A Noble Cunning
THE COUNTESS AND THE TOWER
A PRISONER IN THE TOWER OF LONDON WILL SOON BE EXECUTED
“The snow still blew hard and the drifts gathered and shifted so that I was in terror of missing the road…”
Bethan Glentaggart is so desperate to save the life of her husband Gavin that she is traveling alone from Scotland to London through the worst snowstorm in recent memory. Gavin languishes in a Tower of London cell while the date of his beheading rapidly approaches. He is to die for joining the rebellion against the new German king. A Catholic in viciously anti-Catholic England, Bethan has only her wits and her devoted women friends to support her against the power of a cruel government. But who has ever escaped the Tower of London? Can she possibly succeed?
A Noble Cunning: The Countess and the Tower is based on the true story of Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale, who made up her mind that, despite all the forces arrayed against her, nothing would stop her from saving her husband from the executioner’s axe.
Portrait (left) of Winifred Herbert Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale, the inspiration for Bethan Glentaggart in A Noble Cunning. Many of the events in the novel mirror actual events in Winifred’s dramatic life.
Although she and her family were members of the nobility, they suffered severe persecution for their devotion to the Catholic faith.
Portrait (right) of William Maxwell, Earl of Nithsdale, the real-life model for Gavin Glentaggart in A Noble Cunning.
Portraits of Winifred and William Maxwell by permission of the Traquair House Charitable Trust.
Praise for A Noble Cunning
Noble English Rose + Scottie Earl in Love
What could go wrong?
English History Fact and Fiction Podcast
Religious Freedom was a Long Time Coming
A Writer of History Guest Post
Interview – Prequels + Sequels
Historical Novel Society
Bernstein Spotlight Interview
History Through Fiction with Colin Mustful
“Bernstein tackles a failed coup against British crown…”
Bernstein Plunges Into Fiction
WOW! Women on Writing
Pilgrimages, Characters, Novel Thoughts
Sheroes, Grit and Amazing Feats
Southern Writers Magazine
Nominated as a Chaucer 2022 Semi-Finalists for Early Historical Fiction
Chanticleer Book Reviews
“It speaks reverently about resistance at the most individual level.”
– Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle Notable Books
“Rich with historical gossip and pageantry…”
Named to Most-Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels of 2023
– Ashley Hasty, hastybooklist.com
“…a sumptuously detailed historical novel…based on a fiercely courageous woman fighting tirelessly against political and religious tyranny.”
– Kathleen Kent, NY Times bestselling author of The Heretic’s Daughter
“…a riveting and largely unknown story, based on true events, about a remarkable woman’s strength, love and courage against formidable odds.”
– Karen Brooks, international bestselling author of The Good Wife of Bath and The Locksmith’s Daughter
“…dramatic flair and suspense that captures you to the very end…a must read.”
– Sister Jane Meyer, O.P., former Head, St. Agnes Academy, Houston
“The author brings both the Scottish Lowlands and Hanoverian London vividly to life with a keen eye for period detail and a heart-stopping denouement.”
– Leslie Carroll, author of Notorious Royal Marriages
“A riveting tale of one woman’s courage and determination! Her forceful personality makes A Noble Cunning a gripping page-turner.”
– David Blixt, author of What Girls Are Good For and Her Majesty’s Will
“Patricia Bernstein paints a compelling and dramatic portrait of Scotland in the perilous time of the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion…an immersive tale of adventure, rich with period detail.”
– Gillian Bagwell, author of The September Queen
“The highly descriptive narrative moves at an engaging pace, and the character development is utterly exquisite.”