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Succession (Margaret Beaufort and Margaret of Anjou #1)

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  250 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Succession tells the extraordinary tale of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, and how she became one of the most formidable women of her age. 1444. Henry VI is married by proxy to Margaret of Anjou: an unpopular choice that causes national uproar. At the same time, the infant Margaret Beaufort is made a great heiress after her father, the Earl of Somerset's, death. Ev ...more
Hardcover, 347 pages
Published June 26th 2014 by Penguin Books
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``Laurie Henderson
Superior historical fiction and another talented new author I'm pleased to have discovered.

King Henry VI has suffered a mental collapse leaving his French Queen, Margaret of Anjou, to rule in his stead. The young, impetuous (and not very wise) Margaret is served by self seeking, untalented men who lead the country from one disaster to another. The populace has arisen demanding their removal but the extremely loyal Margaret refuses to punish them much less remove them from her council.

The compete
...more
Penny
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
This is a furious gallop through the earlier years of the Wars of the Roses. Henry VI is a weak leader - nothing like his father. He marries a French woman, Marguerite d'Anjou, and trades off lands for her. His soldiers then lose more lands in France and they come home angry at not being supplied or paid. Meanwhile the Duke of York Richard Neville and his wife Cecily are not impressed by Henry's bouts of madness and want to rule in his stead as they see the country plunging into mayhem. Margueri ...more
Jeanette
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some self-dispute in this rating. It's 3.5 star rounded up. Primarily rounded up because this is a fiction book that in large parts reads as non-fiction and has large quantity of insert. It's difficult and complex in the telling and includes pages of quotes and research of italicized sections before and after the fictional continuances of conversation or event description. Yet, there are sections narrated completely within the eyes and voices of the two Margarets. Margaret of Anjou and ...more
Karen
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I LOVE novels about the Wars of the Roses. So I was delighted when the publisher, Penguin, sent me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. And I am all for promoting Medieval-set fiction because I want to read more of it. So here goes.

Succession is about the early years of the Wars of the Roses and focuses on the lives of two women of the House of Lancaster, Margaret of Anjou and Margaret Beaufort. Both were married young, Margaret of Anjou to the gentle but weak King Henry VI and Ma
...more
Elia Princess of Starfall
description

The Wars of the Roses - the dynastic and political struggle for the throne of England in the 15th century between the rival houses of York and Lancaster - has been retold, re-imagined and re-shown a thousand and one times and beyond.

The success of the infamous Game of Thrones series and the books, A Song of Ice and Fire, has inspired countless copycats in both the book and TV world. Eager to exploit the worldwide enthusiasm and delight for medieval intrigue in all its pragmatic and vicious mani
...more
Theresa Tomlinson
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in the earlier period of the Wars of the Roses, SUCCESSION tells the stories of two of the most influential women of that time - Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI’s queen and Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII. My first reaction on finishing the book was a sense of enormous pleasure that at last I had gained a better understanding of this complex, but fascinating period. Once I’d started reading I found the book hard to put down.
Livi Michael’s prose is clear and unfussy; the chapters shor
...more
Shan
At first, I wasn't quite sure what to make of this novel. Why would a writer choose to quote extensively from the primary source material instead of describing battles, Parliament meetings, and executions herself? But as the book went on, I started to realize how brilliant this choice is. Though Livi Michael does occasionally follow a character through an event, she focuses her novel on the spaces between what was reported in the chronicles -- conversations, discussions, doubts, worries, decisio ...more
Andy
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hist-f-feudalism
3.75pts rounded up to 4 stars

First of all Thank you to Penguin Ireland for an advanced & free copy in return for a review, appreciated.

A lot of detailed & succinct reviews have been written already which i would fully endorse as it's a very good read. I have to say it wasn't quite what i expected (thought it would be too much about the women only) & was very pleasantry surprised & won-over by the style.

A tale of Two Margaret's - One a Queen, the other a mother to the heir apparen
...more
Kate
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
An intriguing take on the Wars of the Roses which uses contemporary chronicles to bring events to the page, especially those which focus on two young women: Henry VI's queen Margaret and the child-woman Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. The narrative technique isn't for everyone and so I would give this 3.5 stars.

Margaret
Didn't really enjoy this. I dislike books that change character perspective as often as this one did. Made it impossible for me to form any sort of rapport with the characters.
Caroline McPherson
Aug 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to love this!!!! Equally want chance to explain my rating. Parts were great. Loved how Margaret of Anjou was presented in a more sympathetic way. Loved the chronicles, reminded me of Karen Maitland. However, didn’t like some sections. By far for me, the most controversial part is Margaret Beaufort’s long chapter in Wales. I am very interested in Margaret and the Beauforts and have read many non fiction books, and yeah, I do agree this may be part of the problem. Loved “The Red Qu ...more
Katherine
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I felt this text was very interesting and loved the way the author cleverly wove primary sources pertaining to the War Of The Roses into the story in skillful and inventive ways. It was, without doubt, well written and fascinating.

However, I know the bulk of the text is essentially historical fiction and the author isn't claiming her interpretation to be true and it is totally fair enough for her to put her own spin on events, but certain aspects were not to my taste. I have always been very int
...more
Bookdragon Sean
The first half of the Wars of the Roses is covered in a remarkably fresh way, in this marvellous book that I couldn’t recommend more highly to historical fiction enthusiasts.

