Born into French Royalty in 1442, Marguerite de Navarre, was like many women of affluence, bartered off to Charles IV of Alencon for political reasons. She later became a woman of influence upon her second marriage to Henry II of Naverre, becoming the Queen of Naverre.
Jehanne or Josse as she becomes known, is a cast out itinerant child, who longs to be a printer; to follow in her father’s footsteps. Disguised a boy for safety, she eventually finds her way to Paris and joins a band of Printers and Publishers, where she achieves her dearest wish, to learn the art of Printing.
Meanwhile, Marguerite, an educated and intelligent woman, prolific writer, poet, student of life and Politics, is fascinated by the Reformation beginning to occur within religious circles. She writes to a well-known cleric of the time, keen to learn from him.
These two woman come together through a series of complex circumstances. The Reformation is beginning to become a powerful force sweeping through Europe and Britain, printing presses are being closed everywhere; there is one way ahead and to challenge this means death and destruction.
Propaganda is still being printed as the industry has gone ‘underground’, but this also sees Josse once again out of a job, homeless and wondering. Times are very dangerous for those who would flout the doctrines now being taught.
Both Marguerite and Josse are intelligent, therefor considered dangerous, forced to some degree to live their lives as dictated by men, but determined, each in their own way to support the change that is beginning to occur across Europe.
Tracy Ryan has, through what is to be a trilogy, captured a slice of history that was to eventually dominate, bringing with it tumultuous times, danger and death to those who opposed the dictates of the Church.
The Queen’s Apprenticeship leaves the door wide open for book two in what is going to be an enthralling return to the 15th century through the eyes and times of two women, Marguerite and Josse: one born into riches, one born into poverty; both survivors,
The Queen’s Apprenticeship is the first in a series of three novels focussed on the Queens of the Navarre.