As someone who firmly believes that Lady Rochford’s reputation is very undeserved, it gives me great pleasure when I get the opportunity to read works from other historians who view her in the same way. Danielle Marchant is one such author and her Lady Rochford Saga was one of the first I read in my early research into Jane’s life that painted a fully sympathetic picture of this oft-misunderstood Tudor woman. Charlie Fenton’s Perseverance was another I read around the same time, and I highly recommend both authors if you are looking for the Jane that has been sorely missing from other popular fictional works.
The Treacheries of Fortune is the third installment in Marchant’s Lady Rochford Saga and it’s at this point where she focuses on the relationship between Jane and Anne Boleyn. Unlike the earlier novellas, George makes few appearances here – and though I missed reacquainting myself with my own personal favorite Tudor – it’s an accurate representation. During the time period this novella covers, George was often separated from his wife on ambassadorial business. With her husband out of the picture, Jane is free to focus on providing ample support to her triumphant, yet still struggling sister-in-law. Through Jane’s eyes we see that, even though Anne has become Queen, her life is far from perfect, and the treacheries that come along with fortune often outweigh the benefits of such lofty positions.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this installment is Marchant’s use of Jane…SEYMOUR! You didn’t see that coming did you? This might be the first time that I’ve seen Anne’s replacement used as more than mere window dressing or foil to a cleverer/more beautiful/cutting Anne. Mistress Seymour is given a complexity here that I’ve often seen lacking in many novels about Anne, and I hope it’s a trend that catches on.
All-in-all, a very enjoyable read from start to finish! Can’t wait to see what Marchant has in store next.