Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England, #8)” as Want to Read:
The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England #8)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,233 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In 1470, a reluctant Lady Anne Neville is betrothed by her father, the politically ambitious Earl of Warwick, to Edward, Prince of Wales. A gentle yet fiercely intelligent woman, Anne has already given her heart to the prince’s younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Unable to oppose her father’s will, she finds herself in line for the throne of England—an obligation ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 459 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by MacMillan Publishing Company (first published August 28th 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Reluctant Queen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Reluctant Queen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I got what I wanted on this, which is more context for understanding the rise of Richard III.

As far as I can tell, Jean Plaidy sticks with historical record. I had to look up Anne’s kidnapping (the cookshop caper) to see if it actually occurred; I presume much is grafted on to a scant record. I don’t know if Anne visited the imprisoned Margaret of Anjou (but I was surprised her request was to visit Margaret and not her mother).

Like the other Plaidy books I’ve read, the story is linear. The peopl
I wish I had known that Plaidy was going to leave out huge parts of Anne Neville's life in this fictionalization.

I just couldn't bring myself to read this, it seemed a little silly to me that Plaidy would omit Anne's first marriage.

And I didn't care for the style, too much information communicated to the reader in dialogue, I didn't care for her characterization of Richard. I loved Sharon Kay Penman's version of the story and I couldn't reconcile the two versions, I'll have to try again some d
May 22, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jean Plaidy's Queens of England series give fascinating insight into the lives of their subjects, and combine richly human and sensitive portrayals with attention to detail, and a love of English history.
The story of Anne Neville, the sensitive and intelligent daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who as a little girl falls in love with Richard, Duke of Gloucester, second son of the Duke of York, later to be Richard III.
A balanced account of Richard III, portraying him as neither the dev
Dec 17, 2008 Ikonopeiston rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: immature devourers of romance novels
Shelves: ricardian, kindle
This is a most unpleasant book. It is badly written with no insight into the psyches of the persons with whom it deals. I gave up on it when the author referred to Richard of Gloucester as "the Little Duke". It is true he was no giant like his brother Edward nor so tall as his other brother George, but I doubt anyone during his time had the temerity to refer to him as 'little'.

This is the sort of book which appeals chiefly to the devotees of soppy, illiterate romance fiction. It is not a biogra
Ashley W
I've been disillusioned by the last few Jean Plaidy books I have read, but this one reminded me why I love her writing. Anne of York, the daughter of the "Kingmaker" Richard Neville and the wife of the infamous Richard III, comes to life within this book, and she felt like a real person instead of someone merely there to tell a story. She actually has a personality, good traits, and flaws. I love Anne's story because she had so many ups and downs in her life and all she wanted was to marry for l ...more
I had somewhat low expectations when I began listening to the audiobook production for this novel. I have never been particularly interested in Anne Neville or her husband Richard III but I thought I’d give the novel a try.

I am glad I did because it was one of the more enjoyable novels by Plaidy that I’ve read. Anne is gentle and sweet and unassuming. Her husband, Richard III, is less loveable but the love between then seemed so natural nonetheless.

I was very interested to see how Plaidy would
Ana T.
Apr 08, 2008 Ana T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went searching for a blurb of the story at Random House's site and this what I found is what is written above- I must say that I am a bit puzzled, Anne was not bethrothed to the older brother of her childhood love and Plaidy certainly never made that mistake...

The Reluctant Queen is part of a series Plaidy wrote about the Queens of England and it’s the story of Anne Neville, Richard III’s queen. The story is told in the first person and reads like a memoir, as she lays sick and feeling death
History is written by the victors, which is why I have to give the finger to Mr. Shakespeare and his "Richard III." In reality, Richard III and his beloved Anne were two of the most charming, sweet, and tragic lovers in history. This is a beautiful version of their story, if you aren't familiar with it, start here. Anne of York was the only queen of England to have also been a kitchen maid, a gentle, intelligent lady who saw her happiness ripped away time and again, and her story (and Richard's) ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Yvette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting that the accusation of poison by Richard is not put to rest. Anne even has her own doubts. I like the Richard of this book. Faithful, loving...the princes seem to still be alive. And this book knocked Elizabeth Woodville a notch or two off the pedestal she has been placed on in my mind.
Jan 16, 2009 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wars of the Roses
Paola Emilia
Not the best I've read about Anne Neville although I love Jean Plaidy interesting at some points and boring at others.
Phil Syphe
Jun 23, 2017 Phil Syphe rated it liked it
“The Reluctant Queen” is Anne Neville, second daughter of the famous “King Maker”, the Earl of Warrick, and wife of England’s controversial King Richard III.

