The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England
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The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  2,122 ratings  ·  313 reviews

On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything-for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Eli

Kindle Edition, 403 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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The Stolen Crown begins is told from the alternating POV of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and his wife Katherine Woodville. Henry (Harry) was married as a young child to Katherine, younger sister of Elizabeth Woodville - Queen of England and wife to Edward IV (no small feat for those *grasping* Woodvilles). When they grow older Harry and Katherine are able to establish a strong marriage, but Harry wants more power and position at court than Edward is willing to give him and he chafes a...more
Cousin against cousin, brother against brother… The civil wars now known as the “Wars of the Roses” are nothing short of intriguing. Susan Higginbotham explore this period of English history in, “The Stolen Crown”.

“The Stolen Crown” alternates first-person narratives of Katherine Woodville (sister to Queen Elizabeth Woodville) and her husband, Harry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham during the turbulent times leading to the Battle of Bosworth. As usual in Higginbotham’s novels; the beginning of...more
Regina Lindsey
This is the second Higginbotham novel I've read, the first being The Queen of Last Hopes. In The Stolen Crown, Higginbotham continues the tale of the Yorks and Lancasters' struggle for the English crown. Again, Higginbotham masterfully takes the scant historical details of Harry, Duke of Buckingham, and his wife Kate. Told through alternating voices, the reader follows the couple as Kate's family rises to power when her older sister secretly marries Edward IV and falls from grace when his brothe...more
I was quite pleasantly surprised by this book. Especially after having just read Philippa Gegory's 'The Red Queen' on the exact same subject. I really enjoyed how the relationship between Katherine and Harry was portraied, which was quite the opposite of what it usually is (and also was in 'The Red Queen' I might add). I was also really glad when I read the author's note, which is definitely not something that I usually do. But this time, since I don't really know all that much about the Duke of...more
Erin Germain
This was a very quick read, and from the standpoint of it being a simple historical fiction, I can't say it was all that bad. The narration went back and forth between Katherine Woodville and her husband, Harry Stafford (Duke of Buckingham).

If the characters had been generic people, I would have said it was light, a little mindless, but fun. Given that it involves the Plantagents, the Woodvilles, and the Tudors, it is much less enjoyable. They author writes with a strong and obvious bias against...more
Jo Anne B
4.5 stars

This was a beautifully written historical fiction novel. It takes place in the mid to late 1400s in England when King Edward IV reigns amidst the War of the Roses. He marries Elizabeth Woodville and the story is told by both her sister Kate and her husband Harry, the Duke of Buckingham. I really liked the alternating perspectives because it gave a lot of insight into the way they thought and felt and that made it easier to understand why they did what they did (especially Harry).

I never...more
Well, the book started off a little too slow for me and although it was interesting to read about their lives, I found it not as interesting as some other historical fiction novels I have read in the past. What nearly threw me off of this book was the abundant number of characters, and the majority of them having the same name. So, it was hard for me to figure out who was who. There is a character page in the beginning of the book, detailing who's who in each family and how they are related. It'...more
Why is it any take on Richard III and his older brother must demonize someone? SKPenmantagged. Buckingham, this one paints Richard3 as wholy responsible for all evils. From what I have read, the way the boys vanished was damaging to Richard, so why would he do it so stupidly? He was noted for his caution in most else, tho he did have a temper...yet he was trusted with his nieces by their mother, which argues against her believing he killed her sons. Buckingham was known to be a hothead and not a...more
Rio (Lynne)
First of all, the author knows her history, but this book was tough for me. There were parts that I couldn't put down, then there were parts that made my eyes glaze over. I want my historical fiction books to be as accurate as they can, but the author gives you so much information, it is overwhelming. Many reviews said to stick with it until Edward dies and they were right. The second half of the book was great. I also enjoyed the epilogue and the part where Harry's ghost supposedly haunts the i...more
I enjoyed this novel for it's refreshing perspective on the Buckingham rebellion and the marriage between Henry Stafford and Katherine Woodville. It is a shame that one historical record can become the defining word upon such a thing as a marriage and the author quotes in her author's note the words of Dominic Mancini that are taken as the basis for the nature of Henry and Kate's marriage: "for, when he (Henry) was younger, he had been forced to marry the queen's sister, whom he scorned to wed o...more
This book is heavily biased toward that Lancasters and not for experts on The War of the Roses. It comes off especially bad, if one supports Richard's actions against the Woodvilles. Having done heavy research into that time period, Henry: The Duke of Buckingham is my prime suspect for having murdered The Princes in the Tower. Seeing him glorified and Richard portrayed as he is in Shakespeare's Tudor biased History is too hard to swallow.
Further more, there were Historical inaccuracies in the...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Ever since I read a review of Hugh and Bess I have wanted to read Higginbotham, so when I got the chance I jumped at it. And I am happy to say that I did the right thing.

