Hilari's Reviews > The Red Queen

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
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Mar 08, 12


This is my second Gregory novel, having read The Constant Princess last year. I enjoyed that book far more than this one. Margaret Beaufort is a tough woman and difficult to love.

Gregory establishes early on that Beaufort is just a tiny bit off her rocker. Topped off with a dose of dysfunctional family and a pre-pubescent marriage and it's not hard to see why she dropped her basket.

I found it interesting how, in light of just how close she was line to the throne and how pious she was, that she was still merely chattel; a piece of property used to leverage her family's standing in the royal lineage. There are definite points in the story where you pity her tenuous position.

As the mother to the king, Margaret seems to have been respected, even admired by some. She was a great benefactor to England and a steadfast supporter of her son. It stands to reason then, she couldn't have been all bad. She strikes me as a woman frustrated with her lot in life, powerless except for cunning. These facts seem incongruous with the scheming, murderous Margaret in the novel and left me a bit confused.

Still, I think Gregory supports most of her interpretations well and presents possibilities for the unsolved mysteries surrounding this royal conflict. Worth reading.

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