Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran

Book Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Publishing Date: March 2, 2010

Book Synopsis: Ann More, fiery and spirited daughter of the Mores of Loseley House in Surrey, came to London destined for a life at the court of Queen Elizabeth and an advantageous marriage. There she encountered John Donne, the darkly attractive young poet who was secretary to her uncle, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was unlike any man she had ever met—angry, clever, witty and, in her eyes, insufferably arrogant and careless of women. Yet as they were thrown together Donne opened Ann’s eyes to a new world of passion, and sensuality.

But John Donne—Catholic by background in an age when it was deadly dangerous, tainted by an alluring hint of scandal—was the kind of man her status-conscious father distrusted and despised.
The Lady and the Poet tells the story of the forbidden love between one of our most admired poets and a girl who dared to rebel against the conventions of her time. They gave up everything to be together and their love knew no bounds.

My Review: Until this book I had never heard the romantic love story between the poet John Donne and Mistress Ann More, which made this novel such a refreshing read. I love reading new novels where I’m unfamiliar with the historical characters and their stories. It makes me feel like I’m being taken on a new adventure and it’s not the same adventure I’m used to being strung along on. 

I thought the characterization in this book was fantastic! I could really connect with just about all the characters in this book, but I especially related to Ann. She is not your typical young maiden during the 16th century. She was a spirited young girl who absolutely loved to read and had a passion for learning. She wore her heart on her sleeve and she had no difficulty speaking her own mind in order to prove her point. It was so sad how her only confidante was her older sister Mary who was always so wrapped up in her own issues that she hardly had time to worry about Ann’s.

I loved getting to know Master John Donne and his forbidden romance with Ann. Ann was 12 years his junior and she could not help but fall head over heels in love with him and with his witty almost scandalous poetry. They both knew her father was a social climber and would never allow them to marry because Master Donne was a reformed Papist and wasn’t high born. They went through great lengths to see each other even when her father found out and removed her from her uncle’s home. Their love for one another new no bounds and nothing could prevent them from being together.

Final Thoughts: I fell in love with everything about this book! I couldn’t put it down! It had sort of a Romeo and Juliet feel to it in some ways and I’m such a sucker for forbidden romances. Maeve Haran is an excellent writer and she really knows how to draw her readers in and keep them entertained. I don’t think I was ever bored at any point, which is a major plus. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of her novels in the future. The Lady and the Poet is highly recommended to everyone who loves a good forbidden love affair. It’s definitely one to curl up by fire with!


  1. Just added this to my wish list. Thanks!

  2. Wow, I never knew there was a love story associated with John Donne either. This one sounds good!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  3. This sounds great - I enjoy reading about this time period but am sick of all the books focussing on just the royal family!

  4. I haven't heard of this story either. Your review definitely has me wanting to read this though.

  5. I love forbidden romances

  6. Loved this book! A true romance of the 17th century....a real page-turner! I was amazed at the hardships these two had to overcome!

  7. First of all,I would like to appreciate your efforts for sharing book reviews with us. It really help me choose a good book for my next reading. The story of this book looks good will read it after I am finished with the current book.