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The Red Queen PDF, ePub eBook 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 h 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 to 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.

30 review for The Red Queen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    After finishing this, the only real things I feel I have to say are that I HATE Margaret Beaufort and had many a moment while reading where I was hoping beyond hope that Elizabeth Woodville or some other such person would show up and strangle her to death with the rosary she's always fondling. Honestly, I cannot imagine how anyone could come to like Margaret while reading this novel. She is every negative stereotype about religious people all wrapped up in one and served with massive sides of se After finishing this, the only real things I feel I have to say are that I HATE Margaret Beaufort and had many a moment while reading where I was hoping beyond hope that Elizabeth Woodville or some other such person would show up and strangle her to death with the rosary she's always fondling. Honestly, I cannot imagine how anyone could come to like Margaret while reading this novel. She is every negative stereotype about religious people all wrapped up in one and served with massive sides of self-importance and hypocrisy. To be fair, however, I went into this book with a rather biased opinion. After reading "The White Queen" I (like so many other people according to Margaret's constant complaining) was enraptured with Elizabeth Woodville, her speculated witchcraft, her relationship with King Edward and so on. To go from reading about a woman like that to reading about a dowdy, self-righteous, self-important "Bible thumper" was, as I figured it would be, a let down. I am glad that this book was only 377 pages and that I did not have to pay full price for it. I think I would have screamed if I'd had to read about Joan of Arc or how everything Margaret did was "God's will" for yet another 100 pages or more. Reading this novel was like reading a hidden diary of one of the crazy religious people you hear about today (Fred Phelps, for example.) If this is truly an accurate depiction of what she was like when she was alive I am not surprised by the fact that her grandson became a womanizing glutton who went crazy from syphilis. If only someone had cut HER head off instead. The only bright side I can see to her existence (if she were truly like this) is that she was great-grandmother to Elizabeth I, who is pretty awesome (yet also annoying in Gregory's novels.) I would recommend this book to any religious extremist (since I think it would be amusing for them to hear what they sound like to the rest of us) or anyone who, like me, is just a Philippa fan and wants to finish the series. ***UPDATE*** I know I originally gave this book two stars but while going through my virtual shelf today I saw this and was immediately reminded of my intense dislike of this novel so I just had to take one off. Ugh...seriously, it sucked.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    First, despite its title, The Red Queen is not about Margaret of Anjou, but about Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII. (For some reason, no one in the novel ever addresses Margaret as the Countess of Richmond, though records from the time refer to her as such, and she herself seems to be unaware that she holds that title through her first marriage to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond. I found this odd, because Margaret as depicted here is not a woman to forget the fact that First, despite its title, The Red Queen is not about Margaret of Anjou, but about Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII. (For some reason, no one in the novel ever addresses Margaret as the Countess of Richmond, though records from the time refer to her as such, and she herself seems to be unaware that she holds that title through her first marriage to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond. I found this odd, because Margaret as depicted here is not a woman to forget the fact that she has a title.) Margaret, as those of you who have read the early reviews know, is convinced from early childhood that she is chosen by God to do great things, just like Joan of Arc. When she bears her only child, Henry Tudor, she becomes equally convinced that her God-granted destiny is to put her son on the throne. For those who do not share her conviction--which amounts to just about everyone--Margaret has nothing but scorn. First, the bad news: there are some odd historical errors here. Gregory pushes the 1469 Battle of Edgecote into 1470, making it the event that restores Henry VI to the throne, and she has Elizabeth Woodville give up the Duke of York before, instead of after, Hastings is executed. (I suppose Gregory might have been following the theory that Hastings was executed on June 20 instead of June 13, but that theory has been discredited for some time.) These chronological errors don't make much difference in the greater scheme of things, but they will distract and annoy anyone who's done more than cursory research into this period. I also found it highly unlikely that Margaret and the other characters would repeatedly exchange letters detailing their treasonous thoughts and schemes, as they do here; they might as well have drawn lines on their necks reading "CUT HERE." Despite those reservations, I did enjoy this novel. Telling a