Cheryl's Reviews > The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou

The Queen of Last Hopes by Susan Higginbotham
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's review
Apr 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle-edition
Read from April 17 to 24, 2011

We're all (okay may not all ... but many of us) are used to reading much history and historical fiction from the Yorkist point of view. So, it is hugely refreshing to hear from the Lancastrians and much overdue I must say! The fact that this point of view is largely from the female perspective is fascinating and also wonderful. So many people are maligned during this period leading up to and after the War of the Roses that it's a bit difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. And it has always seemed so very odd to me how much historical credibility is given to Shakespeare, when (a) he wasn't a contemporary and (b) he was a playwright -- not an historian - so like historical novelists should have been given a wider berth in the area of truth-telling, I'm just sayin'. But that's a whole other argument. In Queen of Last Hopes, Susan Higginbotham portrays the much-maligned, Margaret of Anjou, in a very different light. As the wife of Henry VI she played a pretty traditional role until Richard Plantagenet, the 3rd Duke of York threatens the crown. Then, like any good mother, protecting her family, she reaches out beyond convention to fight the House of York for the monarchy. Her portrayal is so very lifelike and multi-faceted. She's a dutiful daughter, traditional wife and unconventional, she's pliable and stubborn, she's sometimes brilliant and sometimes pretty naive, she's lovable and a bitch. In fact, the portrayal of all of the characters is, in many ways very understated, making them all the more believable.

This is a great read and a great history lesson told from a point of view often ignored.


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