This summer I have been on a Philippa Gregory reading fest. Each week at the library I pick up one or two of her books. The series I am hooked on is called The Cousins Wars and this week I completed The Red Queen, which focuses on the story of King Henry the 8th's grandmother, Margaret.
What a time of intrigue in the court of the royal house of Great Britain. It seems there were spies everywhere and anyone who thought they might have a claim to the throne, was itching to wear the crown. However, with all the intrigue came a lot of beheadings so I am not sure I would have been too excited to rule Brittania at this time.
When the Red Queen opens, young Margaret Beaufort is 14 years old and would love nothing better than to go into holy orders as she feels she has a call on her life similar to that of Joan of Arc. However, she is given in marriage to Edmund Tudor and produces a son who she names Henry. Since she cannot be a nun, she feels God has called her to see that her Tudor son becomes King. She is very focused on her goal and rejoices when Henry is crowned Henry the 7th of England. Several of these books also address the mystery of the two princes in the Tower of London. In line for the throne of Richard the 3rd, they mysteriously vanished. Did Margaret have anything to do with it? Many speculate regarding the end of the 9 and 12 year old royal sons. Margaret lived to enjoy the fruits of her labors and that in itself is surprising to me. There were so many diseases abroad at this time and there was very little to be done to help patients then. It was easy to murder someone with poison and the physicians were none the wiser. It was a fascinating time in history.
If you are looking for some books will teach you something of history while enjoying a good story, Ms Gregory is the author you are looking for!