Interactive Historical Fiction e-books


The Gentle Falcon by Hilda Lewis

But 15 years of age, Isabella Clinton is brought from her country manor to be gentlewoman to the little Queen Isabella, child-wife of England’s King Richard II.

She is able to comfort and befriend the little girl through all the political intrigues and dangers of court life, and to share with her the bitterness of Richard’s overthrow by his cousin Bolingbroke.

The tragic story of Isabella of France is beautifully told through the sharp, but gentle eyes of Isabella Clinton and the book gives a vivid picture of life in England at the court of Richard II.

For readers age 12 and above.


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A child bride, a child queen, seven year old Isabella of France, who was married to Richard the II of England in a marriage of convenience, lives again in Hilda Lewis’ spirited, sparkling, poignant fictionalized biography. Here are portraits of “Richard, tender and cruel, faithful and false, betraying and betrayed”, seen through the eyes of fifteen year old Isabella Clinton, raw from the country and Woman to the Queen. The author has selected with a sure instinct for the dramatic, incident and dialogue depicting the fate of the “French King’s daughter” in her marriage to the British monarch who early in his reign was devoted to peace, to learning and to beauty and the arts. The pleasure and haven he found in his child Queen amidst the plotting of false friends and open enemies at court is perfectly credible in this portrait of a man who delighted in “a flower, a little painting or a small song”. Her loyalty to her King and husband as he became more intent on power and finally blind to prudence and justice, the fortitude with which she bore for France characterize a stout-hearted heroine. Almost as fascinating as the Queen’s story is that of the narrator, whose romance with Gilles Cobham is interwoven with Tyler’s rebellion, the abduction of the Duke of Gloucester, the banishment of Henry Bolingbroke and Richard’s defeat and death. The story of the small queen, the gentle falcon who loved her cage and her captor, is princely reading fare.
— Kirkus Reviews
I think that this is one of the best stories I have ever read about a girl with a huge sense of both braveness and awareness. Hilda Lewis only wrote three historical fiction novels for teen readers and this has always been a personal favourite. Every young woman will feel intrigued and empowered after reading this book!
— HistoricalFictionBuff