Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory - Book Review

I just finished reading The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory. This book is so much better than the first book in the series, The White Queen.

The book is about the life of Margaret Beaufort before her son becomes king of England. Margaret is portrayed wonderfully as this over zealous religious fanatic. Again the author is tediously in sync with having the correct dates of everything surrounding Margaret's life. So even though this book is a novel, the history surrounding it is impeccable.

A little on Margaret. She was the mother of Henry VII and the grandmother of the notorious Henry VIII. She was married 4 times. Her first marriage was before the age of twelve and some say that that marriage doesn't really count. She herself, consideres herself to have been married only 3 times. Either way her 2nd marriage was to Edmund Tudor. She was 12 years old. Her husband died when she was 7 months pregnant. Obviously she had an extremely difficult birth being so young and so small. She had no other children. She was known to be deeply pious and a fervent Catholic (the only "Christian" religion at the time). She was a very proactice conspirator of the War of the Roses. She relunctantly had her son marry Elizabeth of York and was known as the mother-in-law from hell. She often signed her name Margaret R. The "R" standing for either regina (latin for queen) or Richmond (which was her estate's name). Most historians believe it meant regina. She officially wasn't a queen though. Her daughter-in-law was. She died two months after her son.

If any of this very short introduction interests you, reading this book will spike that interest even more.

I truly hope Ms. Gregory writes another book to tell us more on the lives of this woman after the crowning of her son.

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