Skip to main content

The Godmother's Secret Wins HFC Book of the Year

Please join me in congratulating Elizabeth St. John on winning 2022 Book of the Year in the Historical Fiction Company Awards with The Godmother's Secret!

I had the honor of working with Liz on this novel through several rounds of developmental editing, I copyedited the manuscript, and I designed the cover. Liz has a storied ancestry, and all of her books feature her St. John ancestresses. In this novel, Lady Elysabeth Scrope, godmother to Edward V, tells the story of what really happened to the Princes in the Tower.

This fictional account of what possibly happened is so moving and so well-developed, a reader might close the book on the speculations and say, in effect, “This is it; this is what happened. No doubt.” . . . The authenticity and historical research displayed within this story is immense and exquisite. Ms. St. John is sure to be a new found favorite for fans of not only this fractious time in English history, but of all historical fans who adore rich, immersive prose. ~The Historical Fiction Company
See the announcement video here and the editorial review here.

If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?

May 1483: The Tower of London. When King Edward IV dies and Lady Elysabeth Scrope delivers her young godson, Edward V, into the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation, she is engulfed in political turmoil. Within months, the prince and his brother have disappeared, Richard III is declared king, and Elysabeth’s sister Margaret Beaufort conspires with her son Henry Tudor to invade England and claim the throne.

Desperate to protect her godson, Elysabeth battles the intrigue, betrayal and power of the last medieval court, defying her Yorkist husband and her Lancastrian sister under her godmother’s sacred oath to keep Prince Edward safe. Bound by blood and rent by honour, Elysabeth is torn between the crown and her family, knowing that if her loyalty is questioned, she is in peril of losing everything—including her life.

Were the princes murdered by their uncle, Richard III? Did Margaret Beaufort mastermind their disappearance to usher in the Tudor dynasty? Or did the young boys vanish for their own safety? Of anyone at the royal court, Elysabeth has the most to lose–and the most to gain–by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.

Inspired by England’s most enduring historical mystery, Elizabeth St.John blends her family history with known facts and centuries of speculation to create an intriguing story about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.

From the Author:

The disappearance of "The Princes in the Tower" is no doubt one of England's biggest historical mysteries. There is no proof they were murdered. No bones were found (those that are purported to be theirs which are now interred in Westminster Abbey have never been scientifically tested). Richard III, Margaret Beaufort, and Henry, Duke of Buckingham, have all been accused over the years of being responsible for their deaths. In the end, no one knows. But what really took place? Perhaps more than anyone in the world, my ancestress Lady Elysabeth Scrope knows the fate of her precious godson and his younger brother.
In The Godmother's Secret I write about Elysabeth's vow as godmother and her desperate efforts to protect her 12-year-old godson, King Edward V, from the intrigue and betrayal that surrounds him after she delivers him to the Tower of London for his coronation. Elysabeth is navigating her own conflict, upholding her loyalty to both her husband and her sister as competing factions battle for the throne. Within a few weeks of arriving at the Tower, Edward and his brother Dickon have disappeared, Richard III has claimed the throne, and Elysabeth's nephew, Henry Tudor, is making plans to invade England from his exile in France. More than anything, Elysabeth defies the bounds of blood and loyalty to make her own decisions for her godson's survival in a hostile medieval world where women had little authority.
It's been both a challenge and incredibly rewarding researching and writing this novel and staying true to my family history and ancestors. I hope readers enjoy the way I've presented the story of the Princes in the Tower. Or rather, I hope they enjoy Elysabeth's story. It's her secret to tell.

The Godmother's Secret is available on Amazon and Amazon UK. Visit Liz's website for fascinating glimpses into her research and her work with the Friends of Lydiard and posts on new historical fiction releases.