Troubador A Woman of Noble Wit

Released: 28/09/2021

ISBN: 9781800464599

eISBN: 9781800466111

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Woman of Noble Wit

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Few women of her time lived to see their name in print. But Katherine was no ordinary woman. She was Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother. This is her story.

Set against the turbulent background of a Devon rocked by the religious and social changes that shaped Tudor England; a Devon of privateers and pirates; a Devon riven by rebellions and plots, A Woman of Noble Wit tells how Katherine became the woman who would inspire her famous sons to follow their dreams. It is Tudor history seen though a woman’s eyes.

As the daughter of a gentry family with close connections to the glittering court of King Henry VIII, Katherine’s duty is clear. She must put aside her dreams and accept the husband chosen for her. Still a girl, she starts a new life at Greenway Court, overlooking the River Dart, relieved that her husband is not the ageing monster of her nightmares. She settles into the life of a dutiful wife and mother until a chance shipboard encounter with a handsome privateer, turns her world upside down.…..

Years later a courageous act will set Katherine’s name in print and her youngest son will fly high.

Newton Abbot Advertiser

Devon Life

Mid Devon Advertiser

Devon Live

Mid Devon Advertiser

What an enjoyable read. I've found myself reading a lot of historical fiction and reading one about a person who would have actually existed makes it , for me , all the more enjoyable.
This story is about Katherine a young girl who we meet whilst still going and enjoying life with her brothers. At 9 she is sent away to improve her education and to be a companion / helper for her grandmother.
She grows up and married , and one of her sons goes on to become a person who we are all taught about in our history lessons. They say behind every great man is a woman , and in this case they are correct. His mother Katherine.
The author brought alive what the expectations of being a woman was all about in that time , often having to marry a man that would improve your own famillies status within the hierarchy of Nobility.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/774133

by NetGalley review


I have read a lot of historical fiction, set around the Tudor period but I have never read any fiction ssurrounded Sir Walter Raleighs mother and I really enjoyed it. It was well written and really evoked life in Tudpr England and the court of Henry the 8th. A really good book.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/865607

by NetGalley review


Although described as a work of historical fiction Rosemary Grigg's meticulously crafted and carefully researched first novel, 'A Woman of Noble Wit', captures the readers attention on the first page and maintains it until the close of the final chapter.
The pace is rapid as the life story of Katherine Champernowne, the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh, unfolds. Set in the later stages of Henry VIII and Queen Mary's reigns, the narrative tells how a minor aristocratic family from Devon, living on the edge of the Royal Court, managed to steer a judicious course through a period of intense political and religious unrest.
Katherine herself is a product of 16C culture and has left little mark on the official pages of history. She was, however, an educated and astute woman who exerted a profound influence on her descendants and particularly those who rose to high rank. Griggs interpretation of Katherine's character is totally believeable and her attention to detail ensures that her herione's personality stays with the reader long after the pages of the book are closed.
There are a wealth of characters, both real and imagined within the text and the concise cast list, provided by the author, is helpful.
This is a remarkable, well researched historical novel; a real 'page-turner' that I highly recommend

by P.M. Taylor (Amazon review)


The title comes from Foxe's Book of Martyrs. In what is possibly Katherine Raleigh's only published mention, she is described as 'a woman of noble wit and godly ways.'

This slender thread of history flows through the book, which follows the story of Katherine's life. I particularly like the way Rosemary Griggs draws from fascinating details of Elizabethan life, weaving them with vivid descriptions of the Devon countryside to create an evocative narrative.

Although I’ve had a lifelong fascination with Walter Raleigh, I never imagined I’d be present at his birth, and there is enough history here to help me appreciate something of his background and upbringing.