We see the Wars of the Roses through Anne’s eyes. At least that’s the idea. In fact, for much of the time we read Anne’s second-hand account of events. Sometimes this is done via dialogue, such as when Margaret of Anjou relates her early years with Henry VI, all of which is more for the reader’s benefit than Anne’s, while it’s not really si
Anne Neville was a lady born in a time of uncertainity and war. Despite the events she wazs involved in, there is little known about her, personally and even though I'm a huge fan of Jean Plaidy, it showed. It felt more like the telling of every person rather than Anne. Many conversations were of Richard, for example, telling her the coversation between him and Edward IV. She, herself, is blank.

The character is plain, boring and it's hard to feel any kind of emotion towards her. She does not hav
Interesting in its entirely pro-Richardian tone, though the point of recent historical fiction has arguably been to reexamine those about whom little is known or only one side given. Plaidy was at the forefront of this wave or trend. It's believable that a woman in love with Richard from such a young age could easily be an apologist for his ambitions and subsequent actions, but Anne of York portrays his every action as entirely due to Richard's sense of duty to his brother (Edward IV) and the cr ...more
Mrs. C.
Definitely pro-Ricardian, this novel tells Richard's story from the point of view of his childhood friend/cousin/wife, Anne Neville. Told in the first person, it basically begins with the Readeption of Henry VI, which her father (Warwick the Kingmaker) engineered, and presents her as intended for Henry's son but never married. It handles the story of Richard's two illegitimate children, Clarence's death (it's an accident here), Edward's death, the arrests and executions of the Woodvilles and Has ...more
Jul 11, 2010 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is between a 3.5 and 4 star book...

I am a big Jean Plaidy fan, but I was a bit disappointed in this book. I can't really blame her, though. It is all Philippa Gregory's fault! I loved her book The White Queen and loved how Elizabeth Woodville was portrayed. I had never at that point had read anything about her. This book about Anne Neville was much the same story, but from the "enemies" eyes. Anne paints an awful picture of Elizabeth and her family. You get all the bad and none of the good.
The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York, is a novel describing the life of Lady Anne Neville from childhood until death. This novel describes all of the good and bad events which took place throughout her life and during her reign as the Queen of England. This novel will be best suited for any students from grades 8 and up because of the vocabulary it uses, which many eighth graders and higher will already be accustomed with, hopefully. I believe this book wouldn't be very valuable as an ...more
Feb 21, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I greatly enjoyed this novel! It allowed me to see the events of the War of the Roses from Richard III's perspective, a view so often ignored by historians. It was refreshing to see his romantic and more human side, expressed in his encounters with Anne.
However, the author was biased towards this side. First, Richard is portrayed in significant detail as being a loyal brother, in awe of Edward, ready to serve him, etc. Then, when he dies, he disinherits his son Edward and takes the crown. His ex
This is the story of Lady Anne Neville, who would eventually become Queen of England by way of her marriage to Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Her father the ambitious Earl of Warwick was a kingmaker of King Edward. When he falls from grace he be troves Lady Anne to Edward, Price of Wales. Anne does not want to marry Edward but has now choice in the matter. However, Edward is killed in battle before the marriage takes place and she is free to Marry the man she loves and who loves her. After the cer ...more
3.5 stars for this one.
I did enjoy the story of Lady Anne Neville (Anne of York) told in first person narrative. In 15th Century England the War of the Roses has ended, the war between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England. With the support of the Earl of Warwick (the Kingmaker), King Henry VI of the house of Lancaster is deposed by the charismatic King Edward IV, former Duke of York.
Anne the daughter of the Earl of Warwick goes on to become Queen of England as the wife of
Dec 17, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anne-neville
I found Jean Plaidy's fictionalization of Anne Neville unimaginative given the many extraordinary events of Anne's life that she could have drawn on. The way the story is told, from Anne's perspective looking back from her deathbed, makes it woefully passive.
Historically it was relatively accurate with the exception of one significant departure. While the idea that the Duke of Clarence had Anne kidnapped and forced into a situation as a kitchen maid is laughable, it did make me think a little b
Dec 23, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Many history lovers are familiar with the general story of Richard III, but less so with his queen consort, Anne Neville. As their lives are quite intertwined from the beginning, this story really follows the two of them from early childhood through their adulthood, marriage, and beyond.

