The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
THE RED QUEEN
If you know me, then you’ll also know that I love Royal history… I really really do, and I do love reading Phillipa Gregory’s books, even when she sometimes don’t have her facts straight.
I read The White Queen last year and waited on the edge of my seat for The Red Queen. But alas when the copy arrived in South Africa it was a bit expensive and I had to wait. But when the ladies in my one book group said they wanted to do a buddy read, I had to get it, and I did.
The story is the other side of the cousin’s war. The White Queen told the story of Elizabeth Woodville who was widowed and then married the King. The Red Queen is all about Margaret Beaufort who believed that her son Henry Tudor would be the rightful King of England.
Of course, as we know, Henry (the son of Margaret) married Elizabeth York (the daughter of Elizabeth Woodville) and they were the parents of Henry VIII.
In my opinion, when you read the one, you should read the other.
Margaret might irritate you as the story goes along, but it’s such a great experience reading it from both perspectives.
Margaret writes how she marries at a very young age, gives birth to her son and believes she is the chosen one by God. She gets a pit pious at some points which really make you hate her, she thinks of herself as a messenger from God, like Joan of Arc. Yet as you read you realise how much she loves her son, how she yearned to be loved as a child and how she fought for her place in life. It makes you rather admire her a bit.
I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Margaret, I don’t really know much about her. I did like The White Queen, and I did like Elizabeth Woodville, so reading this book (and reading how Margaret openly slanders Elizabeth) made it a bit hard. She’s a jealous character but in a sense you can understand why.
The story is ultimately about how Henry VII came to the throne, (through the eyes of his mother). There are some utterly boring bits about the war, but all in all I did enjoy it.
If you love Royal history I would recommend you read both The White Queen and The Red Queen. And then go on and read some of Gregory’s other novels too.
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