People sometimes say of a book that they couldn't put it down, and that was literally the case with Rosemary Griggs’ first novel, which I'm happy to recommend - and I'm looking forward to see who is chosen for her next book.

by Tony (Amazon review)


A Woman of Noble Wit by Rosemary Briggs

What an enjoyable read. I've found myself reading a lot of historical fiction and reading one about a person who would have actually existed makes it , for me , all the more enjoyable.
This story is about Katherine a young girl who we meet whilst still going and enjoying life with her brothers. At 9 she is sent away to improve her education and to be a companion / helper for her grandmother.
She grows up and marries , and one of her sons goes on to become a person who we are all taught about in our history lessons. They say behind every great man is a woman , and in this case they are correct. His mother Katherine.
The author brought alive what the expectations of being a woman was all about in that time , often having to marry a man that would improve your own famillies status within the hierarchy of Nobility.

by Ms A. D. Thompson (Amazon Review)


Superb of course, the Tudor era is a favourite of mine and I loved the references to other characters that I had read so much about. How much they went through, the women in particular with their many painful births and losses. Katherine is Walter Raleigh's mother and her tale is an interesting foray into Tudor life and how they felt about the happenings within the Royal family, seen from an ordinary family's point of view. I loved it.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/485611

by NetGalley review


A Woman of Noble Wit
Oct. 7, 2021, 2:02 p.m.A review for 'A Woman of Noble Wit', by Karen Jackson
I really enjoyed this novel, particularly the chance to revisit the history of the Tudor court, and the religious conflict of that age, through the less-familiar prism of a Devon family. Katherine-Kate is a well self-educated, dutiful wife and mother who encourages the love of learning in her children. I remember especially how she encourages one son to read.
She is so vividly drawn that she became, for me, a friend whose well-being was important for me. I stood with her through her sorrows and hardships, which she valiantly survived, and then in her happiness to make the progress so unusual for a woman of her time. She has stayed with me long after the book was finished. This is by turns a wonderful, exciting, fulfilling read.

by Karen Jackson


I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book about the life of Katherine Raleigh.

I admittedly love most Historical Fiction that is set in and around the Tudor period, especially when it is from the perspective of a woman. The fact the book is set in Devon (my home county) meant I knew a fair few of the places mentioned, which made it all the more enjoyable for me.

I enjoyed learning about Katherine’s life during a turbulent period of history, and how this affected both her and her family, even though they lived many miles away from the centre of things at court. It is fascinating to see her day to day life, beliefs and values and how these went on to form her children into the people they became, most notably, of course, her last-born child, Sir Walter Raleigh. Her life is full of ups and downs, turmoil and grief but she also finds love, passion, contentment and joy which I believe makes this such a brilliant page-turner.

Rosemary Griggs has a great ability to take the minimal facts known about Katherine’s life and merge them with her fantastic knowledge of the period and localities involved to form this amazing, vivid, piece of fiction. I truly didn’t want the book to end.

I hope to read more from Rosemary in the future.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/583637

by NetGalley review


This book was my whole life for about a week. I fully enjoyed the Tudor aspect but the inner love story was even more captivating! I rooted for the new couple the whole way! Thumbs up.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.com/book/236081/review/441390

by NetGalley review


A Woman of Noble Wit by Rosemary Griggs is perfect for all historical fiction fans. Unlike many books, this book doesn't force the heroine into being unrealistically present at every major event that occurred during her life-time. Instead, Katherine is forced to remain in a woman's sphere, looking after her children and managing servants. However, the Tudor years were eventful with religion and politics impacting every powerful family-even women were impacted as their menfolk rose and fell in Henry VIII's favour.

Rosemary Griggs does a wonderful job of bringing women's lives in the 16th century to life: the limited opportunities, the fear for children in a time of plagues, the strong family ties. Katherine was a delightful heroine and it was fascinating to know that she'd eventually become mother to one of history's most famous explorers. I think the book could have done with a little extra cutting; the first half in particular could be a little shorter, however Griggs weaves in plenty of details to keep you entertained.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/853792

by NetGalley review


Katherine lived in a time of great excitement for the British people as a New World was about to come into their grasp. She is a woman of her time - loyal, hard working and willing to do anything to help her family. She marries a man she barely knows, yet becomes a loving and good mother to her son, Walter. As the years go by, King Henry's court becomes Queen Elizabeths. She can do little from stopping her son from becoming the famous explorer and legend, Sir Walter Releigh. It was a good novel seeing just who this woman was and how her son came to be who he was.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/722100

by NetGalley review


4.0 out of 5 stars

You can’t put it down!