The book talks a lot about the political climate during this time in British history – we cover threats from the Lancastrians, to the York reign, back to plots against the Yorkists from a variety of individuals.
This is written from Anne Neville's point of view, future wife of King Richard III. It paints Richard in a much different light than what we've been given in most literature that deals with this king. Everyone generally pictures a hunchbacked or slightly deformed, evil man who had his nephews killed so he could be king when they think of Richard III. This book really takes all that away. It really makes it seem like he had good intentions, even though it does leave it open to the possibility tha ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book some time ago and just never got into it enough to finish. So a couple of weeks ago I saw the book and decided to start over from the beginning and then couldn't put it down. I think it helps that I had read the White Queen by Phillipa Gregory because the story is of the same conflicts but from another character so I loved getting the perspective from the other side. By the way, I have read several of Jean Plaidy books on the various queens of England that I don't have review ...more
Stacy Brunner
I loved, loved Jean Plaidy books when I was in the YA age range. I wish these books were geared toward young adults because I could rate it higher. The historical information is not covered in much detail. You get the chronology, but you don't get to really chew on the missing bits and mysteries that history leaves for us. The characters are not developed with much substance and in fact, I think they are portrayed as being "nicer" or "friendlier" than they actually were.

But I think for young pe
Juliana Ortega
The book describes the life of Lady Anne Neville she is the daughter of the Earl of Warwick. Lady Anne Neville had many ups and downs throughout her life and she knows she is going to pass soon so she decides to write down all of her memories. I think this novel would be best for 8th graders and or 9th graders. I feel that at that age you see things with different perspectives because you are growing and becoming mature. This novel is very educational because it shows all of the downs Lady Anne ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was really a story of the War of the Roses, told from the perspective of Anne of York. Since she wasn't much involved, there was a lot of "I found out later..." comments.

I love historical novels that write from different perspectives - but the history is always best as a backdrop to the characters and not vice versa. Since Anne dies before the War of the Roses is complete, I felt the book ended before the story was done, even though the main character was now dead. Strangely unsatisfying.
Jan 09, 2014 Cati rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I will just say that it was a nice way to find out some historical stuff. Though, other than that, the book is not remarkable in any way. Predictable dialog, flat characters. Also, somehow I remember Richard IIIrd from English history and his potrayal was..well...unconvincing to say the least, actually I found it a bit offensive as compared to the historical evidence existing outthere. I know this is supposed to be some sort of a historical romance, but I believe it fails to some extent even th ...more
Heather Mims
Mar 28, 2014 Heather Mims rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
This was the first book I've read by Jean Plaidy, and it was an absolute pleasure from beginning to end. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly related to European royalty, and it's lovely to read about a favorite like Anne Neville without a bunch of speculation/shock value that doesn't need to be there.

Characterization is very strong here, the narrative is simple and beautiful, and all in all, this was a fresh and engaging take on a familiar, beloved story. I'm very much looking for
I enjoyed this book. One must keep in mind some details are going to be left out or glossed over very quickly. Having read The Sunne in Splendour beforehand, I try to keep in my not all books concerning Richard III can be as wonderfully detailed as that masterpiece.

I liked hearing the story, pared down as it is, from Anne's point of view. This is an enjoyable work of historical FICTION. An easy, quick read which I think was worth the time.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny (The Rose of York Trilogy, #2)
  • Eleanor the Queen
  • To the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost Princes
  • The Broken Sword
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • The Flowering of the Rose (We Speak No Treason, #1)
  • The White Boar (Lovell Duo, #1)
  • The Marsh King's Daughter
  • The Court of the Midnight King
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • The People's Queen
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The First Princess of Wales
  • Harlot Queen
  • Under the Hog
  • The Queen of Subtleties: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Queens of England (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Myself, My Enemy (Queens of England, #1)
  • Queen of This Realm (Queens of England, #2)
  • Victoria Victorious: The Story of Queen Victoria (Queens of England, #3)
  • The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4)
  • The Courts of Love (Queens of England, #5)
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • The Queen's Secret (Queens of England, #7)
  • The Merry Monarch's Wife (Queens of England, #9)
  • William's Wife (Queens of England, #10)
  • The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11)

Share This Book