New Historical Novel Launched – The Truth of the Line by Melanie V. Taylor

The Truth of the LineI reviewed Melanie V. Taylor’s historical novel The Truth of the Line back in March 2013 and I loved it, describing it as “a thrilling historical novel” and “a magical read”, so I was really excited when Melanie approached Tim (my husband and publisher) and asked if he would be willing to publish a re-edited version of the novel. Melanie has re-worked certain parts and Tim commissioned an artist to give the novel a brand new cover.

The Truth of the Line has just been released as a paperback and Amazon Kindle book. Here is the blurb:

“In 1572, the good looking and talented Nicholas Hillyarde paints the first of many portraits of Elizabeth I, England’s “Virgin Queen”. His ability to capture the likeness of his patrons makes him famous and his skills are much sought after by the rich and powerful members of the Elizabethan Court. His loyalty to Elizabeth even leads him to becoming part of Sir Francis Walsingham’s information network.

One day he is approached by a young man with an intriguing commission. Hillyarde is to paint the man holding a lady’s hand – a hand which descends from a cloud – complete with a puzzling motto: “Attici Amoris Ergo“…

There is something familiar about this young man’s face, and Hillyarde is led down a dark path of investigation to discover who this young man may be.

Who is the young man? Has Hillyarde stumbled across a dark royal secret, and, if so, is there evidence hidden elsewhere?”

Paperback: 366 pages
Publisher: MadeGlobal Publishing/CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1493711547
ISBN-13: 978-1493711543
Available from, Amazon UK and other Amazon stores. The Kindle version is only $2.99 (£1.99).

Melanie wrote a guest article back in February for The Anne Boleyn Fellowship magazine on Nicholas Hilliard and the Attici Miniature. Melanie has kindly allowed me to share this article with you all, so here are the download links:


You can read my original review of Melanie’s novel at Tudor Book Reviews – click here.

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8 thoughts on “New Historical Novel Launched – The Truth of the Line by Melanie V. Taylor”
  1. I think I will probably be reading this in the near future and I would like to know some of the possible theories people had regarding Arthur Dudley.I assumed nobody of any importance took him seriously so he was swept under the palace rugs and forgotten.I had just recently heard about him so now I am interested to know more.

    Thanks for the mention.

    1. Arthur Dudley came up on a rather dodgy but interesting documentary recently in which looked at some of the secrets behind Queen Elizabeth; along with a theory that she may have been a man; having been substituted by servants when the Princess died in their care so as her father would not find out. The story of Author in the documentary was that he was found having been shipwrecked on the coast of Spain. He claimed to be the son of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. He is also meant to have been received well at the court in Spain, but do not know if there is anything to support this. He was certainly believed for a time by those who found him who would have made much of such a story to discredit the English regiem. I do not believe there is any real evidence to support any of this, but the documentary was interesting none the less.

      Back to Anne of Cleves: I have read this a number of times about rumours that she was with child by Henry and then had his child. It is amazing that he had a child with a woman that he could not stand enought to have sex with while married to the lady. The King put a stop to the stories at the time as it was unsettling to his young wife Katherine Howard. They may have come about as the King had locked Katherine out of his bedroom in March 1541 either because he became depressed for a time or when his leg was bad for a time. He is reported as having depressed moods at this time. He also visited Anne of Cleves as a friend as did his children and was in touch with her, but I do not think he had a child by her. It would have been a bit more than a mere rumour if she did have a child; even if she was in a seperate palace. And why would Henry not acknowledge a child, especially a son, even by a former wife? He did not exactly take care of the feelings of his wives normally, so he would only do so if the rumour was not true.

      I feel real sympathy for Anne of Cleves; married to a foreign Prince, in a country that she hardly knew, though loved by the people and welcomed, called gracious and humane; and then set aside because that King does not like the look of her after six months for a younger model. Not that Anne was very old herself, about 24-26 when she married Henry. On top of it all her sexual secrets are aired for all to know that she is still a maid and she has been humiliated as such. Now she is seperated from the court, albeit in luxery and comfort and has to put up with vicious rumours that she has had an illegitimate child. It’s a wonder she did not demand to be put on the next ship back home; but of course that would be more humiliation as who would marry her now? She may be the luckiest of Henry’s wives in that she outlived him by a number of years and got a good deat; but her troubles were far from over. Under Edward the council would interfere with her settlement and force her to swap some of her houes; and under Mary, although cleared and honoured, she for a time was a suspect in the Wyatt plot. In the end she was given a state funeral but that does not make up for the disappointment her life as Queen must have been to her.

      1. The original story that Bram Stoker wrote about Elizabeth being a man was when he and my great grandfather were in business together. Scandal and melodrama are great for the bank balance, but do absolutely nothing to further proper historical research!

        However, the modern historical novel has to be based on solid research.

        1. LOL….unfortunately there are hundreds of modern historical novels that have absolutely no basis in solid research at all !!!

      2. That ridiculous and scurrilous documentary about Elizabeth and the so called ‘claims’ that she was a man, infuriated me! How that trash EVER got onto the screen I will never know, really says something for the ‘quality’ of programme makers these days!

        1. Dee, read my bibliography. You will find this is based on solid historical research and from prime source documents. I don’t claim, I merely present the evidence. You have to make up your own mind!

    1. I know Paul and he was the one who started my voyage of discovery in the National Archives at Kew. His Secret Life of Elizabeth I is a very interesting read, as are all his 100 books!

      I agree about Anne of Cleeves. Her life must have been very difficult until the divorce had been sorted, especially if there were malicious tongues wagging and casting suspicion
      on her reputation and loyalty.

      This period in history will never cease to fascinate me – and it just demonstrates that human nature doesn’t change!

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