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 November 2021
Verified Purchase
It’s a book which draws you into the life of the main character, Katharine, and truly brings her character to life. I am part way through and enjoying it immensely.

Original review Amazon

by Amazon Review


I was drawn right in to the story of Katherine ,Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother and the Tudor period.This really brings the time to life and brought me into this historical period..well written will be recommending.

Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/236081/review/420873

by NetGalley review


A Woman of Noble Wit
Jan. 8, 2022, 10:59 a.m.A review for 'A Woman of Noble Wit', by Lyn Green
A fascinating & very moving story, I couldn’t put it down! I felt such empathy for Lady Katherine & the story has inspired me to find out more about Tudor history which I have always been interested in. At the end of the book I felt quite emotional & wanted to know more about what happened to the other family members. Thank you Rosemary!

Original review on author website https://rosemarygriggs.co.uk/reviews/28/

by Lyn Green


Unputdownable!
Jan. 10, 2022, 6:53 p.m.A review for 'A Woman of Noble Wit', by Samantha Craven
This is a fabulous book, it’s is beautifully written, meticulously researched, well crafted and captivating. It is a magnificent achievement by Rosemary based on family records and real characters. As well as enjoying the characters and their story, I learned such a lot about the Tudor period, something I haven’t done since school (30 + years ago)
I was hooked after the first few pages and am only sorry to have come to the end.

Original review via author website https://rosemarygriggs.co.uk/reviews/29/

by Samantha Craven


................ I really enjoyed following Katherine-Kate’s journey from young girl to an old frail woman. Katherine-Kate is a character that was very easy to like, she is also very human in the telling. I thought this novel was as enjoyable as it was successful. This book has really set the bar incredibly high for this year!

A man may go adventuring, but a woman’s place was in the home. Her mission in life was to give her husband strong sons. She must be passive, accepting of her situation. Katherine-Kate’s life had been mapped out for her from a child. She will have no say in who she marries. She can only hope that her father does not wed her to some aged lord. Oh, how she wished she were her brother. Johnny’s life would be glamours and exciting, whereas Katherine-Kate would always be wishing for more. But that was the way of the world, and there was nothing that Katherine-Kate could do about it.

This is an age where a king could break from the Catholic Church to secure a divorce only to execute his Queen three years later. The nobility may have wealth and position, but that did not protect them from the king’s wrath. Every word must be carefully weighed up, and if you spoke the wrong word to the wrong person then you could lose everything, even your life. I really liked the way the author approached this period. The story of Henry VIII is played out in the background of the novel, and as he we hear through gossip and family discussions what is happening in Henry VIII court, Katherine-Kate’s more pressing desire is to be a good wife and more importantly a mother to sons.

Katherine-Kate is very young when this novel opens. She looks with longing at the couples who dance at the fair wishing that she could marry the man she loves rather than the man her father chooses. In that moment she envies the poor, but she knows she has no choice but to do as her father wills. My heart really broke for Katherine-Kate in this novel. She is still a child, by any standers when she is forced to marry. The fact that her father demands she not be bedded until she was older made for some very uncomfortable reading - her father knew she was too young, but married her anyway. Katherine-Kate goes to live with her husband in a home that is filled with hostility. It would be enough to break anyones spirit, but Katherine-Kate is determined to make the best of her situation.

As Katherine-Kate grows into a woman she slowly comes into her own. She knows that to achieve favour she must give her husband a son, an heir. But like Anne Boleyn the best she can do is a daughter. Katherine-Kate is so very disappointed that she refuses to hold her child let alone bond with her.

A girl, a girl, a girl! This was not how things should have turned out. She had failed. She was an imposter. Not a fine and capable lady at all; she was just a silly little maid.

Unfortunately Katherine-Kate’s relationship with her daughter does not improve as this story goes on and I think that is the greatest tragedy in this story.

