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Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. But worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.
Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York’s daughter. As the political tides constantly move and shift, Margaret charts her own way through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. She feigns loyalty to the usurper Richard III and even carries his wife’s train at her coronation.
Widowed a second time, Margaret marries the ruthless, deceitful Thomas, Lord Stanley, and her fate stands on the knife edge of his will. Gambling her life that he will support her, she then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time—all the while knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and now waits for his opportunity to win the greatest prize.
In a novel of conspiracy, passion, and coldhearted ambition, number one bestselling author Philippa Gregory has brought to life the story of a proud and determined woman who believes that she alone is destined, by her piety and lineage, to shape the course of history.
About the Author
Philippa Gregory has been penning compelling works of dramatic historical fiction since the mid-1980s, breaking out with the bestselling Wideacre trilogy and creating a buzz with The Other Boleyn Girl. As fellow author Peter Ackroyd once said of her, "She writes from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows."
Nobody does the Tudors better than Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl), so it should come as no surprise that her latest—the War of the Roses as seen through the eyes of Henry VII’s mother —is confident, colorful, convincing, and full of conflict, betrayal, and political maneuvering. Gregory gives readers Margaret Beaufort in her own words, from innocent nine-year-old to conspiring courtier who stops at nothing to see her son on England’s throne. Gregory devotees will note the difference between the supernaturally gifted Yorkist White Queen and Lancastrian Margaret, who, despite saintly aspirations, grows worldly through three marriages; a powerless widow at 13, remarried and separated from her only son by 15, it is not until she’s 29 that Margaret is ready to realize her most audacious ambitions. Gregory clones have made historical novels from a woman’s perspective far too familiar to make this seem as fresh as her earlier works. Yet, like Margaret Beaufort, Gregory puts her many imitators to shame by dint of unequalled energy, focus, and unwavering execution. (Aug.)
Margaret Beaufort is certain of one thing from a very young age: God has destined her for something great. She likens herself to Joan of Arc and longs to be a leader, a figure of importance. Unfortunately, the reality is that for much of her life she is but a pawn in others' games. She clings to the certainty that she is destined for greatness, convinced that her son by Edmund Tudor is the rightful heir to the English throne. Much of her adult life is spent planning, scheming, and looking out for chances to bring Henry Tudor to his true destiny and herself into prominence. The second entry in Gregory's new series, "The Cousins' War," presents a main character far less sympathetic than Elizabeth Woodville of The White Queen. Margaret is self-centered, self-important, and single-minded, but these qualities enable her to persist against overwhelming odds in her quest to see her son crowned king of England. VERDICT Like Gregory's other historicals, excellent characterization and a well-researched story will hold the interest of readers, especially fans of the Tudor dynasty.—Pam O'Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY
"Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel ... Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction....Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history ... come alive for readers."
Format: Audio CD
Published: 3rd August 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Dimensions (cm): 16.1 x 14.2 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.168