Coffee Pot Book Tour: Essex Tudor Rebel by Tony Riches


Welcome Readers to a stop on the Coffee Pot Book Tour for Tony Riches, Essex Tudor Rebel. 

The Details

Book Title: Essex – Tudor Rebel
Series: (Elizabethan Series, Book 2)
Author: Tony Riches
Publication Date: 9th April 2021
Publisher: Preseli Press
Page Length: 352 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


 Author Bio

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling Tudor historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess, Brandon – Tudor Knight and The Secret Diary Of Eleanor Cobham.



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Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is one of the most intriguing men of the Elizabethan period. Tall and handsome, he soon becomes a ‘favourite’ at court, so close to the queen many wonder if they are lovers.

The truth is far more complex, as each has what the other yearns for. Robert Devereux longs for recognition, wealth and influence. His flamboyant naïveté amuses the ageing Queen Elizabeth, like the son she never had, and his vitality makes her feel young.

Robert Devereux’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.


The Excerpt

Excerpt from ESSEX- Tudor Rebel, by Tony Riches 

Chartley Manor, November 1576 

The excited barking of the dogs interrupted Robert’s answer. The crunch of hooves on gravel, and a deep voice calling for a groom, was too much for him after a long morning of Latin. He clambered on to the velvet-cushioned widow seat, and cleaned a leaded pane with his sleeve to stare into the courtyard. 

Master Wright muttered under his breath as he closed the leather-bound Latin textbook they’d been studying. Robert had turned eleven the previous week and was a gifted student, fluent in Latin and French. The problem wasn’t lack of talent, but ease of distraction. 

There’d been few enough visitors to Chartley Manor since Robert’s father left for Dublin, and his mother to her friends at Kenilworth Castle. His sisters, Penelope and Dorothy, needed their mother, and little Walter seemed an unhappy child. Master Wright counted himself fortunate he only had to worry about Robert. 

‘Who is it, Master Robert?’ His voice carried a trace of irritation at his lesson being interrupted. 

‘I hoped Father had returned early, Master Wright. It’s not him, but it is someone important.’ Robert beckoned his tutor to come and look. ‘He has a fine black horse.’ 

Master Wright joined him at the mullioned window. ‘That’s Ned Waterhouse, your father’s secretary.’ 

‘Should we go to welcome him?’ 

Master Wright agreed they should. Herodotus, and his history of the conflict between Greeks and barbarians, would keep for another day. In his bureau was a short letter from Ned Waterhouse, sent all the way from Ireland. He’d been asked to keep the contents confidential; the news would change them all forever, and he followed Robert with a heavy heart. 

Edward Waterhouse carried the distinctive odour of horse sweat and looked grim-faced as they led him into the great hall. The grandest room in the manor house, with French tapestries decorating the walls, the great hall was also the coldest. The cavernous Italian marble fireplace stood empty, except for a dusty bouquet of dried cornflowers. 

The family used the smaller rooms, which were easier to keep warm in autumn and winter, and ate in the refectory when their parents were away. Edward Waterhouse peered up, his eye resting on cobwebs in the corner of the hammer-beamed roof, as if passing judgement. 

He ran his hand over the polished oak table, and stood for a moment, staring at the earl’s high-backed chair at the head of the table, before choosing one of the burgundy velvet upholstered chairs arranged around the fireplace. He gestured for Robert to be seated opposite, and turned to Master Wright. 

‘Would you send for the other children? I have grave news to share. It’s better done with them all together.’

 Master Wright gestured to the waiting housemaid, and gave Edward Waterhouse an apologetic look. ‘We may have a little wait.’ He glanced at Robert. ‘Robert’s sisters will wish to look their best.’

 As if to prove him right, young Walter, known as ‘Wat’, appeared alone and stood in the doorway. Seven years old, he wore oversized hand-me-downs from Robert which made him look small for his age. He stared, wide-eyed, at Edward Waterhouse and shuffled into the chair next to Robert without speaking.

 Penelope and Dorothy finally entered, in matching gowns of embroidered brocade with satin sleeves and high lace collars. Skilled seamstresses, their kirtles and bodices fitted so well no one would guess they’d been crafted from their mother’s cast-offs.

People told Robert he had his father’s good looks, but his sisters had their mother’s beauty and striking red-gold hair, curled in long ringlets. Penelope’s dark eyes shone with self-awareness. She would be fourteen in the new year, and confided to Robert that their father planned her betrothal to the handsome and wealthy courtier, Philip Sidney.

Dorothy would soon be as tall as her sister, with a confidence which belied her twelve years. She wore a pear-shaped pearl pendant on a gold chain, woven into her hair. Her necklace of small diamonds, a gift from her father, sparkled in the light.

They bobbed a graceful curtsey to their visitor, the hems of their gowns swishing on the tiled floor as they crossed the room and sat by their brothers. Edward Waterhouse seemed surprised, as if unused to such formality. His face reddened as he bowed to the girls.

He cleared his throat, and glanced at Robert before speaking in a sombre voice. ‘It is my sad duty to tell you that your father has died in the service of Her Majesty in Ireland.’

It sounded as if he’d rehearsed the words many times, yet could still scarcely believe them. He sat back in his chair, and allowed them to take in the news. ‘I am deeply sorry for your loss.’

A gasp from Penelope broke the silence as their lives changed in a heartbeat. Robert put his arm round Wat, who looked close to tears, as his mind raced with questions. He bit his lip.

 ‘Was our father killed in a battle with the Irishmen?’

 Edward Waterhouse shook his head, but hesitated a little too long before answering.

 ‘Your father fell ill at a banquet held in his honour at Dublin Castle, and died three weeks later of a fever and the flux.’

 Robert recalled Master Wright’s account of how the warrior king Henry the Fifth died of the flux in France, after the long siege of Meaux. He put the dreadful image from his mind, and struggled to compose himself. As the eldest son, he was master of the household now, and must set an example.

 ‘Will our father be brought back from Ireland for his funeral?’ His voice wavered.

 ‘He asked to be buried in St Peter’s Church, in Carmarthen, in a week’s time. I was to escort you there, but the journey is long, and storms make the ride challenging at this time of year.’ His tone softened. ‘I shall be honoured to represent you, and your uncle, Sir George Devereux, will be chief mourner.’

 Robert glanced across at Penelope, and saw a tear glisten on her cheek. ‘What is to become of us, Master Waterhouse?’


Robert Devereux’s remarkable true story continues in ESSEX- Tudor Rebel, the epic tale of loyalty and love and adventure follows Robert from his youth to his fateful rebellion.


 Readers, I know that this excerpt has whet your appetite for more. I've included buy links below. The Amazon button is for Amazon US. Please note the book is FREE with Kindle Unlimited Subscriptions. 

Universal Link     Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU




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