Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #22 – Tudor Rose: The Story of the Queen Who United a Kingdom and Birthed a Dynasty by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Elizabeth of York was the oldest daughter of Edward IV, the last man standing after the War of the Roses, and Elizabeth Woodville, the woman he married in secret (which complicates things later). The book opens with a young Elizabeth playing with her younger brothers Richard and Edward; Edward becomes king after their father dies. Richard of Gloucester is regent, and takes the boys away from their family. He puts the boys in the Tower of London, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s where the incoming monarch would normally stay. The trouble is, the boys never left the Tower, and to this day, no one knows what happened to them.
Elizabeth and her family were also trapped, having run for sanctuary thanks to the quick thinking of Elizabeth Woodville. While they were in hiding, the marriage of Elizabeth and Edward IV was declared invalid, and the kids all declared bastards (something that came up later too); Richard was declared king.
After a while, the family left sanctuary and joined the court. It was rumoured that Richard wanted to marry her, but that didn’t happen. Henry Tudor signed a promise to marry her while he was in exile. She was also betrothed to a couple of other people. The poor girl was a total pawn in the game of thrones (sorry, had to do that). Henry invades, and defeats Richard at the Battle of Bosworth, becoming king Henry VII. He marries Elizabeth, and they have wee Harry 8.
I enjoy historical fiction, especially if it’s well-researched and doesn’t go too far off the rails. It’s clear that the author knows her Plantagenets and her Tudors, as well as her Lancastrians and everyone else. She was able to bring people who are hundreds of years distant from us to life, without making them too modern or anachronistic. I would recommend this book if (like me) you are into the whole British monarchy thing.