It's finally happened. Someone has kidnapped author Philippa Gregory's editor. There really can be no other explanation for the content of her latest book, The Lady of the Rivers, the final installment (we hope) of her Cousin's War series of historical fiction about the influential women during England's Wars of the Roses.
Now we understand that the people who took part in the Wars of the Roses were numerous and convoluted. Really convoluted. And everyone had the same damned name. So admittedly, it's hard to keep track of who is who. Gregory chose to solve this problem by inserting everyone's full legal name and title every time she mentioned them.
Every. Single. Time.
So you can imagine the dialog that resulted. For example, here is Jacquetta speaking to her oldest and dearest friend, Margaret of Anjou - a woman who has known Jacquetta for years....
"I think that Richard, Duke of York, is the only man to successfully hold French lands since my first husband, the Duke of Bedford."
Well of course Margaret would know that Richard was the Duke of York. He is Margaret's greatest enemy at court and they've hated each other for years, for the love of Pete. And of course Margaret would know Jacquetta's first husband was the Duke of Bedford. Jeez Louise.
In a similar vein, one doesn't need to reference your brother-in-law's title when speaking to one's husband....trust us, he KNOWS his brother is the Duke of whatever.
And this kind of redundant, see-Jane-run dialog persists through out the entire novel. It's enough to drive a reader mad.
Truthfully, we can't blame Gregory too much for this nonsense. It is, after all, an editor's job is to fix things like this. So ultimately, we can only reach one conclusion:
SOMEONE KIDNAPPED THE EDITOR!
Any information leading to the safe recovery of said editor will, we are certain, result in a huge reward.