The Red Queen

The Red Queen

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) Philippa Gregory

List price $25.99

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  • Publisher: Touchstone Books
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 241mm x 33mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 3 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1416563725
  • ISBN 13: 9781416563723
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 153,743

Product description

The inspiration for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries "The White Queen," #1 "New York Times" bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings to life Margaret Beaufort, heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, who charts her way through treacherous alliances to take control of the English throne. Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her Lancaster house is the true ruler of England, and that she has a great destiny before her. Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York's daughter. As the political tides constantly move and shift, Margaret masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of all time--all the while knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and awaits his opportunity to win the greatest prize in all of England. "The Red Queen "is a novel of conspiracy, passion, and coldhearted ambition, the story of a proud and determined woman who believes that she alone is destined, by her piety and lineage, to shape the course of history.

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Customer reviews

By Lydia Presley 02 Oct 2010 4

In Philippa Gregory's The White Queen, we are introduced to Elizabeth Woodville - and as I read the book I grew hugely sympathetic to her. While I didn't find the story as easy of a read as some of Gregory's other novels, my interest was still captured by this seemingly "common" woman who became queen, bore child after child and lived through so much tragedy.

Enter now The Red Queen and Margaret Beaufort. Everything Elizabeth was, Margaret was not. Kind, compassionate, loving - none of these things, but who could blame her, honestly? She was married away for the first time at age 12 despite expressing a desire to join the church. She was forced to bear a child at the tender age of 13 and lived through a horrific birth to do so. Then..married away again after the death of her first husband, she was forced to leave her son behind. This was the life of a woman in these days and it's no wonder that Margaret turned to a female as her inspiration - specifically Joan of Arc.

Throughout this book I tried to sympathize with her, and I think I did so when she was younger. But as she aged, as she matured, she became this horrible, bitter person and all I felt was a growing disgust at what I was reading. Just when I'd go to put the book down, feeling the urge to wash my hands or.. something cleansing, I'd ask myself: What would I have done?

After all, this is a woman who's son was denied his birthright, who lived through husband after husband, was denied what she desired most and spent her entire life in a world of intrigue, betrayal and pain.

Like The White Queen, this book isn't as easy to read as Gregory's other novels, but it's stuffed full of information on battles, on betrayals and on the politics between the two battling families, the Yorks and the Lancasters.

By blodeuedd 19 Aug 2010 4

First, I seriously disliked this woman, That Beaufort woman as I called her in my head. Secondly, this was another great story by Gregory. She sure has an easy way of writing.

Margaret is pious, and as a child she is thrilled to have Saint's knees from kneeling so much. She wants to be like Joan of Arc, and lead her country to victory, she wants to be a nun and go to a convent. And she believes god put her on this earth to be queen. If anyone is hungry for power it is her. She longs to sign her name as Margaret R, for Regina, that is queen. How this goes together for her dream of becoming a nun I do not know. She is a power hungry woman who will kill children if they stand in her way.

Even though I liked the book this was my problem. Her faith, she saw it that God wanted a Lancaster on the throne, she saw fault in all the Yorks cos of this. She saw fault in her own husband when he didn't want to fight for Lancaster and she called him a coward. Even though her beloved Jasper Tudor fled the country like a coward and left her and his nephew behind. But he was never a coward. She was cold, and I finished this book by a disliking her..a lot!

That being said, this was a good novel. The pages just flew by cos Gregory has this easy way of writing. Things move along (most of the time), and no concern for any dry facts. It's light fiction, and after reading The White Queen is was interesting to see the war of the roses from the Lancaster side.

And now to make my point clear, I may be over 500 years too late, but I do believe I find myself to be a Yorkist, lol. And to my horror, I doesn't dislike Richard III any more, he was barely in this book and still, yes I am a Yorkist. I even made my mind up as to who killed the princes in the tower.

This book had some good side characters, I liked Henry Stafford, her 2nd husband, but felt so sorry for him for being hazzled by her. Jasper Tudor, I want to read a book about him, and last Lord Stanley who she met her match in. He followed his path, and that was the winning path.


Final thoughts: I guess I am looking forward to Elizabeth of York's story

Review quote

"Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel ... Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction....Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history ... come alive for readers."