As we watch Katherine-Kate grow and mature, she relishes in her role as lady of the house, but she still longs for adventure. And as her marriage rapidly deteriorates her eyes fall upon a man who sets her heart a flutter. If she had a choice of who she had married then it would have been him, but alas, unlike the king she cannot seek a divorce, even if her husband makes her so desperately unhappy.

I thought this novel was a wonderful insight into the Tudor era and I really enjoyed following Katherine-Kate’s journey from young girl to an old frail woman. Katherine-Kate is a character that was very easy to like, she is also very human in the telling.

I thought this novel was as enjoyable as it was successful. This book has really set the bar incredibly high for this year!

Original review https://igotlostinabook2.blogspot.com/2022/01/i-am-excited-to-be-hosting-blog-tour.html

by I got lost in a book blogspot


The Plot in Brief: Set in the Devonshire countryside of Tudor England, this is the fictionalized story of Katherine Champernowne, the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh.

The Characters: I’ll start by saying this book contains a very long cast of characters, often with the same or similar sounding names. The families in the story include the Champernownes, Carews, Courtenays, Gilberts and the Raleighs. I admit that I was at times confused as too who was who, especially as the families were intermarried. Many of the side characters were thinly fleshed out and remained unmemorable. The main characters, Katerine, her first husband Oto Gilbert and her second, Walter Raleigh received more attention and I felt we got to know something of who they might have been.

Katherine and Oto married at a young age and never grew to love each other. Oto was a rather feckless young man held back by an overbearing uncle. Katherine struggles to find her identity as a wife and mother, eventually coming into her own. After Oto’s untimely death, Katherine marries the love of her life, Walter Raleigh. Their relationship was a bit of an eye-roll for me, but romance lovers will enjoy it.

The History: This, the history, is what I really enjoyed about the book. The events of the day are seen and lived by families who are not all part of the inner circle of the Tudor world. They have one foot in the world of Henry VIII and his children, usually a son whose seeking fame and fortune at court, but most are working hard to keep the family out of debt and expand their influence in the local community.

I also enjoyed reading about the move from Catholicism to the Protestant religion, how each person accepted or rejected the changes depending on their convictions and those of the current monarch.

The Writing: The book is well written. It is obvious that the author has done an immense amount of research into the families and the history of the time. The pace is fast and the story reaches a satisfying conclusion.

Overall: I really enjoyed the historical setting and learning about the daily life of a well to do Tudor family. I am not a huge romance fan, so I glazed over that part of the story. At times, it felt like there was almost too much history which overshadowed the actual storyline. But overall, a great read. Highly recommend.

Original Review: https://www.thebookdelight.com/2022/01/coffee-pot-book-tour-woman-of-noble-wit.html

by Jena M Roberts: The Book's delight


I love historical fiction set in the Tudor era, so when I was asked if I would like to read A Woman of Noble Wit I immediately said yes, and I am so glad I did.

Sir Walter Raleigh - explorer, soldier, spy, statesman, the list goes on and on. But like Icarus, he flew too close to the sun and the rest is, as they say, history. As for those who came before him, little is known. Rosemary Griggs has decided to do something about this and has written a truly mesmerising story about Katherine Champernowne, Sir Walter’s mother.

Words cannot possibly express how wonderful this novel is. The depiction of Katherine (called Katherine-Kate so as not to confuse her with her sister Kat) from a young girl playing with carefree abandonment with her brother, to an old and fragile woman, has been portrayed with a wonderful sense of realism. Her life, her loss, her hope, her disappointment and her struggles made her a character that was very easy to like, but also one who really roused my sympathy. She was, after all, a product of her time, and it was her duty, as much as it was the Queen’s, to give her husband an heir.

To be married at such a young age does not even bear thinking about. Before Katherine-Kate has time to grow into her womanly curves she is a mother and she is trying to be the mistress of her household against the hostile opposition of her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law. But as Katherine-Kate begins to bloom, her husband, the for every overlooked Otho, seems to fall deeper into despair and drink. It isn’t until at least three quarters into this novel that we meet Walter Raleigh senior, and that is when Katherine-Kate realises what is missing in her marriage, although she would never do anything about her feelings for she was a godly woman.

