Wednesday, 8 September 2010
The Red Queen - Phillipa Gregory
The second book in Philippa's stunning new series, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.
I am a fan of Philippa Gregory's books and last year I was lucky enough to attend one of the events Philippa held following the release of her new book, The White Queen. This was the first book in her new triology set in The Plantagenets era. During her talk, Philippa gave a few clues to this book and I was really looking forward to this being released.
The Red Queen tells the story of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII and grandmother of Henry VIII and gives background information for why she has been never been a liked person in history. She was married at 12 years and had a child at 13. Margaret Beaufort was a small character within the White Queen but takes centre stage in The Red Queen.
The White Queen was written about Elizabeth Woodville, who was on the York side of the War of the Roses whereas The Red Queen was about Margaret Beaufort, who was on the Lancaster side. Both books are about the same period of time, but are from two different sides, through the eyes of two powerful women of the time.
Although i studied history at school, few of my studies were on these times and I am glad that we have Philippa Gregory to make reading about history a more enjoyable time. She spends many months researching her books and this is evident in her books with many hisorical events included.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of this book and again I am looking forward to the next installments of The Cousins War.
As with many history texts, there were several Richard, Edward, Margaret and Elizabeths, however, Gregory has a family tree included in the front of the book, which i found very useful for keeping track of who was who.