The novel centres on Margaret of Anjou and Margaret Beaufort. When I found this out, I was concerned that the plot may become confused because of the historical figures having the same first name and those unfamiliar with the history becoming lost. However, this is not the case; the distinction is clear and understandable t
...more
Emily Richards
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Succession is an illuminating chronicle of the Wars of the Roses, interweaving excerpts of documented writings with a sometimes thrilling, sometimes beautifully naïve narration that allows us to peer into the minds of royalty and aristocracy and further accentuates the brutal significance of their actions. The thirst for power and sovereignty, and the necessity for war and bloodshed, dominate this vivid account of England in her fifteenth century. The desire to fulfil the interpreted ‘will of Go ...more
Deborah Pickstone
I have to agree with the Sunday Times that this is a very clever narrative. It combines actual entries from the various Chronicles from the time with a fictional account of two different - but very important to the history - Margarets. Also true is that relatively little is known about them, especially Margaret Beaufort. Original approach and well executed. I will read more from this writer :)
Alix
Apr 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
To start with I loved this book and it would have been happy to give it 5 stars. However, I wanted to explain why I have ultimately given it such a low rating. Obviously, in historical fiction, writers can do what they want (and maybe I should just not read this genre) but did not like a very unusual interpretation of events that was put forward here.
Jasper Tudor, who Alison Weir refers to as “ a tower of strength” for Margaret Beaufort for many years is utterly maligned. I have never read a nov
...more
Maureen G
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karah
Feb 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Apologies in the delay posting this!! Got to be honest here – want to explain my low grade. Some parts of the book are innovative and really good: but I was very unsure about one of the long major sections - which does color my review. So, I want to explain why I have given such a promising book (that I had been looking forward for like ages, a low score.) My issue with it is that the interpretations of some characters from history are way too uncomplimentary (and this is an understatement.) Jas ...more
Liz Mcilroy
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Succession cleverly combines passages from contemporary 15th century chronicles with a fictional depiction of the book’s main characters, in particular Margaret of Anjou and Margaret Beaufort. These 2 very young women are completely focused on their sons’ interests even though, in the case of Margaret Beaufort, she has been forcibly separated from her infant son (who will eventually become Henry V11). The book portrays the women as rounded real people who have the capacity for great sensitivity ...more
Patty
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The battle between York and Lancaster is well trodden material for readers of historical fiction. Ms. Michael’s book purports to be about the two Margarets in the middle of the fray; Margaret of Anjou – Henry VI’s wife and Margaret Beaufort – mother to the eventual Henry VII. I would put the book at 3/4 Margaret of Anjou for in reality when writing about events taking place up just the crowning of Edward IV, Henry VII is hardly in play. Her manner of telling her story is somewhat unique from oth ...more
Louise
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was offered this by Penguin as an advance reading copy, so it is another one of those books that I came to with no prior knowledge. I gathered that it was historical fiction, based around the Wars of the Roses and from the caption on the front ("A bloody battle for the throne. And a young girl who will change English history") it seems to be being marketed as if it is in a similar vein to something like The Other Boleyn Girl. The trouble was, I didn't really like that book because I felt it wa ...more
Jo Barton
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The countrywide division during the War of the Roses has been well documented and yet there is such endless fascination between these two warring factions that every book written seems to take the reader on an entirely different journey. In Succession, the author has used considerable research to add new weight to the old argument and uses this book to focus; not just on the two women caught up in conflict, namely Margaret of Anjou and Margaret Beaufort, but also focuses on witness accounts from ...more
Claire Hill
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was very lucky to sent this lovely book from Penguin to review and I glad they did this is the first book I have read by this author and I was hooked from page one if you like the White Queen and the Game of Thrones then you love this book.
This book is based round the war of the roses and two strong female characters which make this story easy to read and fall into .
The first is Margaret of Aryou a French princess sent across the waters to marry Henry VI I really felt for this character being
...more
Penny Olson
A well-researched, well-written and highly readable historical novel about the tumultuous events leading up to the Wars of the Roses. Succession's primary points of view are those of Margaret of Anjou and Margaret Beaufort, although there are other character's points of view included. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the way in which the author tried to imagine what people were thinking and feeling almost 600 years ago. I enjoyed, as well, the historical accounts interspersed throughout t ...more
Ruth Bryant
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had this as a free copy from Penguin. I've read a number of other books about this period of history so already had some knowledge of what was going on but I did enjoy the addition of extracts from chronicles of the time which brought the story alive for me and set it in the context of the time it describes.
Sue
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant find. Just what I needed a new historical fiction writer who knows h o w to build a good story AND include references to the chronicles of the period. I am going out to get the next two in the trilogy Rebellion and Accession NOW. Just the antidote I needed to P Gregory's latest attempt. Highly recommend Succession.
April M
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War of the Roses

Found this a most satisfying read. I feel well versed in the reign of Edward IV but knew so little of his father. Sympathetic to Margaret Beaufort. Some chapters were so suspenseful.
D
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent plunge into 15th century England and the dynastic wars that tore the country to shreds, while focusing on two significant women. The style reminded me a lot of Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall'; and the list of key characters and family tree provided was absolutely necessary to follow all the characters. At first I thought this was a YA book as the chapters were very short, however, I grew to appreciate the author's use of few descriptors and economy of language as testament to her immens ...more
Sue Robinson
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
I'm finding this book very difficult to rate. The content is good and I quite like the way the author has added quotes from the contemporary reports at the end of the chapters, BUT, often I didn't know who was being written about in each short chapter. I'd need to fish around backwards and forwards to find out before I could carry on reading.
Jacqueline
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval-history
This book is similar to other books written about this period but where it differs is in its use of chronicles and commentaries written at the time. Each chapter ends with these snippets of insight. The writing is not as elegant as The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon K. Penman. She is still my go to author for medieval history.
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“She thought of all the words that went unspoken in the world, throughout time: what happened to them, where did they go? What would happen if they were all spoken? How different would the world be then?” 2 likes
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