A Rose for the Crown
This book takes a different view of the marriage of Richard III and Anne Neville than that to which I am accustomed. This marriage is usually portrayed as one of the great medieval love stories. In A Rose for the Crown, however, the match was made for political and financial reasons, with naught than a deep affection between them.
In this book, the love of Richard’s life is not Anne, but Kate Haute, the presumed mother of his two (maybe three) illegitimate children. A Rose for the Crown is the story of that love from Kate’s point of view.
My only problem with this book is that I’ve never understood the secrecy of the relationship. Historically, there was no stigma attached to being a royal mistress, or to the bearing of royal bastards. That a royal duke would hide such a relationship due to fear of his mother’s opprobrium just doesn’t ring true to me.
Otherwise, this is a wonderful, fascinating book that I highly recommend for lovers of medieval English history. Or for those with the simple love of a good story.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Daughter of York
I liked this book very much. This is one tangent that my imagination has never followed while reading various histories of the Wars of the Roses. Most such works view all Woodvilles in a negative light. In fact, this is the first book I have ever read that did not portray Elizabeth Woodville Grey as a complete cold stone bitch. That is one thing that has always struck me about that period. Whether from the view of York or that of Lancaster, Elizabeth was universally loathed.
I’ll admit that I’ve never given much thought to Margaret of York. For the most part, my focus has usually been on the fate of the Princes. Though the idea of a possible love between Margaret and Anthony seems rather unlikely to me, it is certainly an interesting avenue for exploration and fantasy.
Also, when I read of Perkin Warbeck, I usually think of him as one of Edward IV’s many illegitimate offspring. It never occurred to me to think of George of Clarence.
If you love English medieval history, then I urge you to read Daughter of York.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I loved both of these books, and am eagerly awaiting Ms. Smith’s next offering, The King’s Grace, which is due to be released (at the moment, anyway) in March of 2009.
Oh, and FYI, I think Margaret Beaufort is the one who had Edward V and his brother, Duke Richard of York, murdered. Whether her son, Henry VII, knew or not, I don’t know, but I’m thinking he probably did.