H.F.M. Prescott (1896-1972) is best known for her historical novel The Man on a Donkey and her biography of Mary Tudor which won the James Tait Black Prize in 1941. The daughter of a clergyman, she read Modern History at Oxford and later received MA degrees there and at Manchester. Her wide-ranging interests included travel and a deep love of the English countryside that lasted all her life.
'By widespread assent, one of the finest historical novels ever written. It may even be the finest' TLS. 'A classic of historical fiction, written by a historian, it is a convincing and atmospheric account of small people caught up in great events in the year 1536, when Henry VIII's kingdom was split apart by rebellion. It blends real and invented characters and captures all the poignant strangeness of the era' Hilary Mantel.