I can’t even remember how long ago I spotted this book. Excitedly, I went to the publisher’s website only to find…nothing. Then last February it was suddenly released in the UK without much fanfare and I was finally able to order it.
Forgotten Royal by Erin Lawless covers the lives of 30 women. They are: Scota, Cartimandua, Judith of Flanders, Æthelflæd, Æthelthryth, Emma of Normandy, Edith Swannesha, St Margaret of Wessex, Matilda of Scotland, Nest ferch Rhys, Gwellian ferch Gryffyd, Joanna Plantagenet, Joan, Lady of Wales, Marguerite of France, Isabella MacDuff, Marjorie Bruce, Joan of Kent, Margaret Drummond, Eleanor Cobham, Margaret Pole, Margaret Tudor, Mary FitzRoy, Grace O’Malley, Mary Grey, Penelope Rich, Arbella Stuart, Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick,. Caroline of Ansbach, Maria Fitzherbert and Princess Charlotte. These are the names used by the author in the index. Notice anything here? They are related to the United Kingdom and Ireland and some of them aren’t even royal. Some may make a claim to royalty due to their proximity to the throne… but Penelope Rich?
Right, let’s focus on the book itself. I thoroughly enjoyed Erin Lawless’ easy-going style of writing and although the stories are rather short, they seem to be correct and well-researched. I would have liked a few notes to give it some oomph. I would have perhaps also included some women who were not related to the British court as they are even more unknown.