Mastodon The Writing Desk: Bestselling Author Alexandra Walsh Reviews New Book in the Elizabethan Series: Frances – Tudor Countess

6 July 2024

Bestselling Author Alexandra Walsh Reviews New Book in the Elizabethan Series: Frances – Tudor Countess

New from Amazon UK and Amazon US

"Once again, Tony Riches takes us into the world of a forgotten Tudor woman in a story rich with detail and fascinating from beginning to end." 

The eponymous countess is Frances Walsingham the daughter of Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham. Frances is painted as an intelligent, believable and relatable woman who used her mental prowess to help her father decipher codes and letters, eventually running a spy network of her own. With vivid detail of the turbulent period around the Babington plot and Mary Queen of Scots arrest and execution, the story gripped me from the beginning. 

Frances was married three times and Tony Riches leads us through her long and adventurous life with deftness and skill. The marital heartache she suffers while being married to a man in love with another is palpable, while the fear of dealing with a quicksilver spouse in the shape of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex leaps off the page in stark detail. As tragedy befalls her, Frances displays a quiet strength to continue, always believing there is good in the world. 

Tony Riches has a vast knowledge of the Tudor and Stuart periods and this is apparent in Frances, Tudor Countess. The passing of time includes a huge amount of history but it never outweighs the story of Frances’s life and is introduced in clever ways to keep the reader aware of the politics of the time. 

I loved walking through time with Frances and learned a great deal about her later years. She steps from the pages as a real woman, a person who coped with tragedy, joy, subterfuge and loss, yet she never lost her belief in love and the hope that one day, she would find her soul mate. 

If you want a summer read that will transport you back to Tudor times, let Tony Riches take you by the hand and introduce you to the fascinating and extraordinary woman that was Frances Walsingham. You won’t be disappointed. 

 Alexandra Walsh

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About the Author

Alexandra Walsh is a bestselling author of the dual timeline women’s fiction. Her books range from the 15th and 16th centuries to the Victorian era and are inspired by the hidden voices of women that have been lost over the centuries. The Marquess House Saga offers an alternative view of the Tudor and early Stuart eras, while The Wind Chime and The Music Makers explore different aspects of Victorian society. Formerly, a journalist for over 25 years, writing for many national newspapers and magazines; Alexandra also worked in the TV and film industries as an associate producer, director, script writer and mentor for the MA Screen Writing course at the prestigious London Film School. She is a member of The Society of Authors and The Historical Writers Association. For updates and more information visit her website: and follow her on Facebook, Twitter @purplemermaid25 and Bluesky

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