Despite the length of this novel, it does not feel that long. Although, saying that, I did start reading this book at ten in the morning, and finished just past one in the morning! It really is the kind of book that you want to read in one sitting, which I did.

I really cannot recommend this novel enough. It would certainly appeal to lovers of Tudor fiction.

Original Review : https://thewhisperingbookworm.blogspot.com/2022/01/on-tour-with-coffee-pot-book-club-woman.html

by The Whispering Bookworm


For a woman from the past to leave a mark in history books, she had to have lived an extraordinary life. Some have notorious reputations, or they were considered women of immaculate character. In Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, there was one who was “a woman of noble wit.” She was the daughter of an ancient gentry family who had connections with the court of Henry VIII. Her large family would navigate political turmoil and religious reformations to survive. The name of this wife and mother was Katherine Raleigh, and her tale is told in Rosemary Griggs’ debut novel, “A Woman of Noble Wit.”

I would like to thank The Coffee Pot Book Club and Rosemary Griggs for sending me a copy of this novel and allowing me to be part of this book tour. I did not know much about Katherine Raleigh before this novel, except that she was the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh, so I was looking forward to reading her story.

Katherine was a daughter of the Champernowne family who had a fiery passion for reading. As a girl, she was terrified of marrying an older man, but her family decided to marry Katherine to Otho Gilbert, a young man with a passion for firearms and adventures. As Katherine settles into her new life at Greenway Court, England experiences the reign of King Henry VIII through religious reforms, many marriages, and numerous executions. Although Katherine was not at court, she would receive gossip about court and her sister Kat, who we know today as Kat Ashley, the governess of Princess Elizabeth Tudor.

Katherine is a dutiful and loving wife to Otho, but her heart skips a beat when she meets the charming privateer Walter Raleigh Senior one day. I found Walter a much better match for Katherine than Otho, who seemed rather vain and jealous of his wife’s reputation. Katherine is free to be her educated self with Walter. They navigate the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I while raising their family. We see how Katherine was known as “a woman of noble wit” through heartache, fear, and love.

As a debut novel, I found it a delightfully engaging read. Griggs has brought Katherine Raleigh from the shadows of her famous son’s fame and shined a light on her story. If I did have a complaint about this novel, it would be that I felt the ending was a bit rushed. Overall, I think it was an enchanting debut novel that illuminated the life of a fascinating woman who lived during the Tudor dynasty. I am excited to see what Rosemary Griggs will write about next. If you want a novel about a relatively hidden Tudor woman, I would highly suggest you read “A Woman of Noble Wit” by Rosemary Griggs.

Original review : https://adventuresofatudornerd.com/2022/01/19/book-review-a-woman-of-noble-wit-by-rosemary-griggs/

Also on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4426688626?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

by Heidi Malagisi


A Woman of Noble Wit by Rosemary Griggs is an astoundingly successful book. Up until now, Katherine-Kate’s life has, like so many women, been lost to time, which is such a crying shame, as some of these women had more interesting lives than the men whose names are forever documented in history. Rosemary Griggs has given her readers an intimate and plausible story about the life of the mother of one of England’s greatest explorers, Sir Walter Raleigh.

At times this novel was raw, emotional and left me in tears. At other times it is carefree, enjoyable. As the wheel of fortune turns slowly around we witness both Katherine-Kate’s triumph and failures. This is a gripping account of an ordinary woman who is trying to do her duty as a wife and mother while dreaming about adventures that will always be denied to her because of her sex. Katherine-Kate is a very flawed yet likeable character. When her first child was born I wept, for she was so excited and then so thoroughly dejected in thinking she had failed her husband. It was of little wonder she acted as she did, although this does have long-term consequences for her daughter mental health - although such things were not discussed back then. The blinkered thinking of the period which made women little better than breeding machines was very sobering, especially when a woman was as intelligent as Katherine-Kate. She has to play the passive wife around her husband, Otho, and she has to do as she is told. There are some very distressing scenes between Katherine-Kate and Otho, although I thought the author approached these scenes with the utmost care. In fact, the subject of mental health, which affects all of the characters at some point, is approached cautiously, and perhaps if you were not familiar with mental illness you might miss the gentle hints. Otho changes from a good, if not a little insecure and bitter man, into a monster and although his actions are deplorable the author hints that not all is well with his mental health. Likewise, Rosemary Griggs take a great deal of care in depicting postnatal depression, as well as grief.

