The Red Queen – Philippa Gregory

The Story

Margaret Beaufort is the sole heir of the immense Beaufort wealth. Because of her high status, Margaret is a pion in the marriage game. Since Margaret’s birth, she was betrothed to several grooms. But Margaret isn’t interested in finding a husband. Her dream is to become a non and devout her life to God. She believes it’s her destiny. She wants to be like Joan of Arc.

The Red Queen vertelt het verhaal van  Magaret Beaufort, de moeder van Henry VII en in sommige opzichten de moeder van de Tudor Dynastie

The Red Queen covers the life of Margaret Beaufort, the foundress of the Tudor Dynasty

 

But her mother has other plans for her. At the age of 12, Margaret marries Edmund Tudor, king Henry’s half brother. They move to Pembroke Castle in Wales and consummate their marriage immediately and Margaret find herself pregnant after just a couple of months. But these are troubled times, the war of the roses rages through England and Edmund has to fight on behave of his half brother, the king. After giving birth to a healthy boy Henry, Margaret hears the new her husband is death. At the age of 12, Margaret is a mother and a widow.

Again, Margarets find herself a high valued price on the marriage market and this times it’s Henry Stafford who snatches the bride. To bare her life, Margaret prays and prays prays. She wants to know what God has in store for her. One day, her prayers are answered and Margaret has a vision where she sees her son Henry as the first Tudor king of England. From that moment on, her main goal in life is to get her son on the throne. Everyone who doesn’t share her view, isn’t worth any of her attention. While the war of the Roses wages through England, the Wheel of Fortune brings Margaret and her family very low, only to rise to the very top.

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My Opinion

The Red Queen is the second book in the Cousins’ war series and covers the life of Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor Dynasty. Again, it’s a wonderful story of how the women plotted and schemed behind the curtains and were equally important in how the war of the Roses turned out.

I really liked this book. Gregroy is a very good writer who makes you like Margaret, although she’s a very unlikable character. In this novel, Margaret is portrayed as a very stubborn, pridful woman who wants to be more than just a duchess. She wants to be Margaret Regina and she will be Margaret Regina. As I said in my review of the White Queen, Gregory makes you understand the choices the lead characters make.

Some critics reproach Gregory that there are some historical faults such as wrong dates, but to my that’s not distracting. I’m not a historian and I do keep in mind it’s historical fiction. Sometimes it’s necessary for the story to change some dates or events. But I do understand why some people find it irritating.

So do read The Red Queen, it’s a lovely read about a woman who history has quite neglected.

J.

 

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Language: English
Dutch Translation: De Roos van Lancaster
Pages: 400
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
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