first-person story through an essentially unlikable narrator is a tough job, and Gregory does it very well here. Margaret's snide remarks about the other characters made me laugh out loud at several points, one of my favorites being her comment about Katherine Woodville: "a girl born and bred only to raise hens in Northampton." There are some rather droll moments, such as when the widowed Margaret canvasses her possible future husbands and sets her cap at Richard, Duke of Gloucester, only to find that the unsuspecting prospective groom has foiled her plans by marrying Anne Neville. Despite being seen through the eyes of the obtuse and insensitive Margaret, several of the supporting characters are quite sympathetic, particularly Henry Stafford, Margaret's sardonic, war-weary second husband, and Jasper Tudor, Margaret's loyal brother-in-law. Henry Stafford's death was quite moving, and Jasper's scenes with his baby nephew were quite sweet. Margaret's cynical, opportunistic third husband, Thomas Stanley, is the perfect foil for Margaret, without being a cardboard villain. He did much to keep the latter third of the novel, which recounts the very familiar events of 1483 to 1485, moving along at a brisk pace. Elizabeth of York makes a brief appearance, but one that's long enough to inform the reader that she is no fool. As for Margaret herself, although I don't share Gregory's view of the historical Margaret Beaufort, I didn't find her characterization here implausible, grossly unfair, or one-dimensional, as I have in some novels where Margaret is depicted as a fiend who does everything but cackle, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" All in all, I found this a diverting and enjoyable read about a woman who's been relatively neglected in historical fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James

    Blood Red! Who was she? Another strong contender in this series. I am really excited with the different characters and the connections across the books. Margaret is a fascinating historical figure... and the little pieces we got to know about her in the first book in this series held her up to one light and standard. But now in this book, dedicated to her, it's a whole different thought process. And she was the mother of a king. How could she sit on the side for 20 years and just wait for it to Blood Red! Who was she? Another strong contender in this series. I am really excited with the different characters and the connections across the books. Margaret is a fascinating historical figure... and the little pieces we got to know about her in the first book in this series held her up to one light and standard. But now in this book, dedicated to her, it's a whole different thought process. And she was the mother of a king. How could she sit on the side for 20 years and just wait for it to happen? Patience! What a wonderful women full of so many facets of good and perhaps a little bit of evil, in my opinion. Too many lines change over the course of her history, yet she always rises to the top. And to think she was a widow before most girls even go to high school these days. This is a strong and powerful story. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    Margaret Beaufort is deeply pious, and she has spent many years paying for the return of the house of Lancaster. She is a devout Catholic; thus, she is convinced that God is on her side; therefore, it is God’s will that her son, Henry Tudor, will be the next king of England. This is her life’s work. She has no other reason to live other than honouring her God and ensuring her son’s ascension. So, she isn’t the most likable of protagonists. An unshakable faith in victory She is characterised ver Margaret Beaufort is deeply pious, and she has spent many years paying for the return of the house of Lancaster. She is a devout Catholic; thus, she is convinced that God is on her side; therefore, it is God’s will that her son, Henry Tudor, will be the next king of England. This is her life’s work. She has no other reason to live other than honouring her God and ensuring her son’s ascension. So, she isn’t the most likable of protagonists. An unshakable faith in victory She is characterised very well and written superbly. However, her narrative is somewhat unsympathetic and joyless. The character is simply who she is. This makes reading her story a little taxing and little frustrating. She just has no doubts that Henry will be King; she cannot consider for a moment that the house of York will triumph. This, to me, doesn’t seem like a very pragmatic approach to the war; her faith has blinded her. The house of Lancaster/Tudor could quite easily have fallen at Bosworth instead of York. It rested on one man’s decision: he could have changed the face of England had he ridden down a different King. Margret Beaufort is a horrible protagonist; she is religiously obsessed, cold and just plain mean; her devout nature did effect my enjoyment of this novel. Though, in the Red Queen’s defence, she was right about one thing: Margaret is, ultimately, right in her conviction, but her unwavering faith that she, and her son, would be victorious was a little too much. They could have lost. Perhaps it’s inferred that she has more schemes the reader isn’t fully aware of. Perhaps she had planned something else to sever the White Rose forever. It just seemed like there was a fifty percent chance of her victory, so perhaps she knew something the reader did not. The way the author has written it is that the victory could