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ESU Talk: The Lady of the Tower: A Story of the Keeper’s Wife

  • The English-Speaking Union 144 East 39th Street New York, NY, 10018 United States (map)
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“Even the kept must have their keepers.” So opens Elizabeth St.John’s critically-acclaimed historical fiction novel of her ancestress’s life in the most famous prison in the world—The Tower of London. Orphaned Lucy St.John defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I—time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk, but her envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness. Exiling herself from the court, Lucy finds her own path, becoming mistress of the Tower of London. Riding the coattails of the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, the fortunes of the St.Johns rise to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of patronage and deceit.

Elizabeth St.John tells this dramatic true story of love and betrayal through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family’s surviving diaries, letters and court papers.

Simon Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry

Raised in England, Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. A best-selling author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...

Presented by the English Speaking Union of New York & Historic Royal Palaces


St. George’s Society members receive ESU & HRP Member price — $5 OFF!

For more information, please contact Ed Mohylowski at or 212-818-1200, ext. 218.

Earlier Event: February 6
Great British Pub Quiz