The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Red Queen follows 12 year old Margaret Beaufort in her journey to marry well and produce a male heir to carry the Lancaster Royal Lineage. Despite being heavily religious Margaret’s family push her into an advantage marriage into the Tudor family and in time her dedication to God is turned to her little boy Henry who she is determined to see him crowned King of England.
After her husband dies, Henry is left to be brought up by his Uncle Jasper while Margaret is married off in another advantageous match for Henry’s cause. Her life is dedicated to planning her next move, spying on her enemies and plotting with her friends. The question is, how far is she prepared to go?
The story spans roughly the same period of the first novel in the cousin war’s series so the same events are chronicled as The White Queen but from Margaret’s point of view. Even though Margaret and Elizabeth are similarly ambitious and strong women, Margaret seems to be on a different level with her brutality which makes it difficult to warm to her.
Although, as a modern reader you don’t feel much sympathy for Margaret, you can appreciate the turmoil and destruction that was being caused in the struggle for the crown. A fascinating read of for those who love historic fiction but I think many will prefer the loving White Queen, Elizabeth to the calculating Lancastrian Margaret.