First of all I must say that she sure did an excellent job keeping all the different Edwards and Henrys and so on apart. I went in after having studied the long lists of names in the beginning and wondered how this would turn out. But she kept track of them all and she made sure that I as the reader could keep track of them all....more

The Stolen Crown was another good read from Susan Higginbotham for me, but I didn't quite get into it as much as The Queen of Last Hopes. It starts promisingly with exciting opening scenes that immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading, but it does tails off in the middle – that is, it’s well-written, but the story kind of treads water for a while in the middle whilst Katherine Woodville and Henry Stafford grow up, and you just know we’re all waiting for Richard III to se...more
Kimberly Sue
My original review of this novel can be found on my blog; http://historicalfictionobsession.blo...

The Stolen Crown is the third novel that I have read by Susan Higginbotham. I really enjoy her writing style, because it's easy to follow, and the dialogue and actions don't feel forced at all. Her descriptions of events and dialogue between characters always seems to flow.
The Stolen Crown is written in first person point of view, told by Katherine Woodville and Harry, Duke of Buckingham. They are l...more
Susan Higginbotham is batting three for three! The Stolen Crown is my third Higginbotham read and my third 5 star rating!

In her third book Higginbotham takes on Katherine Woodville and Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, two lesser known players in the Wars of the Roses. Katherine is the younger sister of Elizabeth Woodville, who was secretly married to King Edward IV of England and Harry is commonly known as one of the suspects in the Princes in the Tower debate.

I found it very interesting to...more
I avoided this book for some time because I hate historical fiction that uses an image on the cover that's from a completely different era than the story. But when Barnes and Noble offered it as a free Nook selection, I grabbed it. And I was pleasantly surprised to find a well-researched, well-written story of the reigns of Edward IV and Richard III. Higginbotham offers a different perspective than the many others who have covered this ground. The tale is told from the viewpoints of Katherine Wo...more
The Stolen Crown is a narrative from the perspective of Harry, the Duke of Buckingham and his wife Kate during the reign of Edward IV and the War of the Roses. Harry, a Lacastrian, grows up in the Yorkist custody of Edward's queen Elizabeth Woodville and at a young age is married to Elizabeth's youngest sister Kate. They grow up together and each provide their perspective of life during one of the most turbulent periods of British history. There is certainly a lot going on, power is seized and r...more
4.5 stars
The title of this book is not exactly accurate. This is the story of Henry Stafford and Katherine Woodville, the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham. The secret marriage is that of Katherine's sister to King Edward IV --- this marriage led to the elevation of the entire Woodville family and is why Katherine and Henry were wed while they were still both children. The stolen crown refers to events much later than King Edward's marriage -- but I don't want to spoil for those not familiar with t...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Humberstone
I really enjoyed this book even though I have read quite a few historical novels about the Nevilles, Beauforts and Woodvilles and was a bit hesitant about whether I really needed to read another. The role of the Duke of Buckingham has always been a bit of a mystery to me and this book explains his position very well. Another thing that appears significant to me is that, whether or not Richard 111 murdered his brother's sons, he still was a ruthless person. I think he thought he could do the job...more
I'm a sucker for well-told historical fiction, and this is. Actually better than The White Queen, which with two follow-on novels, cover the same period of English history, largely from the point of view of the involved women.

I'd quibble with the title as sensational and only semi-related to the story. And the marriage in question may have altered English history, but who knows whether it was not the fate of that time (as opposed to changing that fate)? But titles are beguile you into buying th...more
This is another book on the Wars of the Roses - this time though told from the point of view of Katherine Woodville - Elisabeth Woodville's sister. Katherine is married as a child to Harry, the Duke of Buckingham.

What an awful time to be alive if you were a woman!! Katherine's father used to fight for the Lancastrian's and then flips to the Yorkist. Her sister is the Yorkist queen. Her uncles fight for the Lancastrians. Her husband's family is similarly conflicted. These people are shaped and wo...more
Whilst a year or two ago it seemed there where lots of books being released about the Tudors, it seems that the York's and Lancastrian's are now in vogue. However if you feel a little overwhelmed with the complexity of this historical period and want a story that covers it all then go no further than this book. One of the things I most enjoy about Susan Higginbotham is that she writes about real people in history that aren't royalty but are close enough that you get a multi layered story.

