From Goodreads “My name is Nat Davy. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? There was a time when people up and down the land knew my name, though they only ever knew half the story.
The year of 1625, it was, when a single shilling changed my life. That shilling got me taken off to London, where they hid me in a pie, of all things, so I could be given as a gift to the new queen of England.
They called me the queen’s dwarf, but I was more than that. I was her friend, when she had no one else, and later on, when the people of England turned against their king, it was me who saved her life. When they turned the world upside down, I was there, right at the heart of it, and this is my story.
Inspired by a true story, and spanning two decades that changed England for ever, The Smallest Man is a heartwarming tale about being different, but not letting it hold you back. About being brave enough to take a chance, even if the odds aren’t good. And about how, when everything else is falling apart, true friendship holds people together.“
I really enjoyed this audiobook about The Smallest Man in England during the 1600s. It’s a fictionalised account of the life of Jeffrey Hudson, who I had to Google to discover more about him, as I’d never heard of him before.
I do love historical fiction and this ticked all the boxes for a fascinating story about life in England during the reign of King Charles I. I knew a bit about King Charles but nothing about his French wife Queen Henrietta Maria. I loved hearing about the queen, her court and her developing friendship with Nat, who became known to all as ‘The Queen’s Dwarf’.
I really liked Nat! He was a great character and clever man, although he was a bit on the slow side when it came to love. But then lots of men can be bit slow in that respect, especially in literature! Nat makes some wonderful friends whilst he’s at court, Jeremiah the Queen’s bodyguard, Arabella a feisty Yorkshire lass, and Henry the Queen’s Chamberlain. They helped him to navigate life and became like family to him through the years.
I loved the historical details about one of the most turbulent times in English history, the English Civil War, making me very glad to be alive in the 21st Century!
Alex Wingfield’s narration was fantastic, bringing Nat and all the characters to life effortlessly. He gave all the characters individual voices, so I was never confused as to who was speaking. He’s a new-to-me narrator, and he’s gone straight onto my favourite narrators list!
I highly recommend this on audio if you enjoy perfectly narrated historical fiction, based on a true story.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Audio UK for my digital copy via the NetGalley app.