have gone either way, so, at the route of things, Margret’s faith in herself felt a little forced. Unless she had something hidden up her sleeve, I guess we’ll never fully know. Did she do it? I love the way Gregory plants just enough evidence to point the finger at almost every major character regarding the princes in the tower. She leaves the whole affair open to reader interpretation, but without providing enough evidence to flat out accuse someone. I think this part of the series has been devised very well, and kept me drawing my own conclusions. Personally, I think it’s the Tudors that killed the York boys, they had the most to gain: they had the strongest motive. What did Richard have to gain? Only less heirs and hatred, it seems like a poor reason to murder. I much preferred The White Queen to this novel. Perhaps it’s because I secretly pin the White rose of York to y doublet or perhaps it’s because I think Margaret is a self-righteous idiot. I just didn’t want to see the Tudors win in this series. This issue may just reside with the author’s characterisation of them. The Yorkist’s just came across as more worthy and the Tudors as cold and calculated. It may be because I’m a supporter of the house of York, so, naturally, I find their enemies to be nasty people, but at points I just wanted to see Elizabeth Woodville give the crone a good slap! Well, either way, the narrative was uncomfortable in places because of Margret’s personality. This doesn’t make this a badly written book, quite the contrary, but it did make it less enjoyable. The Cousin's War Series 1. The White Queen- A strong four stars 2. The Red Queen- A fair three stars 3. The Lady of the Rivers- A Margretless four stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Now is the Spring of this woman's discontent... Cause, I mean, talk about bitter! In Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen the prominent historical figure from the War of the Roses period and eventual mother of King Henry VII, Margaret Beaufort is portrayed as one who felt God had destined her for a higher calling, of which she was robbed, and for which she was forever after embittered. The story follows Margaret from when she was a little girl daydreaming about becoming the next Joan of Arc, an Englis Now is the Spring of this woman's discontent... Cause, I mean, talk about bitter! In Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen the prominent historical figure from the War of the Roses period and eventual mother of King Henry VII, Margaret Beaufort is portrayed as one who felt God had destined her for a higher calling, of which she was robbed, and for which she was forever after embittered. The story follows Margaret from when she was a little girl daydreaming about becoming the next Joan of Arc, an English version of the virginal saint. Historical fiction writer and avid researcher Gregory gives us a probable glimpse into what it might have been like to be a very young, very highly placed lady within the court of England during the 15th Century. A very young lady who is contracted to marriage before she can speak, who is married off by the age of 12 to a man twice her age and who is made to give birth - preferably to a male heir - by the tender age of 13, there is no place in such a girl's life for dreams of Joan of Arc. While the crux of the story hinges upon the trials of Margaret, it is the War of the Roses, fought between the Houses of Lancaster and of York that moves the action forward in this tale. Without the war, the narrative would bog down into a long-winded list of Margaret's complaints. At times they take a tiresome turn nonetheless. However, Gregory does do an excellent job of building characters, whether it be the complex Margaret or the light but exacting hand with which the author draws up more two dimensional players. I say "players" because while reading this, one can't help but think of the Shakespeare play King Richard III, being that Richard - that son/sun of York - is such an important figure in this tale. You may remember Richard is not portrayed kindly in the play. In fact, because of that play he is often lumped in with some of the more reviled historical figures ever to soil the Earth. In The Red Queen Richard is given somewhat of a reprieve. Don't get me wrong, you'll still be rooting against him, however, Gregory removes some of the heavy load of pure evil that Shakespeare dumped upon his poor, humped back. Speaking of dual natures, Margaret herself is not always seen in the best of lights. As a story's heroine, there are times where she is hardly likable. Kudos to Gregory for maintaining character, and thus story, integrity. Tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may! Sometimes that makes for the best fiction, and The Red Queen, as a historical fiction, definitely ranks right up there! Rating: 4.5 stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Iset