This bo...more
The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham was riveting historical fiction. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. This is amazing as I love this time period and have read several books concerning the War of the Roses, Elizabeth Woodville, etc. I have never read a book about her younger sister, Katherine Woodville and her husband, Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. I was intrigued to find out how they would survive the turmult of the times they lived during.

Young Katherine Woodville dis...more
Sandra Hawk
I'm finding the story line very engaging. It's a plot-driven first-person narrative (with alternating storytellers) that's pretty spare with respect to description and dialogue. If you're looking for a lot of carefully detailed character development or finely crafted prose you aren't going to find it here. So if for you a good read requires those characteristics go elsewhere.

The story starts off toward the end with Harry, Duke of Buckingham in prison and awaiting execution. Most of that first c...more
Ashley Arthur
I downloaded this book on my Nook as part of the “Free Book Friday” program. My knowledge of British history is spotty at best, but I had a vague idea (thanks to Shakespeare) how the reign of Richard III would play out. I thought the pace of the book was great, and I was impressed by how much ground was covered in less than 400 pages.

Here is my only complaint about this book. The cast of characters is ENORMOUS (five whole pages of character names precede the first chapter) and difficult to keep...more
I liked this book more than I thought I would, given that I'm an ardent believer in Richard III's innocence, and the book's premise is that he is guilty of murdering his nephews (the Princes in the Tower). The book alternates between two viewpoints--Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and his wife, Kate Woodville, sister of Elizabeth Woodville, queen to Edward IV (and the woman the title of the book refers to). The author has an easy, conversational writing style, which makes the book a relativel...more
I really enjoyed this first person account of the Wars of the Roses (or a good portion of them) through the eyes of the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham. A sense of foreboding overshadows the story even if you do not know your history, and it sometimes makes for difficult reading though not due to any flaw in writing. Higginbotham has anchored her story in well-researched fact and explains in the afterword her justification in those areas that are simply unknown and open to our imaginations. She g...more
Joanne Moyer
I've always been interested in - ok, obsessed - with any and all books about Henry VIII
and the Tudors but I haven't read much of what came before him. The Stolen Crown is a great story set in that time involving the The House of York and the House of Lancaster, the Woodvilles, the Staffords, the Tudors and numerous others. The story is well written and truthful as much as possible -- the hardest thing about reading it is just keeping track of who is who. Everyone seems to be named Edward or Henr...more
I would agree with the 3.71 star rating this book currently has. It's not quite a 4, but I liked it more than a 3. The Stolen Crown is basically a Philippa Gregory/The Other Boleyn Girl-style of book, with the Queen's sister & brother-in-law narrating the story. Only here's the thing: it's WAY better than that book ever was. That book is very popular, but the writing is poor. This one is very readable, and kept me wanting to read more. Like the Titanic, you know the Boleyns are going to sink...more
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Author to Author ...: Article on "The Stolen Crown" 1 8 Oct 26, 2012 04:51PM  
  • The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny (The Rose of York Trilogy, #2)
  • Winston's War (Winston Churchill #1)
  • The Time of Singing (William Marshal # 4)
  • Queen By Right
  • Treason
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • From the Ashes
  • Blood Royal
  • Harlot Queen
  • The Devil's Cradle (Kendall O'Dell #2)
I am the author of two historical novels set in fourteenth-century England: The Traitor's Wife: A Novel of the Reign of Edward II and Hugh and Bess. Both were reissued in 2009 by Sourcebooks.

My third novel, The Stolen Crown, is set during the Wars of the Roses. It features Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Katherine Woodville, as narrators. My fourth novel, The Queen of Last Hopes,...more
More about Susan Higginbotham...
The Traitor's Wife: A Novel of the Reign of Edward II Hugh and Bess: A Love Story The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou Her Highness, the Traitor The Woodvilles: The Wars of the Roses and England's Most Infamous Family

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“Go to the devil Harry." I turned away, then looked back over my shoulder. "But you already have, haven't you?” 6 likes
“Though I normally approve of plain speaking, as you know, I would suggest that as part of your good behavior, you refer to the king as 'his grace' or even simply 'the king' instead of 'that creature,' by the way.” 6 likes
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