I really liked the way the author approached the depiction of the court of Henry VIII. And although we only meet King Henry once, in passing, his decisions have consequences that cannot be ignored. After all, if he sentence his own wife to death then no one was safe. The fear of the King’s temper is as threatening as the plague that ravishes the country.

This novel is, without a shadow of the doubt, one of the most compelling books I have read set in Tudor England. I might just have found my new favourite author.

Original Review: https://likeathousandlives.blogspot.com/2022/01/book-review-woman-of-noble-wit-by.html
and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4490860468

by Helen Blackthorne


Katherine Champerowne, who is she? I had never heard of her before, well it is often that we don't hear of a lot of women from the Tudor Era. We hear of all of the wives of King Henry VIII, they are all mentioned at some point in this novel. Katherine Champerowne is actually the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh. We don't know that until the last part of the novel. She was born in 1519 to Sir Philip Champernowne, of Modbury and Katherine Champernon born Mohuns Ottery, Devonshire, England. Gentlepeople with connections to the King.

What we do learn, is about Katherine as young girl with dreams. She aspires to great things; the one thing is not to be married to an old man. She has to forgo her own dreams and accept the man chosen for her. In this case someone to help pay off the debts of the family.

Devon Modbury where Katherine was raised, had pirates and privateers with a host of rebellions and plots against the king. This story takes the reader from the reign of King Henry VIII all the way through Queen Elizabeth I.

In all this time Katherine does what she is told, marries a man that is not an old man of whom she was afraid would happen to her but rather a boy, her father said that they could not have conjugal visits until Katherine was a bit older as she was only about 14 or 15 at the time. After a while it did not stop Otho Gilbert from having his way.

Katherine maintained the household, was a dutiful wife and mother, became well liked. Otho was a man consumed by jealousy, for many reasons, one of which was his wife and her ability to be a kind and well-liked woman. He was also jealous of her family's connections to the Tudor Court thus making the marriage a rocky one at times.

A chance encounter with a handsome man when she was young has Katherine thinking of him a lot over the years. Life continues for Katherine, until her husband tragically dies, she then marries the man of her dreams, Walter Raleigh. They go on to have a happy life midst the political situation that surrounds them. Katherine is also cousin to Kat Ashley who is another important part of the Elizabethan era. Katherine rebels and spends the night in prison with the martyr Agnes Prest the night before her execution. Her husband was worried that there would be retributions for this so maybe her connection to Kat saved her? Who knows?

My review is long, and I apologize, I also apologize if there are some spoilers, but I did so enjoy the book. I got a bit tear jerky towards the end. The story really got to me. There you have it, my thoughts on a Woman of Noble Wit by Rosemary Griggs. I loved the story; I am a huge Tudor/Elizabethan fan and I had not read a historical novel of this magnitude in a long time. I have to say that I give it 5 stars, for the research and giving the reader an insight into the life of the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Original review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4453280833?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

by Kathleen Kelly


Fantastic piece of historical fiction

5 out of 5 stars

I loved the way the meticulous historical accuracy and Devon landscape provided a backdrop to the well imaged story of our heroine Katherine-Kate. I particularly like reference to her jail visit giving us some idea of what kind of morals and views she may have held.

Original review
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R3845EAIBV4JBB/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1800464592
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 January 2022
Verified Purchase

by Alice Abrahams


A well-written and interesting novel! We all know the name of Walter Raleigh, an explorer under Elizabeth I 's reign. What about his mother?

A Woman of Noble Wit, by Rosemary Griggs.