    I was surprised, but I actually ended up liking this novel a shade better than "The White Queen". There's much less of the Melusina magic, which I really felt was used too much as a deus ex machina in "The White Queen". The relationship with Jasper Tudor, although completely fictional, was intriguing and even more so because I knew it could never truly be realised. The one-liners here and there. I actually liked Margaret's steadfastness and singlemindedness, and whilst her ruthlessness is shocki I was surprised, but I actually ended up liking this novel a shade better than "The White Queen". There's much less of the Melusina magic, which I really felt was used too much as a deus ex machina in "The White Queen". The relationship with Jasper Tudor, although completely fictional, was intriguing and even more so because I knew it could never truly be realised. The one-liners here and there. I actually liked Margaret's steadfastness and singlemindedness, and whilst her ruthlessness is shocking to modern sensibilities at the same time I didn't feel like it was out of place in the brutal Medieval world in which Margaret moved. At points, Margaret is downright mean, however whilst I didn't like her mean actions I could still understand what drove her to them, the pride and jealousy that she harbours. That said, the book had its problems. One problem was the sheer repetition. This seems to be a consistent problem throughout many of Gregory's books – Elizabeth Woodville has her legend of Melusina, Mary Queen of Scots has her "I am three times a queen", Catherine Howard has her "Let me see, what do I have now"... Margaret Beaufort has an obsession with Joan of Arc. Gregory seems to lack the necessary skill to create a character’s personality through subtle means, through showing instead of telling, because she seems to hit upon one phrase or theme to associate with a character and then repeats it over and over again throughout the novel. Margaret Beaufort was a pious woman, we know this from history. Gregory feels the inexplicable need to demonstrate this by giving her character an obsession with Joan of Arc, and then repeatedly drumming this into us throughout the book. However, her readers aren’t stupid and don’t have the attention span of a goldfish – yes, we got it the first time, she likes Joan of Arc because she’s so pious, we understand this – and such interminable repetition gets extremely old extremely fast. Give your readers a little credit and stop repeating things like this. It makes the story drag for us as readers, and it makes you come off like an incompetent writer because you’re telling, not showing. Moreover, the Joan of Arc stuff isn't the only repetition you'll encounter in the book. Characters who should be on close terms with one another call each by full name and title, just in case we've forgotten who they are for the past 100 pages or so. Occasionally some spelling and grammatical errors have crept in - which wouldn't be worth mentioning except they unfortunately change the meaning of the whole sentence - and here and there I stumbled across some strange sentences which just sounded clunky and poorly constructed, though this is not the first time I've noticed this in Philippa Gregory's works. The novel is written in first person from Margaret Beaufort’s point of view, which can also be a problem at times, as it was in "The White Queen". Since many of the battles occur outside of Margaret’s experience, Philippa Gregory is rather stuck, unless she wants to write a string of messenger scenes, which would be authentic but fairly dull for us as readers and mean that we would have no action whatsoever throughout the novel. Instead, Gregory switches out to third person omniscient perspective for a single scene here and there whenever she needs to write a battle, returning to Margaret’s first person POV again afterwards. This feels really awkward, since we’re meant to be following Margaret’s story here. I felt like Gregory should have chosen a perspective and stuck with it all the way through. Personally I think third person works best for historical fiction, since it covers so many events that one person alone is rarely present at for all. If she wanted to do first person in order to give us an intimate portrait of Margaret, fine, her decision, but stick with it – otherwise we can’t really get a true insight into Margaret unless we’re with her all of the way, experiencing what she experiences and missing out on the battles she misses, waiting at home like her with nervous anxiety and waiting for news of the battle’s outcome. However, probably my biggest gripe with this book was the fact that Gregory never comes to grips with the real meat of the history. This is actually a complaint about all of her books as this is another feature which plagues her writing consistently. The historical events feel glossed over with a broad brush and largely trivialised, reduced to a ten person cast and all the social complexity of who is friends with whom, ignoring the wider picture and the larger issues behind conflicts. Many of the momentous events which make up the most exciting happenings of whichever period Gregory is writing about are related in past tense and they occur offstage, and we are told about them in a sentence or two. This is a huge let down as a reader, as these moments are the turning points of their day, exciting events of truly huge significance. Instead of writing these moments out as actual scenes, happening live and unfolding before our eyes as we read with baited breath, utterly engrossed, Gregory tells instead of shows and plops down a summary of what happened, which we don’t get to see, and uses it as exposition to move the plot forwards to the next scene. To illustrate this, I’ve provided a couple of examples from this book. This first example comes from page 182 of the edition I read (no spoilers, this is known historical fact): "Amazingly, Edward gets to London without a single obstacle in his path, the gates are thrown open for him by the adoring citizens, and he is reunited with his wife, as if he had never been chased