I’ve got one word for Sandra Worth’s new novel Pale Rose of England – PHENOMENAL! At times heartwarming and at others heart wrenching, this novel runsI’ve got one word for Sandra Worth’s new novel Pale Rose of England – PHENOMENAL! At times heartwarming and at others heart wrenching, this novel runs the gamut of emotions and magnificently details the lives of Catherine Gordon and the man whose identity was at the heart of one of the biggest controversies in England’s history.
Whether Perkin Warbeck was in fact the lost prince in the tower is a mystery which may never be solved. Worth’s belief that the man who returned to England in 1495 calling himself Richard Plantagenet was truly the one time heir to the English throne was quite convincing and it’s from this point of view that the novel is written.
Backed by his aunt Margaret, the Duchess of Burgundy and his uncle by marriage King James IV of Scotland, Richard sets out to England with his pregnant wife Catherine to claim his crown back from Henry Tudor. But the couple’s initial hopefulness is dimmed when the English people fail to rally to his cause and they finally realize that Richard’s youth and inexperience are no match to the merciless and tough as nails Henry VII. Ultimately, both Richard and Catherine become prisoners of Henry’s, where they are subjected to humiliation and degradation at court, culminating to a horrendous ending for Richard.
Despite all the fighting and drama, at the heart of Pale Rose of England is love. The love shared between Catherine and Richard was legendary and as the reader you can feel all the genuineness and devotion reverberating off the page. In fact, the one sentence that has been attributed to Catherine Gordon was her refusal to accept a gift and proposal from Henry VII (whom had fallen in love with her), stating “It is the man, and not the king, I love.” Catherine’s courage and resilience regardless of the circumstances set before her was inspiring, her belief in her husband was unwavering and her love for him unfaltering. This was truly one of the most touching and beautiful novels I have read to date! My only advice…keep some Kleenex handy!
If you’re like me you’ll want to know more about the Perkin Warbeck story and Worth has recommended both Ann Roe’s book The Perfect Prince and Mary Shelley’s The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck: A Romance.
Favorite Quote: “Love is worth everything we have to pay.” ...more
Much of my readings on the War of the Roses have been from the Yorkist point of view, painting the matriarch of the Lancaster faction, Margaret of AnjMuch of my readings on the War of the Roses have been from the Yorkist point of view, painting the matriarch of the Lancaster faction, Margaret of Anjou, as the devil incarnate, a she-wolf capable of devouring small (preferable Yorkist) children. So, when I saw that Susan Higginbotham was coming out with a novel on Margaret, I knew this would be my opportunity to read about the real woman behind the myth.
Born to Queen Rene and Queen Isabelle of Anjou, Margaret was betrothed to King Henry at age 14 as a way to bring peace to the conflict between England and France. Though it was a union bred by politics, Henry and Margaret would grow to love each other and when Henry’s intermittent fragile mental state threatens his crown, it’s Margaret who fights the hardest to keep it. She’s not one to sit idly back and watch the throne that belongs to her son Edward be snatched up by the Yorkists, she’ll fight like her mother and grandmother before her. And don’t we all know that any woman bold enough to stand up to the world of man is instantly labeled a bitch, or in the case of the 15th century – a she-wolf!
But Margaret was so much more and I really enjoyed getting to know her. Her strength and tenacity when affronted with adversity, and with an entire country against her, was inspiring and I will forever look at her in a different light.
In The Queen of Last Hopes Higginbotham successfully gives a voice to one of the most maligned women in history and in usual fashion, with spot-on historical accuracy and skillful writing, it’s one you won’t want to miss! ...more