Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

The King’s Witch

Frances Gorges historical trilogy, Book I

by Tracy Borman

The first in a trilogy of historical novels set at the dramatic endpoint of the Tudor reign and the dangerous start of the Stuart era

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 448
  • Publication Date May 21, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2959-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 448
  • Publication Date July 03, 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2788-4
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $27.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date July 03, 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4624-3
  • US List Price $27.00

About the Book

In March of 1603, as she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth of England, Frances Gorges dreams of her parents’ country estate, where she has learned to use flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. She is happy to stay at home when King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism sees witchcraft in many of the old customs—punishable by death.

But when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to the royal palace, she is a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gathers pace, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Frances is surrounded by danger, finding happiness only with the King’s precocious young daughter, and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust. But is he all that he seems?

Acclaimed as a brilliant historian, Tracy Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller.

Tags Historical

Praise for The King’s Witch

Named a Best Summer Debut by Library Journal

“A story weaved around real-life characters by an acclaimed historian . . . Vivid . . . Everything you would want to read in a novel, ranging from palatial royals and intrigues to betrayals to a love story . . . Knowledgeable and entertaining.”—Washington Book Review, “Essential Novels for This Summer”

“The incredibly detailed and vivid narrative transports readers to a time when women were seen as no more than a commodity to be traded, and conspiracy loomed in every corner. This engaging page-turner is enhanced by flawless prose and an absorbing plot, making it a perfect choice for fans of historical fiction and post-Tudor England.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Borman lures readers into this first in a series of historical novels set during the reign of the Stuarts . . . [She] is an astute chronicler of 17th-century English life, keenly depicting the excesses of the court and the dangers of religious persecution. The vivid detail and effortless storytelling will appeal to many readers, particularly fans of historicals in the vein of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory.”—Publishers Weekly

“Historian Borman embeds a fictional character in the royal court of James I in her promising debut novel . . . By introducing Tom Wintour, a real-life figure, as Frances’ love interest, Borman adds a little historical heft and a lot of spice to her tale. The action culminates with the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, as the stage is nicely set for volume two of this projected trilogy.”—Booklist

“Tracy Borman’s debut historical novel has it all: conspiracy, betrayal, dark intrigues, bloody deeds, a poignant love story—and the most famous plot in English history. In the debauched court of James I, nothing is as it seems, loyalties are torn, and danger is all around. At the centre of it all, Borman has created an engaging and courageous heroine, and her highly accomplished writing ensures that the reader is swept along to a shattering and shocking climax.”—Alison Weir, author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

“Exquisitely written, sumptuous in detail and thrillingly plotted, The King’s Witch takes you deep into the darkness of the early Jacobean Court and into the heart of the wonderful, unforgettable Lady Frances. The first of what promises to be a magnificent trilogy.”—Kate Williams, author of Becoming Queen Victoria and Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen

Praise for The Private Lives of the Tudors

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

“Borman’s passion for the Tudor period shines forth from the pages of this fascinatingly detailed book.”—Alison Weir, author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

“For Borman, the intimate particulars of everyday life are what help the past come bracingly, stirringly alive. Her full-quivered social history of the Tudor monarchs . . . furnishes readers with a ‘Hey, did you know . . . ?’ on almost every page . . . [An] authoritative work.”—New York Times Book Review

“Like Alison Weir . . . Borman is an authoritative and engaging writer, good at prising out those humanising details that make the past alive to us.”—Guardian

“[Written] with effortless verve . . . [A] riveting history.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“[A] fascinating new book . . . No royal family is better known . . . But there’s still much to learn from The Private Lives of the Tudors thanks to the expertise and persistence of Borman . . . The most captivating moments of Private Lives, and there are plenty of them, bring the reader into other personal Tudor moments of strength, weakness, and heartache.”Christian Science Monitor

“Comprehensively researched and compulsively readable . . . The potions, plots, liaisons and marriages described in this book are thoroughly entertaining . . . A bloody good read.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“This is a fascinating and informative account of the personal lives of the Tudors. So much so that it is certain that the average person would surely be unfamiliar with much of this history.”New York Journal of Books

“A measured, precise, and humanizing overview of the behind-the-scenes monarchical lives of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I . . . Fascinating . . . This Downton Abbey-like peek into the everyday lives of these privileged yet cloistered rulers and their households will appeal to both serious scholars and Tudor enthusiasts.”—Booklist

“Amusing [and] well-researched . . . [An] entertaining mixture of esoteric social history and well-known details of the persona lives of the Tudor monarchs.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Borman . . . unearth[s] some obscure and intriguing tidbits that have been overlooked by other historians . . . Though all five Tudor monarchs made even their most private moments into courtly spectacles . . . Borman’s fine book goes far toward humanizing them. Recommended.”—Publishers Weekly

“[A] fascinating, detailed account . . . Borman ranges far and wide in her quest to throw light on what the Tudor kings and queens ate, what they wore, what they did with their days and how they spent their nights . . . This is a book of rich scholarship. Tracy Borman . . . knows her Tudor history inside out.”—Daily Mail (UK)

“Borman approaches her topic with huge enthusiasm and a keen eye . . . All good fun. And there is plenty of it . . . Borman really succeeds when she uses her store of homely tidbits to recast our perceptions of Tudors we thought we knew . . . This is a very human story of a remarkable family, full of vignettes that sit long in the mind.”—Sunday Times (UK)

“Tracy Borman’s eye for detail is impressive; the book is packed with fascinating courtly minutiae . . . [Borman is] a very good historian and this is a wonderful book.”—Times (UK)


Praise for Thomas Cromwell:

“An intelligent, sympathetic, and well researched biography.”—Wall Street Journal

“Borman unravels the story of Cromwell’s rise to power skillfully . . . If you want the inside story of Thomas Cromwell . . . this is the book for you.”—Weekly Standard

“Dr. Tracy Borman has crafted an exceptional and compelling biography about one of the Tudor age’s most complex and controversial figures. With expert insights based on a wealth of research, and riveting detail, she has brought Thomas Cromwell to life as never before, and achieved a fair and balanced assessment of his character and his career. Above all, her book is a joy to read—a remarkable tour de force by one of our most accomplished historians.”Alison Weir

“Excellent . . . This deeply researched and grippingly written biography brings Cromwell to life, probing into his complex personality and exposes the Henrician court in all its brutal, glittering splendor.”—Independent (UK)

“Tracy Borman recounts persuasively and engagingly the tale of the meteoric rise of this complex commoner to the highest offices and dominant influence at the court of Henry and his just as meteoric fall from grace and execution.”America

“Should be catnip to fans of Hilary Mantel’s best-selling Wolf Hall novels about Cromwell.”—USA Today

“British historian Tracy Borman has unearthed previously unpublished evidence that casts a brighter light on one of the most ruthless of machiavellians in British history.”—Guardian (UK)

“An engrossing biography. . . . A fine rags-to-riches-to-executioner’s-block story of a major figure of the English Reformation.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An insightful biography of a much-maligned historical figure.”—Booklist

“Borman combines a mastery of historical detail with a fast-pace and an accessible style. She doesn’t forget that she’s dealing with human beings, with their fallibilities and petty motivations . . . As a psychological subject, Cromwell is as fascinating as the man he served. No wonder we all want to know more.”—Independent (UK)

“Tracy Borman tells us succinctly in 400 pages what we need to know about the man who rose to be the king’s highest adviser. . . . [A] good book.”Times (UK)

“[An] elegant historical biography. . . . [Borman’s] prose, as ever, glides beautifully along.”—Sunday Times (UK)

“A highly readable account.”—Financial Times (UK)


Named a Best Summer Debut by Library Journal