from his own land, running for his life." Above, Gregory, using Margaret as a narrator, describes the return of Edward IV from a rebellion which forced him into exile from England and was probably the darkest and most uncertain period of Edward’s reign. Yet, Gregory summarises them in a single sentence which glosses over all this, and worse it all occurs offstage and we never get to see any of these thrilling events! Again, if she’s going to stick with Margaret as a first person narrator, she is in some difficulty in conveying these events, certainly, which is why I think third person is better for historical fiction, but the very least she could have done was let these events play out "live" through Margaret’s eyes from afar. This isn’t just a one off example either. The following quote comes from page 255 of the edition I was reading: "News comes in snippets from the outside world, carried by housemaids as gossip from the market. Richard declares that the marriage between the queen, Elizabeth Woodville, and King Edward was never valid as Edward was pre-contracted to another lady before he married Elizabeth in secret. He declares all their children bastards and himself as the only York heir. The craven Privy Council, who observe Hastings’ headless body being laid to rest beside the king he loved, do nothing to defend their queen and their princes, but there is a general hasty and unanimous agreement that there is only one heir, and it is Richard." Richard’s seizing of the throne is covered in three sentences, again conveyed in past tense as an event which happened offstage. This is the seizure of the throne we’re talking about, this should be one of the highlights of the novel and you should be able to squeeze multiple scenes and pages out of this, all jam packed with tension and excitement. What do we get? Nada. Nothing. A summary that greatly simplifies and glosses over events. The biggest disappointment of all is the Battle of Bosworth Field. Here Gregory finally has to bite the bullet and write it in real time in order to give her story some sort of climax... but it’s covered in under five pages – of pretty large font and double spaced at that – and the whole thing feels quite trivial and basic. I didn’t get the sense of the epic scope of what was going on, and the scene for me failed to conjure or evoke any sort of atmosphere or ambience, and finally the tactical manoeuvrings just weren’t described very well and came off as all too simplistic and easy. After it was over I couldn’t quite believe that Gregory had written such a dull, lifeless, lacklustre retelling of the Battle of Bosworth Field, so much so that I felt compelled to immediately pick up my copy of Sharon Penman's "The Sunne in Splendour" and turn to its account of the battle, just to confirm in my mind that it was actually possible to write a better retelling of it than this. What I felt was overwhelmingly disappointment that such a great historical moment, on which virtually everything hinged for the two opposing leaders, could be so thoroughly screwed up. How can you screw up writing the Battle of Bosworth Field? It’s got all the tension and excitement you could ever hope to ask for in an historical event! I so wanted to give this book 3 stars out of 5, as there were a number of things about it which I did like and enjoy, but I have to concede that the number of problems outweighs the good points, meaning I can't in all honesty give it more than 2 stars... but just barely. If there was an option to award half stars I might well be using it right now. Even though I so wanted this novel to be better than it was, let's face it, in the end this is lightweight historical fiction, this is the Wars of the Roses Lite.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I have no idea if Margaret Beaufort was as she is depicted by Gregory, but her fictional alter ego is the most unlikeable person that I have come across in a novel in years. The first-person narrative gave little escape from this fanatical and self-absorbed woman. Henry Tudor's ascension to the throne as Henry VII is a a fascinating and unlikely story, but neither mother, the true believer in his destiny despite its apparent impossibility, nor Henry VII (whom I am more familiar with historically I have no idea if Margaret Beaufort was as she is depicted by Gregory, but her fictional alter ego is the most unlikeable person that I have come across in a novel in years. The first-person narrative gave little escape from this fanatical and self-absorbed woman. Henry Tudor's ascension to the throne as Henry VII is a a fascinating and unlikely story, but neither mother, the true believer in his destiny despite its apparent impossibility, nor Henry VII (whom I am more familiar with historically) are going to win any warmth of personality awards. Margaret Beaufort had a rough life in many ways, and maybe her single-minded devotion to see her son, a virtual stranger, on the English throne as the last of the Lancasters is admirable at times, but neither of these characters have personalities that make for good company page after page after page, and Gregory does little but give a superficial understanding of who they were or why Jasper Tudor or anyone else would love Margaret. I found the character studies limited with no reward for my perseverance in finishing the novel.