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 was amazed to discover that The Smallest Man is Frances Quinn’s first novel! It is simply put, a accomplished debut.
What I needed when I picked up this novel, was a story and character, I could loose myself in, that I would love and be inspired to buy for everyone. The Smallest Man is, I am delighted to say, all those things and when it’s published on the 7th of January 2021, I will be buying it for friends and family!
Why? Because it is historical writing at it’s best!
Here we have a story about how anything is possible and that love knows no boundaries. Nat Davy might be small, but his story, his character, his life at court and the battles he faces are anything but. He is so easy to love and inspiring. So much so that I just couldn’t help myself, I cheered him on. Wanting him to find his place in a world, set up to exclude him because of his size and it was Frances Quinn’s extraordinary story telling that brought this all this to life.
She was inspired by real life when writing The Smallest Man, but rather than this being a tale championing the life of a King and Queen, it is something far more unique. Not only is it the story of Nat Davy’s life, it is told from his unique perspective. We are in the court of Charles I and his French born wife Henrietta Maria, yet what we see it is infinitely more fascinating and emotionally more astute, because Nat is used to show the humanity behind the rulers, often missed from grander historical narratives.
Frances Quinn wraps this all up in a story peppered with wonderfully wrought characters, from Nat himself, who is determined to not be defined by his size. Then there is the Queen, who blossoms within his life story, from an unhappy child bride, to his monarch and his friend. Not everyone is on Nat’s side, there are bully’s and dangerous enemies that he is pitted against, meaning this novel doesn’t just have emotional depth, it has that one thing all historical tales need, excitement and drama! Told over two decades, it takes Nat himself from child to manhood and along the way, we are treated to a fascinating and enchanting tale of a remarkable character and a story of life infinite possibilities.
About the author
Frances Quinn read English at King’s College, Cambridge, and is a journalist and copywriter. She has written for magazines including Prima, Good Housekeeping, She, Woman’s Weekly and Ideal Home. She lives in Brighton with her husband and who Tonkinese cats. The Smallest Man is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @franquinn.