Passage to Pontefract: (Plantagenet Saga)


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Passage to Pontefract

He enjoyed a happy marriage with Anne of Bohemia but his extravagance and tendency to surround himself with his favorites brought him into conflict with his people. His uncles, John of Gaunt and Thomas of Woodstock, were caught up in the intrigue, and there came the day when the Five Lords Appellant faced Richard and threatened to depose him. Here is a vivid picture of Richard's court, of his extravagance and folly, of his devotion to his favorite, Robert de Vere, of his love for two queens, clever Anne and the little Isabella, and of his headlong journey toward disaster.

He could never forget an injury and was determined to take his revenge on the five lords who had humiliated him. He succeeded with four of them but the fifth—Henry of Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt—was clever, subtle, and determined to triumph where his father had failed. Richard was no match for him and it was Bolingbroke who drove him along the last stretch of his passage to Pontefract.

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Passage to Pontefract by Jean Plaidy - Penguin Books New Zealand

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Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Passage to Pontefract Plantagenet Saga, Jean Plaidy was a prolific author of historical novels and, in my experience, mainly crafts novels that are, on the whole, pretty basic retellings of historical events. Passage to Pontefract conforms to those expectations and, to give full credit to Plaidy, I am frustrated a little because there are parts of the book that are good, or at least good in theory.

Gaunt is not stripped of his ambition and assholery to be a romantic hero but straddles both roles. Plaidy also made me feel a wee bit sorry for Thomas of Woodstock when he died. These ideas are so good and they would be much better in a novel where the author allowed these personalities to come out more, to display themselves better. The narrative is rushed in places, especially near the end, and relies too much on summation and exposition to move the plot along. Depict him displaying symptoms, before and after! There are things I disliked about the novel. And that, in the end, is what mars this novel for me.

View 2 comments. Oct 19, Katherine Totten rated it liked it. Reading this book has spurred me on to reread Susan Howatch's "Wheel of Fortune". It's a wonderful tale told beautifully, the only way Jean Plaidy can do it. She had an admirable way of bringing historical figures of long ago back to life with amazing detail. Once again, Plaidy delivers greatness.

Sep 04, Gary rated it it was amazing. Nobody writes British historical fiction better than Jean Plaidy.


  1. Passage to Pontefract (Plantagenet Saga, #10) by Jean Plaidy!
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And this novel is Plaidy at her best. Begins with Edward III and the complete hold the common born Alice Perrers has over him, and how she, despised by his family and the entire nobility, steals the jewels and rings from his fingers at his d Nobody writes British historical fiction better than Jean Plaidy. Begins with Edward III and the complete hold the common born Alice Perrers has over him, and how she, despised by his family and the entire nobility, steals the jewels and rings from his fingers at his death.

What I like about Plaidy's treatment of women in her novels, is that unlike,e many authors of historical fiction including some today she does not sell us the ridiculous and prejudiced ideas of women as either virginal saints or wanton harlots. Her women characters often have pasts, are usually sexual beings, may even engage in promiscuity, but for all that are multi-dimensional characters who she treats with understanding and perception, hence Kathrine Swynford and Joan of Kent, thought they both have 'pasts' are determined and loyal in standing by their men and in caring about their children, After he inherits the throne he young Richard is surrounded by ambitious uncles who are determined that England would be better off if they had the throne.


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  • Passage to Pontefract (Plantagenet Saga, #10) by Jean Plaidy.
  • Inspired by the ideas of John Wycliff, the great religious reformer , the peasant, unable to bare extreme grinding poverty and oppression and crushing taxes, rebel against the established feudal order and demand better conditions and more equality. We see the slender , attractive young king Richard commanding the allegiance of the peasants after their leader Wat Tyler is killed by the Mayor of London.

    Richard however shows he is not of impeccable character by mounting Tyler's head on a spike. Though Richard promises the peasants he will be their leader he certainly did nothing to alleviate their conditions or bring about any greater social equity. Richard proves him both ineffectual and a petty tyrant, and revenges himself on four of the five appellant lords, who for a time curtail his power. The End of a Reign.

    A Queen From Bohemia. The End of the Fair Maid of Kent. The Five Lords Appellant. Tragedy at Sheen.

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    The Little Isabella. The Kings Revenge The Return of Bolingbroke. The Gathering Storm.


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    Because of her need to pack everything in, events are Passage to Pontefract. Jean Plaidy.

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