Richard Planatagent, Duke of York is one of the missing Princes in the Tower. After Richard of Gloucester’s bid for the throne, he imprissoned Edward, Prince of wales and Richard Duke of York. But after King Richard’s death, no one ever saw the to boys again.
Until 1497. A rumor that one of the Princes escaped the Tower and fled to the Continent, where he waited to regain what is rightful his: England’s crown.
Where ever he goes, he is treated as the lost prince and England’s rightful ruler. Even the duchess of Burgundy, Margaret of York believes the young man is Richard Plantagenet. Meanwhile in England, Henry VII rest uneasy on his throne. This boy who calls himself Duke of York is a thorn in his eyes and he must be removed. King James of Scotland sees in Richard a handy toy to ennoy Henry VII and offers his niece, the beautiful Catherine Gorden, in marriage. Richard and Catharine instantly fall in love.
When Richards lands in England to regain his birthright, the people flock to his banner, the white rose of York. He is the spitting image of his mother, the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Woodville with his golden curls and the people really believe the house of York has returned. With a small army on his heels, Richard is confident he will defeat the usurper Henry Tudor. But he underestimates Henry’s power and flees the campsight, even before the battle begins. But Richard gets caught. Defeated and alone, he is brought to Henry’s court to stand trial for treason. To make sure there is no uprising again, Henry also demands that Richard’s wife Catherine is brought to court.
Arrived at court, Catharine immediately catches Henry’s attention and he falls head over heals for her. Henry is so smitten with her, his greatest desire is to marry her. But with her husband in the Tower and her son taken away from her, Catharine has no mind to marry the reason of all her problems. When Henry decides to behead Richard on grounds of treason, Catherine is devastated. The only thing that’s keeping her alive, is the need to find her son, who Henry has put away. Alone is a strange country, with no friends or family, Catharine has to rely on her wits to survive.
The mystery of the missing princes in the Tower was never solved. There were several people who would benefit from their deaths, but no evidence was ever found. When Henry Tudor became Henry VII, rumours began to spread that one of the princes survived and still lived on the Continent. There were several pretenders and uprisings, the first pretender being Lambert Simnel. He was soon captured and deployed in the King’s kitchens. The second pretender, Perkin Warbeck proved much more difficult. He received support from several great kingdoms in Europa and Henry had a handful in proving he was a fake.
It’s the first time a read a book covering the legend of Perkin Warbeck and his wife Catherine Gorden. It was a nice, easy read but it just didn’t do it for me. The characters were a bit flat, especially Elizabeth of York. I did enjoy Cicely of York and her spicy temperament though. But what bothered me the most was the use of Scottish English. As a non-native speaker, this really slowed the story down for me, as I had to read some sentences again and again to fully understand them. Some will find it authentic, I found it annoying. But that’s just my opinion.