Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
Publish Date: 2010
List Price: $13.33 (paperback)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses.
The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England.
Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.
The next book in the series of the "Cousins War" after the "The White Queen". Determination is an understatement in this book. Her possessed spirit about being led by the inspiration of Joan of Arc was almost a little much. Considering anyone that was as driven and possessed by her ambition would be considered a loony today. Throughout the book she seemed too naive and ignorant to really accomplish the goal to make her son king. It was her perceived place in society and knowing how to use that place to her advantage to create any opportunity for her son that even helped to remotely achieve their goal. The book doesn't really show that she is really a mindful plotter nor all that smart about it. To me, she seems to have been used by the men around her to support their own selfish goals which, in the end, achieves Margaret's goal to put her son on the thrown. However fragile the whole plan was and that it eventually unfolded to her ultimate goal is beyond me. I think it was all just luck in the end because plot after plot fails and hardly without trying does the plan work.They knew it was their last chance before they were banished forever. They being Henry Tudor and his Uncle Jasper.
Since this is my first introduction to Margaret Beaufort, I won't discount her too much for being naive and ignorant. I plan on reading more material on her to better understand what kind of person she was and if this book portrays an appropriate likeness of the real person. Just as in the "White Queen" and the Melusina references, the constant "vision" or need to have a "vision" is a little daunting. Was she really that consumed by her need to be a "visionary?"
This one sentence shows Margaret's constant attitude throughout her life. "If I could live in a nunnery in this time of imprisonment, at least I would have lived with holy women and not this collection of fools."