Troubador A Woman of Noble Wit

Released: 28/09/2021

ISBN: 9781800464599

eISBN: 9781800466111

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book

Author Website

A Woman of Noble Wit

by

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.

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


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.


In costume
  • Buy as a printed
    book
  • £9.99


  • 10 customer reviews
  • Buy as an ebook
  • £3.99
  • Find this ebook at your favourite retailer
Also by Rosemary Griggs / Related Books