Not much is known about Katherine, Walter's mother. The author has created a compelling woman with a strong feeling of loyalty towards her family. However, this did not come at a cheap price! .....
I enjoyed this novel very much, as it is well embedded in historical events of the time, her family, the religious conflicts, life of privateers (or were they pirates?), all meticulously researched. Evocative descriptions of Devon countryside brought a fitting atmospheric touch to the novel. Highly recommended!

Original Review 28 January 2022
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4507431444?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

by Christine


A fascinating fictional version of the life of Katherine Gilbert, then Raleigh. Mother to Sir Walter Raleigh.
A grim first marriage to a weedy sounding social climber, Katherine was forced to start a family when very young, against her dear father's wishes and conditions of the pairing. She was a noblewoman however and fulfilled her duty to her horrible husband. A dark haired man on board the Trinity during her first sea voyage caught her eye, and her heart and that yearning lasted for years until one day, the awful husband expired and she was free to marry again. The dark haired man was Walter Raleigh and Katherine bore him children, Walter the youngest being named after her beloved second husband.
The turmoils of the times from Henry VIII's reign, subsequent wives, reformation, Cromwell's rise and fall to the final stages in the book where Elizabeth I finally restores some semblance of order. This book has it all and in no way is it rushed, nor is it spoiled by being written in our modern language i.e. not old English but simple, good English.
I loved this book as it covers areas of Devon I know and love with references to the Cornish uprising, Sampford Courtenay and Dartington's creation.
Thoroughly recommend this; it will make the readers want to explore the area to find traces of this once great family's past.

Original Review: Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4504421891?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

by Hailstones - via Goodreads


Katherine-Kate Raleigh née Champernowne was the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh and wife to Walter Raleigh senior. She was also the sister of Elizabeth’s governess Kat Champernowne.

A Woman of Noble Wit is her story, set in Devon. Katherine lived through four monarchs and saw her son rise to be a favourite of Elizabeth although passed before his execution.

This book not only tells her story but life during the Tudor dynasty, war, sickness and religion all played a part in peoples lives.
Katherine was well educated and made it her mission to ensure her children were too.
Her sons including Walter followed their father's footsteps taking to the seas.

Although this is historical fiction it is also the work of meticulous research and for those like myself who have an interest in Walter Raleigh it brings to life his childhood and upbringing including circumstances which may have helped shape the man he became.

For someone who didn't live a life at court, Katherine’s life is fascinating and this was a joy to read. Griggs has a wonderful writing style, capturing details and emotions throughout the whole book. I highly recommend this and I am truly looking forward to seeing what comes next from Rosemary Griggs.

Original review on 13 February 2022
https://amymcelroy.blog/2022/02/13/book-review-a-woman-of-noble-wit-by-rosemary-griggs/
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4513214200?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

by Amy McElroy


This is book to "get lost" in It is very well researched and written. A fascinating story of a remarkable woman. Rosemary has certainly captured Katherine's life.


Original review sent to author website on 31 March 2022

https://rosemarygriggs.co.uk/reviews/46/

by Sandra Downing


I bought a copy of your book at Smiths in Newton Abbot a week or two ago, My wife and I both really enjoyed it, I read the Kindle version,
Really engaged with Katherine-Kate and her ups and downs.
Have to admit I found it difficult at times keeping up with all the people but that’s just me.
A fascinating account of life in Tudor Devon, all the local places gave it an extra air of reality.
Thanks for recreating this world for us.
Must have taken an awful lot of research

by Trevor Jones


Rosemary Griggs

Rosemary Griggs is a retired Whitehall Senior Civil Servant with a lifelong passion for history. She is now a speaker on Devon's sixteenth century history and costume. She makes regular costumed appearances at National Trust houses and local museums and also leads heritage tours at Dartington Hall. Through her extensive research she has uncovered the lives of forgotten Tudor women and been drawn into an intriguing network of interconnected families whose influence stretched far beyond beautiful Devon.

Her first novel A Woman of Noble Wit is inspired by the life of Katherine, Sir Walter Raleigh's mother.


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