Queen of Trial and Sorrow Queen of Trial and Sorrow

Queen of Trial and Sorrow

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Publisher Description

A B.R.A.G. Medallion winner. In a fairy tale romance, Elizabeth Wydeville, a beautiful but impoverished widow with two sons secretly marries the most eligible bachelor in Europe, King Edward IV. She and her family are resented and her popularity is not enhanced when she conceives it as her duty to advance the interests of her family. The story weaves the happy personal lives of the king and queen with the betrayals of those closest to king: his great mentor and friend, the Earl of Warwick, and one of his brothers. The sudden resurgence of the rival king and queen’s supporters, culminate in two ferocious battles that see the Yorkist king triumphant. The royal couple can look forward to a period of peace and growing prosperity marred only by squabbles between the king’s two younger brothers.
Unexpectedly Edward falls mortally ill. On his deathbed he gives his twelve year-old son and the kingdom into the protection of his ever-loyal and capable youngest brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester. The grieving Elizabeth is frightened when she learns this, for Gloucester is one of those who sees her as not good enough for his brother. Her fears are confirmed and multiplied when Gloucester takes the young king into his custody and arrests the boy’s closest councilors, including Elizabeth’s brother and the younger of her two non-royal sons.
Elizabeth flees into sanctuary for the second time. Now she has five daughters with her, and her nine year-old second son, Richard, Duke of York. When a delegation from Gloucester threatens to remove the little duke by force, she surrenders him into the care of the venerable Archbishop of Canterbury who, three weeks later, crowns Gloucester as Richard III.
The duke joins his brother in the Tower of London and they are never seen again. Eventually, Elizabeth comes to believe they are dead, murdered by their uncle. Her brother and son are executed without trial. Elizabeth conspires against Richard in a failed rising, but when it’s over she has to accept that he is the king and the only way her daughters are ever going to see the outside world again and have any kind of future is if she makes terms with him for their withdrawal from sanctuary.
Richard reigns for only two years, his crown and his life taken in battle by an obscure Lancastrian pretender named Henry Tudor, who unites the two warring houses by marrying Edward and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter. Elizabeth has spent years hating Richard, but toward the end of her life, in retirement from the world, occupying a single room in an abbey and possessing only what it contains, she finds her hatred slipping away with the seasons and is able to acknowledge that once set upon his course Richard had no choice but to follow it to the bitter end. Once the first step was taken there was never a time he could have stopped the march of events.

Fiction & Literature
4 January
Susan Appleyard

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