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Review of the Smallest Man by Frances Quinn

  • Submitted: 3rd January 2021

Review of the Smallest Man by Frances Quinn

Inspired by a true story, and spanning two decades that changed England for ever, Nat Davey is the fictional small man of the novel and in history, he was Jeffery Hudson, the Queen’s dwarf. He was ridiculed and bullied for his size. Society treated him like a freak. Jeffery/Nat had the last laugh however and this novel takes us into their world..

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Novel set in London - Smallest Man by Francine Quinn

BookTrail the locations in The Smallest Man

Setting:  the English Royal Court

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A novel to place you in the English Royal Court

I had never heard of the man this book is about but I can honestly say that his story was remarkable and I have since gone on to read a bit more about him. The main in question was Jeffery Hudson.

Jeffery was the court dwarf to Queen Henrietta Maria. The author does say that this is a novel and not a  fictionalized biography’ and that Nat Davy is a ‘figment of her imagination’. Nevertheless, this is quite the story and quite a figment of the imagination!

I became quickly invested by Nat Davy and felt sad how, just because of his size, was ridiculed and bullied. He goes to court and is viewed as an object of fun as he has been his whole life. Howeever, things soon change and he uses his skills and wit to really find out about how the court works, who the main players of court are and uses this information to his advantage. Despite his own isolation, he is aware of that of others and I really began to like him more here. He was ignored and made fun of, but he was more aware of anything than the most astute observers of the time.

Novel set in London - Smallest Man by Francine Quinn

He becomes stronger and starts to become quite clever about his situation and the politics of the time. I was cheering him on as this little man suddenly became one of the biggest characters in terms of development, courage and bravery.

As the story of Nat Davey continues, there’s plenty of historical detail to enjoy. There’s the civil war and the end of the reign of King Charles for just two things which firmly make this a full and  immersive novel

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