'Margaret, I have to tell you. There was a curse.' Elizabeth, my cousin, puts her hand in mine and I can feel her tremble.
'It was that whoever took my brothers from the Tower, whoever put my brothers to death should die for it.'
From the Number One bestselling author of THE WHITE QUEENcomes the riveting story of Margaret Pole, cousin of Elizabeth of York, and her unique view of Henry VIII's terrifying rise to power in Tudor England.
As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the King's mother (THE RED QUEEN) as a powerful threat to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter - Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales - and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.
But Margaret's destiny, as cousin to the queen (THE WHITE PRINCESS), is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty and only a royal death restores her to her place at young Henry VIII's court where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband and her tragic decline.
Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII or to her beloved queen. Caught between the old and the new, Margaret must find her own way, concealing deep within her the knowledge that an old curse cast upon all the Tudors is slowly coming true...
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Philippa Gregory's Inside Story: "It's the only novel where I asked them to put a man on the cover. And it's the only novel that takes Henry VIII from when I absolutely adore him, as a little boy, through to serial killer tyrant—and it shows how that happened.
"It was enormously cathartic to me to go through really all of the stages of his life from a kindly older woman observer, Margaret Pole—who in the end is also killed by him. She was very close to Catherine of Aragon.
“I met her first when I wrote The Constant Princess and she is Catherine's hostess really at Ludlow Castle, when Catherine marries Arthur. Margaret Pole is hugely important right back then. She's of course a Plantagenet, the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, who drowned in the tower on the order of his brother, Edward, probably with the connivance of his brother, Richard. So, you're right back there to the family that I'm very interested in and familiar with. It's told by her, so that's a character that I have very, very deep connections with over many novels. And this was really a novel about her and her observation of Henry as the husband of her greatest friend. After her friend's death, watching him go through all the subsequent changes in his life and understanding him, I think, better than anybody.
“It is a ‘We Need to Talk About Henry" book. It's also vindication of my 'What do the women think?' approach. What are the women doing? Where are the women positioned in this? Because nobody else could understand Henry better than someone who was best friends with his first wife and was present right the way through to Catherine Howard.”
Gregory adds to her Cousins' War series (after The White Princess) an illuminating portrait of historical figure Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, whose royal Plantagenet lineage was both a blessing and a curse. Gregory's carefully researched story line begins in 1499 with Margaret in mourning for her brother Teddy, who was beheaded by King Henry VII because he was a rival for the throne. Margaret has already been "stuffed into obscurity," married to an ordinary knight with whom she's had five children. When Prince Arthur, the King's son and heir, marries Katherine of Aragon, Margaret becomes lady-in-waiting to the Spanish princess. When Arthur dies, Margaret loses her position; not long afterward, she is widowed and struggles financially. Matters temporarily improve for Margaret with the ascension of the new king, Henry VIII, who appoints Margaret governess to his daughter Mary. But the moody and volatile ruler also forces Margaret and her family to jockey for favor at court. Gregory moves confidently through a tangle of intrigue, revenge, and tyranny toward a shocking betrayal that brings Margaret face-to-face with the king's ire.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The kings curse
Great fantastic brilliant
A fascinating read on this interesting period in history. Clever and well written a real page turner on in my case a real thumb clicker as I read as an eBook!
The Kings Curse
As I've read and enjoyed all the other books in this series I was looking forward to reading this one and was not disappointed. It made me want to read the whole series again.