THE COMPELLING NOVEL FROM SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER PHILILPPA GREGORY
'Margaret's story is shocking, deeply moving… the depiction of Henry VIII's transformation from indulged golden boy to sinister tyrant is perfect pitched' Sunday Express
They trust her to watch the House of Tudor rise… Only she knows it will fall.
Heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret Pole, is a rival claimant to the Tudor throne. Buried in marriage to a loyal Tudor supporter, she becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.
But her destiny is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws Margaret into poverty, yet the king's death restores her to a place at young Henry VIII's court, as a lady in waiting to Queen Katherine.
As the Tudor court sours, Margaret has to choose between her allegiance to the increasingly tyrannical King Henry, or to her friend, his abandoned queen. And Margaret is hiding a deadly secret… that a curse was cast on the Tudor line, and she is watching it come to pass.
Praise for Philippa Gregory:
‘Meticulously researched and deeply entertaining, this story of betrayal and divided loyalties is Gregory on top form’ Good Housekeeping
‘Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer… all of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men’ Sunday Times
‘Engrossing’ Sunday Express
‘Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told’ The Times
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.