Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Cousin's War.  Book Two.

Margaret Beaufort is the mother of Henry Tudor and she never doubts, not even for a second, that Henry is the rightful heir to the throne and the true King of England.  The Red Queen begins in the Spring of 1453 when Margaret is betrothed to the King's half brother, Edmond Tudor, (a man almost 3 times her age) at age 9.  She marries at 12 and gives birth to a son, her only child, when she is 14.  She is promptly widowed.

Margaret Beaufort is a devout Catholic and a deeply religious woman who has a vision that her son will be King one day and that the House of Lancaster will be restored to the throne.  Margaret Comes of age during the Cousin's War between the Lancasters, Yorks and Tudors.  The York's wrested control of England away from their cousin, mad King Henry VI.  Edward of York reigns as King with his sons and his brothers, George and Richard as future heirs.   Margaret duty is to put her son on the throne and the odds are against her but she knows God is on her side.  Even though God is on Margaret's side, she truly creates her own destiny and that of her son, by ruthless cunning, scheming and sacrificing her own happiness.

After Philippa Gregory wrote The White Queen about Queen Elizabeth of York she wanted to tell the other side of the story in the Cousin's War (also known as The War of the Roses) and she wrote Margaret Beaufort's story in The Red Queen.  I truly am addicted and in love with reading Gregory's books about this period in history.  So far I have read three book is this series.
The Lady of the Rivers
The White Queen
The Red Queen
The next book in the series for me is The Kingmaker's Daughter about the Neville girls Isabel and Anne who married King Edward of York's brothers, George and Richard.

I adore Philippa Gregory and her historical fiction novels. I can't get enough of history told from the perspective of the women and the political intrique behind the rulers who wear the crown. History is told and written by the winners and so often women voices are left out of the historical narrative. Philippa Gregory recreates that written historical record with meticulous research and shares English history from a different point of view. I always learn so much when I read Gregory and she makes it interesting and memorable. It is not like learning history from a textbook, it is definitely more fun than that. She has written more than 20 books on English history based in the Tudor period and The Cousin's war period.

Write on Philippa Gregory!