Picture of author.

Robert Stephen Parry

Teoksen The Arrow Chest tekijä

7 Works 118 Jäsentä 10 arvostelua

About the Author

Sisältää myös: Robert Parry (1)

Image credit: Author historical fiction, from Tudor to Victorian

Tekijän teokset

Merkitty avainsanalla


Lyhyt elämäkerta
Robert Stephen Parry is a UK writer of adult historical fiction, bringing you stories from a wide range of time periods, from Tudor & Elizabethan, through 18th-century Georgian, right up to the era of Victorian England and the Belle Époque. Well researched and vivid historical settings combine with unusual elements of mystery, romance and magical realism.



There are a few authors that I count among my favorites in the historical fiction genre and this author is one of them. He has a unique voice in the genre and his books always tell their stories in an interesting and engaging way. In this slim volume, he incorporates fiction alongside non-fiction seamlessly. And he has brought us full circle back to the subject of his excellent novel, Virgin and the Crab...his beloved Elizabeth I.

I think I hearken a kind of kinship with this author due to our mutual love for Elizabeth I. And he really brings what I believe to be her true character to the forefront in this book. Elizabeth loved her men and here we are given biographical accounts of each of these men, followed by a vignette of Elizabeth and each man (and one of the man's wives) interacting. These are short sketches and yet they really bring forward in authenticity what these intimate interactions must have truly been like. Perhaps the genuine article of Elizabeth is best captured in various quotes and passages throughout the book. There were several that I really enjoyed. I will share one of them here:

"Well, I also have a formula of my own, Bess - a very special one concerning how the court of England might survive and function under its present climate. For yes, it is true, inevitably I have about me men who also subdue each day their scheming for my approbation. That is how I have kept the gift of peace for the people of this nation for so many decades. That is my formula. And do you think I do not contemplate the weakness of the argument from time to time, as well? Do you think I do not weigh each day in the balance those forces of right and wrong - of tolerance on the one hand for those who are virtuous, and retribution on the other for those who are evil? Every day I must seek that balance. A thousand eyes see everything I do and judge me. I have no life, no privacy, no joy. And yet because I am a woman, when they come to me, even the most powerful men are tamed. They seek for a moment, instead of gold and riches, the approval of their Gloriana, their Virgin Queen. They wait for a smile or touch of my hand as I pass, and live here in a place where the poet is as worthy as the soldier; where a master of music is as treasured as he who would forge a cannon - and they must lift their snouts from the trough occasionally in order to do so. That is how it works, Bess - the charade and the festival of the Virgin Queen."

This quote completely captures what Elizabeth's reign must truly have been like. It is obvious that Elizabeth held the happiness of her people and the peace of the land in the highest regard over everything else. I always feel that Elizabeth was a keen observer of her father's rule, and the history of his reign. How he jeopardized so much for his personal predilections in the guise of seeking an heir must have appeared to her keen mind a mistake she did not want to make in her own reign. Again, it is these determinations and conclusions the reader is able to make of Elizabeth's mind from reading this excellent volume.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in history and historical fiction.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
TheTrueBookAddict | Mar 22, 2020 |
I knew Robert was a gifted historical author upon reading his first novel, Virgin and the Crab. He graciously sent me a copy of The Arrow Chest to read and review and it too me eons to get around to it. Well, I hosted a lovely event at Castle Macabre in last month, Gothic September, and The Arrow Chest read-a-long was the star of the show. I am so glad I finally got around to reading it. I feel it would be a shame for anyone to miss out on reading this wonderful book.

If you have any love for the Tudors, you will enjoy this book because Robert takes his 19th century characters and creates them at a parallel with such illustrious Tudor figures as Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, Cromwell, Thomas Wyatt (the poet) and Jane Parker Boleyn. Mix this element with a genuine Gothic feel with the settings and ghosts and this book is a delight to read.

Read the rest at my blog: http://thetruebookaddict.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-robert-parrys-arrow-chesta....
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
TheTrueBookAddict | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 22, 2020 |
When I finished reading 'Virgin', I told Robert that it should be recognized by a major publisher. He responded by saying that most publishers will not touch a debut novel of over 100,000 words. 'Virgin' is close to 200,000. It's a shame because this book is one of the best historical novels I have ever read. There's no fluff in the pages of this book. Just straight historical fiction that read almost like non-fiction, but nowhere near as boring. Not that I generally think that non-fiction is boring, but some can be real yawners, if you know what I mean. What I enjoyed most about the book was that I was able to follow what was transpiring with Elizabeth directly parallel to what occurred from before Mary's (Elizabeth's sister) reign and then from the beginning until the end of Mary's reign. I enjoyed the intrigue that was involved in this plot to protect Elizabeth and to ensure that she would someday take the throne. There was a lot of breath holding on my part, even though I already knew the outcome. I liked the way Lady Jane Grey was portrayed here...more as a pawn then a willing participant in seizing the crown. Which made her end all the more tragic. Mary was not portrayed in a favorable light. She comes across as pias, petty and prudish and so full of hatred and the need for revenge for what happened to her mother that she takes religious fanaticism to a new extreme and many people die as a consequence. I'm on the fence about Mary. The character of John Dee was very interesting. I do not know much about him outside of this book, but after reading 'Virgin', I'm compelled to find out more. Perhaps the best thing about this book is that it portrays my favorite historical figure in the best possible light. Elizabeth was an enigma...a skillful and powerful ruler who chose to be married to her country instead of a man. How much of what we know is true? And what do we not know? Here in this favorite quote of mine from the book, Elizabeth speaks about the mystique that surrounds her (and John Dee):

"Men say he has his darker side. And many, I know, go in fear of him. Like Us, a mystique has surrounded our friend, John Dee. It is good that this has occurred, and We shall keep it so. But really, in truth, he is a darling of a man - and no more a Crab than I might be a Virgin - though we'll say no more of that!"

I highly recommend 'Virgin and the Crab' to all historical fiction lovers and especially to all who adore Elizabeth Tudor. It's an exciting twist on Elizabeth's path to the throne. Historically compelling and deliciously suspenseful! I'm looking forward to Robert's next novel!

… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
TheTrueBookAddict | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 22, 2020 |
Loved this book! Always a big fan of the Belle Epoch and it really put me there by the descriptions. I could tell he did excellent research. I'll be reading more of his work. Thank you for the opportunity of winning and reading this enjoyable book.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
wakegirl16 | Jun 25, 2018 |


Arvio (tähdet)
½ 4.7

Taulukot ja kaaviot