Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth Goudge
Towers in the Mist

This is one of those delicious finds from a second hand book sale, where you've never heard of the book before but something just appeals to you about the book and because it's only a couple of pounds it's worth giving it a go. I love finding books in this way.

Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge available on Amazon
 Kindle  Hardback
 Paperback

This is one of those delicious finds from a second hand book sale, where you’ve never heard of the book before but something just appeals to you about the book and because it’s only a couple of pounds it’s worth giving it a go. I love finding books in this way. 

It’s written in 1938, and is set in Oxford in the 1500s. I imagine Oxford (having never been, so perhaps have a very romanticised idea of it!) much the same now as it was then, with its honey-coloured buildings, it is described beautifully in the book. We are introduced to Oxford by Faithful’s long-wished for arrival there and his determination to study at the University, and we see the beauty and wonder of the city through his eyes and first impressions. He then meets the Leigh family, and the reader is introduced to them too.  It is a few years after Queen Mary has imprisoned and killed Protestant priests in her determination to make Catholicism dominant, now Elizabeth is queen and she supports the Protestant religion that Mary tried to abolish, and as the main family in the book is a religious family this touches their lives greatly and Canon Leigh, the father, obviously suffered in this period. (It is always shocking and amazing to me the brutality that religion has caused. I also realise I don’t know as much as I should about this period in history, and that I need to learn more about it). 

I liked Joyeuce’s loyalty to her family, I felt sorry for her that she took on such responsibility at a young age and lost her childhood, and felt frustrated that she was willing to let happiness slip through her fingers. Her joint feelings of excitement at being married to Nicholas and sadness at leaving her family and Oxford (again, the devotion people feel to the place is envying) are very touching.  The Diccon and Joseph story fascinated me with them being switched at birth, and what a horrendous idea that is. I loved the passion of Nicholas, and how falling in love with Joyeuce changed him and made him a better person, determined to deserve her and make her happy and to patiently wait for her. The death of Giles was beautifully and touchingly written, and reminds me of how fragile life was then and how quickly disease could spread.

Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge available on Amazon
 Kindle  Hardback
 Paperback

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