He Who Plays the King – Mary Hocking (1980)



The more I read of Mary Hocking’s novels, the less I seem able to define her as a writer – there are depths to her writing that go beyond some of her more popular, best known works.

He Who Plays the King was apparently Mary Hocking’s favourite novel, it is also her only fully historical novel. The novel is really rather different from other works, although I could see several familiar themes threaded through her take on the Henry Tudor/Richard III story. Heavily rooted – as Hocking’s novels so often are – in the British countryside, she also explores the psychology of these fascinating historical characters. It has been a while since I read what I think of as a ‘kings and queens novel’ – as this one is quite brilliant, utterly absorbing, it is a historically detailed page turner. It is also beautifully written; the writing could well be…

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retired from teacher in philosophy, i try harder to keep up which is not always easy. I love various sites very interesting at WP and hope to find others. I will sart with two set of notes for preparation of works on memory and on the body. The more interaction, the better

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