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My Restless Knight-bookcover

By: Marion Knutsford

My Restless Knight

Pages: 170 Ratings: 4.5
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Moll Rogers had a long, mostly loving marriage to Sir John Harington. Sir John a godson of Queen Elizabeth I, was a courtier, port, wit, scamp, dog-lover, jailbird, sanitary engineer (he invented the water-flushing lavatory), briefly a soldier in Ireland and an indefatigable traveller through England and Wales. In My Restless Knight, Moll is seen casting an often sardonic eye, during his absences, over his multifarious writings, including his many private letters. The poems he wrote to her she finds sometimes exasperating, sometimes consoling. He also wrote several to her mother. These were not always conciliatory. His letter to noblemen and gentlemen is seen to give Moll an unusually clear insight into the life of the court. Her duties with her large family meant that she rarely got to go there with her husband. He, however, was often there, dancing in attendance to his godmother the Queen.

Marion Knutsford was born in Buckinghamshire; educated at New College, Oxford; lectured in English at the University of New England, New South Wales; is married with three children, and now lives at Armidale, New South Wales. Previous publications include Comedy (Oxford University Press), Children, Parents and the Rise of the Novel (Associated University Presses), and several articles on Sir John Harington.

Customer Reviews
2 reviews
2 reviews
  • A.J Welch

    A friend sent us a copy of Marion Knutsford's latest novel "My Restless Knight". As someone who failed History at school (my interest was in racing cars and aeroplanes), something about this book intrigued me. I was not to be disappointed! The book is a gripping tale of life in Elizabethan England through the eyes of Moll Harrington, the wife of courtier, John Harington, who also designed the original lavatory. (I always thought it was Thomas Crapper, apparently he just refined Harington's original, inspired design). It also gives a vivid idea of life as King James the first came to reign. Another wonderful insight includes what life in rural England was like in those days—very challenging and social. I cannot recommend this book highly enough; it brings history alive in a way everybody will find enchanting!

  • Juliet Greentree

    There are a lot of things to like about this book. First, and most important to me, it’s part-novel and part-historical biography, so it avoids the annoying anachronisms of many historical novels. Moll Harington speaks thoughtfully and convincingly about daily life during the Elizabethan era, and when she speaks about people - her mother, her husband, even Elizabeth I - it is without romanticism or embellishment. This is enhanced by the direct quotes from Sir John Harington’s actual letters and writings, which brings me to the second thing I liked about it - the subject matter. There are a lot of good movies, books and tv shows about the Renaissance, however they are almost exclusively QE1, Shakespeare-related. “My Restless Knight”, by contrast, paints a picture of a man who is at once modest courtier and truly interesting individual. When the cover refers to him as a “scamp”, it hardly begins to convey the sense we receive of Sir John’s curiosity, playfulness, and genuine literary talent. Whether shocking the court ladies with exciting stories, paying calculated compliments to QEI in the hopes of advancement, or complaining about his mother-in-law, he is at once naughty, delightful, and almost naively sweet. Highly recommend !

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