she became, for me, a friend whose well-being was important for me. I stood with her through her sorrows and hardships, which she valiantly survived, and then in her happiness to make the progress so …
A Woman of Noble Wit
The title comes from Foxe's Book of Martyrs. In what is possibly Katherine Raleigh's only published mention, she is described as 'a woman of noble wit and godly ways.'
This slender thread of history flows through the book, which follows the story of Katherine's life. I particularly like the way Rosemary Griggs draws from fascinating details of Elizabethan life, weaving them with vivid descriptions of the Devon countryside to create an evocative narrative.
Although I’ve had a lifelong fascination with Walter Raleigh, I never imagined I’d be present at his birth, and …See more
5.0 out of 5 stars
An excellent first novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 September 2021
Although described as a work of historical fiction Rosemary Grigg's meticulously crafted and carefully researched first novel, 'A Woman of Noble Wit', captures the readers attention on the first page and maintains it until the close of the final chapter.
The pace is rapid as the life story of Katherine Champernowne, the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh, unfolds. Set in the later stages of Henry VIII and Queen Mary's reigns, the narrative tells how a minor aristocratic family from Devon, living on the …
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I have read a lot of historical fiction, set around the Tudor period but I have never read any fiction ssurrounded Sir Walter Raleighs mother and I really enjoyed it. It was well written and really evoked life in Tudpr England and the court of Henry the 8th. A really good book.
Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/865607See more
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A Woman of Noble Wit by Rosemary Griggs
What an enjoyable read. I've found myself reading a lot of historical fiction and reading one about a person who would have actually existed makes it , for me , all the more enjoyable.
This story is about Katherine a young girl who we meet whilst still going and enjoying life with her brothers. At 9 she is sent away to improve her education and to be a companion / helper for her grandmother.
She grows up and married , and one of her sons goes on to become …