‘I want you to remember something, Nat. You’re small on the outside. But inside you’re as big as everyone else. You show people that and you won’t go far wrong in life.’
The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn begins in 1625 when Nat Davy was a young boy. The book tells the story of Nat Davy over the course of twenty years and two countries, England and France. Nat Davy’s story is based on the true story of Jeffrey Hudson, who was the “Queen’s dwarf.”
At the age of about ten, Nat was sold by his father to a Duke, who then presented Nat as a gift to Queen Henrietta Maria. Nat felt betrayed by his father. What kind of father sells his child? It was a cruel thing for the father to do but Nat tried to see the positive in the situation.
The Queen was the wife of Charles I. Charles I was the son of James IV and grandson of Mary, Queen of Scots. We see what kind of King that Charles I is from Nat’s point of view. Nat thinks the King is a bit of a spoiled brat and can never admit to his mistakes.
The Queen treated Nat very well. They became very good friends. She made sure that he was educated and had the best of everything. People didn’t know much about Nat apart from his appearances at court or gossip. No one really knew anything about Nat before he was gifted to the Queen. The reader soon learns that Nat is a kind, intelligent person. If he were a real person today, many of us would want to be friends with him too.
Nat made friends fairly easily. He had friends and a few family members that loved him. His brother, Sam, welcomes him back home after he had been gone for years. He was friends with a giant named Jeremiah and also a man named Henry. Nat was also in love with Arabella but waited so long to tell her.
There was one man who was not friends with Nat. His name was Charles Crofts. Crofts was the Queen’s Master of Horse but he was not a kind person. Crofts is just a basic bully. He bullied Nat whenever he had the chance. Nat defeated him in a horse race and later they had an illegal duel.
After the duel, the Queen arranges for Nat to go back to London. He either has to leave France or suffer the consequences of participating in the duel. At this point of the story is where Hudson’s life and Nat’s life differ.
Shortly after leaving France, Hudson was kidnapped by pirates and forced into slavery for years. I have probably already given away too much of the story but Nat’s fictional story ends differently than Hudson’s actual story.
You will enjoy this book if you are interested in historical fiction told from the perspective of someone who usually doesn’t get a chance to tell their story since the King, Queen, Duke of Buckingham and Oliver Cromwell had the attention of the people.
Basic bullies and people who are against representation of all people will not enjoy this book.
- I received this ebook from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
- Amazon affiliate link included in this post.