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Terrific, free-standing sequel to the historical bestseller Earthly Joys, as John Tradescant the Younger witnesses the English Civil War and its aftermath from his position as royal gardener. / Philippa Gregory is now one of the most successful historical novelists writing today. / 'The Other Boleyn Girl' has now sold nearly 350,000 copies in paperback. / 'The Virgin's Lover' has sold 50,000 hardback copies to date and has been a bestseller in the UK, the US, and Number One in New Zealand. / Film versions of 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and 'The Queen's Fool' are in development. / Now reissued in a sumptuous new package. / The author is well known for her appearances on TV, as a Tudor expert and a regular on Time Team, and her frequent participation on Radio 4's Round Britian Quiz. / Competition: Deborah Moggach, Reay Tannahill, Christie Dickason, Hilary Mantel, Rose Tremain

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is an established writer and broadcaster for radio and television. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in the North of England with her family.

Reviews

In the stand-alone sequel to her Earthly Joys, Gregory follows royal gardener John Tradescant the Younger back and forth across the Atlantic between colonial Virginia and war-torn England. When John first travels to Virginia to collect exotic plants in 1638, his guide is a beautiful young Indian girl named Suckahanna. After transporting his specimens to England, he plans to return and marry her, but once at home, he learns that his father has died, leaving a letter suggesting that John marry the efficient Hester Pooks. Needing someone to care for his two children by a previous marriage, as well as for the Tradescant collection of rare objects and the Ark, the family's famous garden, John weds Hester. Meanwhile, the foolish, tyrannical King Charles I is dragging England into a civil war, and John, as a trusted servant, is pulled unwillingly into his service. To avoid having to fight for a cause he does not believe in, John returns to Virginia and Suckahanna, leaving Hester and his children back in England. In Virginia he tries to start a plantation, but having no idea how to live off the land, nears death before he is rescued by the Powhatan, Suckahanna's people. Once again John must choose sides in a war, this time between the Powhatan and the English. John is torn between them, just as he is torn between the two women in each of those separate realms. This hefty epic illuminates the conflicts of the 17th century with clear prose and a believable cast of characters, and will draw in casual readers and lovers of history alike. (Dec.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

'Gregory's remarkable achievement is to transform the known facts into a gripping story of adventurous horticulture, divided loyalties, racial hatred and high passion.' Sue Gaisford, Mail on Sunday 'A brilliant continuation of Gregory's meticulously researched story of the Tradescant gardening family, begun with such panache in her bestselling "Earthly Joys"! utterly gripping.' Lisa Jardine, The Times 'delightful! exciting and fascinating! beguiling' Jessica Mann, Sunday Telegraph 'When it comes to writers of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory is in the very top league' Daily Mail 'A hugely enjoyable and unexpectedly moving book' Daily Telegraph 'Vivid and enthralling! good gripping stuff' SundayTimes

Set in 17th-century England and Virginia, this saga begins as John Tradescant the Younger, Charles I's gardener, sails to the New World in search of rarities for his gardens. Not only does he find exotic plants, but he also glimpses unimagined freedom. His father's death leads John to a marriage of convenience in England. Unwilling to fight for Charles I, he returns to Virginia, where he joins the Powhatan and finds a wife. But eventually John loses his place in the tribe because of his inability to kill settlers. Determined to maintain a commitment to his English family, he goes home to a country buffeted by civil war. John strives to keep his family safe, but his gift for survival ultimately rings hollow. In fact, this novel is tepid compared with its predecessor, Earthly Joys. Readers who enjoyed that volume will want its sequel, but others may find it hard to care about a character whose loyalties shift so readily and so often.--Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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