Book 6 in The Cousin’s War series
Published: 2014 by Simon and Schuster
Rating: 5 🌟
What does the name Maraget Pole mean to you?
She was the daughter of Isabel Neville and George Plantagenet, hence she was a rival claimant to the Tudor throne.
This was utterly fantastic. Philippa Gregory is why I love historical fiction. Throughout there was never a dull moment, actually there was so much anguish through this novel, I felt myself tearing up rather often.
Let’s talk about the plot:
Margaret Pole, buried in marriage to a loyal Tudor supporter, becomes guardian to young Prince Arthur of Wales, and his young bride, Katherine of Aragon.
But Margaret will not live a life in the shadows; for tragedy throws her life into poverty and the King’s passing gives her the chance to go back to Court with her family, where she becomes lady in waiting to Queen Katherine.
But there is a secret, a curse was long ago cast on The Tudor line, and Margaret is watching it come to pass as she must choose between her allegiance to the crown and her friend, his abandoned Queen.
More of my thoughts:
Okay, so I confess, having profusely read about Margaret Pole, I procrastinated reading this for some time. For those of you that don’t know, she was executed at age 67. Which I think is pretty tragic for a lady that was only trying to do her best to keep her and her family alive in such perilous times.
This was the perfect ending to The Cousin’s War series. Book one followed the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, and in fact it was her husband, Edward the Fourth, who was Margaret Pole’s Uncle; he ordered the execution of his own brother, Margaret’s father, George Plantagenet.
Each book in this series was a delight to read, and I’d definitely re read them all. But this one here, for many reasons, I think, will be my favourite. It was just awe inspiring in its depth and I just learnt so much about Margaret Pole as a character. I always feel like Philippa Gregory writes figures from history so perfectly, it’s so easy to connect with them. They’re people, fascinating ones at that.
I also love how Philippa wrote Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York, it was definitely a fresh perspective on both characters, and she captured Henry the Eighth perfectly! From a spoilt boy to a tyrannical, manic King. I truly did not know how insane he was. I cannot believe that he had his own daughter’s most dear guardian executed.
Trust me when I say this ending will long be with you.
“Thomas More once told me: lion or king, never show fear or you are a dead man.”
And that concludes my review: thank you for reading.