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Author: Philippa Gregory
"A riveting portrayal of a lesser known Tudor matriarch…"
In this novel Philippa Gregory follows the fortunes of Lady Margaret Pole and expertly explains how the lives of courtiers were inextricably linked with the policies of the ruling Tudor kings. As the surviving child of George of York and Isobel Neville and therefore a senior member of the Plantagenet family Lady Margaret Pole was deemed a sufficient rival to the throne that she was forced to marry a known Tudor supporter and become guardian to the young Prince of Wales and his bride Katherine of Aragon. Two tragic deaths plunge Margaret into poverty and she is faced with making incredibly difficult choices in order to look after her family. When Katherine becomes Queen Margaret's constant loyalty is rewarded and she and her family are placed prominently back in court life. The curse mentioned in the title will be known to readers of the 'White Queen' as that placed by Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter (Elizabeth of York - mother of Arthur and Henry VIII) on the killers of the York Princes in the Tower. The novel is quick paced and covers historical events which will be well- known to many readers. The perspective of how these affected Margaret and often forced her to divide her loyalities makes the novel fresh. Having recently read Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring up the Bodies' it was also interesting to read about the same events from a different point of view. The portrayal of a young, beautiful Katherine of Aragon who helped to influence a young Henry VIII in his early reign is a change from the usual emphasis on Katherine as the reluctantly divorced older wife.
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