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    When I read the reviews and everyone hated this book, I had to read it. As it turns out, everyone hates the heroine, but I didn't. I felt sorry for her, and I had to laugh at her self-absorption and self-vindication, but this is a girl raised to believe that blood lines matter, and that her only possible contribution is as a brood mare. She is married twice with no say in the matter; her last marriage she negotiates for herself. I appreciate this book. I appreciate the hard work and research Greg When I read the reviews and everyone hated this book, I had to read it. As it turns out, everyone hates the heroine, but I didn't. I felt sorry for her, and I had to laugh at her self-absorption and self-vindication, but this is a girl raised to believe that blood lines matter, and that her only possible contribution is as a brood mare. She is married twice with no say in the matter; her last marriage she negotiates for herself. I appreciate this book. I appreciate the hard work and research Gregory had to put into writing it as accurately as possible. I appreciate the thought she had to put into it figuring out what her motivations might have been, and making them plausible. There were times Gregory had me laughing - this woman prays for everything, but also interprets God's will always with an eye to her advancement, and the kingship of her son. This is a very complicated time in English history, the Cousins Wars, sometimes called the War of Roses. Kings weren't kings for very long, and sometimes they were king and then not and then king again. It would be a terrible time to be a noble, who do you support? Especially when the penalty for choosing wrong can mean loss of your head, not to mention all your hereditary titles and lands? This is a book about the exercise of power, and the exercise of power from a position of powerlessness. Gregory lays out the problems women have at this time. Few educate women beyond religious works and embroidery skills. Not that many people can read, so why waste the skill on a woman? And once you give a woman a little book-learning, why maybe she will get ideas beyond her station, know what I mean? Oh aarrgh! All three books in the Cousin's War series weave together, and should be read in close succession. The Lady of the Rivers and The White Queen feature more likable women, but all deal with women and power and the risks they take exercising that power. While Jaquetta and Elizabeth are beautiful, golden and charming, Margaret is persistent and adaptable, and she prevails. I don't like her, but I like this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3), Philippa Gregory The Red Queen is a 2010 historical novel by Philippa Gregory, the second of her series The Cousins' War. It is the story of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII of England. The 2013 BBC One television series The White Queen is a 10-part adaptation of Gregory's novels The White Queen (2009), The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter (2012), and features Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: پنجم ماه آگوست سال The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3), Philippa Gregory The Red Queen is a 2010 historical novel by Philippa Gregory, the second of her series The Cousins' War. It is the story of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII of England. The 2013 BBC One television series The White Queen is a 10-part adaptation of Gregory's novels The White Queen (2009), The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter (2012), and features Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: پنجم ماه آگوست سال 2012 میلادی عنوان: ملکه سرخ - کتاب سوم از مجموعه تودورها؛ نویسنده: فلیپا گرگوری؛ ترجمه: منیژه جلالی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، البرز، 1390، در 400 ص.، شابک: 9789644428067؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م داستان یکی از شورش‌های انگلستان توسط یک زن را روایت می‌کند. مارگارت بیوفورت، در نوجوانی بطور ناخواسته به‌ ازدواجی تن می‌دهد و به سرزمین ویلز می‌رود. او که وارث خانواده‌ ی لانکاستر و دخترعموی پادشاه وقت انگلستان است، پسر خود را به‌ نام پادشاه: «هنری» نام‌گذاری می‌کند. پس از آنکه پادشاه وقت به جنون مبتلا می‌شود در طی رخدادهایی ریچارد سوم، قدرت را به‌ دست می‌گیرد. مارگارت می‌خواهد پادشاهی را به خانواده‌ ی خود بازگرداند که پادشاهان حقیقی انگلستان هستند... . نقل از متن: «صدای برخوردی می‌آید و ضربه‌ ای به سرم می‌خورد و من، حیران بر روی کفپوش اتاق خوابم نشسته‌ ام. دستم بر روی گوش کبودم قرار دارد، همچون ابلهی به پیرامون خود می‌نگرم و چیزی نمی‌بینم. زنی که ندیمه‌ ی من است در اتاق را باز می‌کند، و مرا می‌بیند، گیج و مبهوت، چهارپایه‌ ی دعایم برگشته، با آزردگی می‌گوید: «خانم مارگارت، بروید به رختخواب. از وقت خوابتان خیلی گذشته. بانوی مقدس به دعای دختران نافرمان اهمیتی نمی‌دهد. زیاده‌ روی ارزشی ندارد. مادرتان می‌خواهند شما صبح زود از خواب بیدار شوید، نمی‌توانید تمام شب را برای عبادت‌ کردن بیدار بمانید، این ابلهانه است.» پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Historical fiction is a passion of mine and I personally think that Philippa Gregory is one of the masters of the genre. I always find her books to be so well researched that as a reader you feel like you are experiencing that particular time first hand. This is the second book in the new cousins war series and I did find this novel hard going at first but after the first 50 pages I found myself completely absorbed in this novel and felt like I was there watching events unfold in front of my eyes Historical fiction is a passion of mine and I personally think that Philippa Gregory is one of the masters of the genre. I always find her books to be so well researched that as a reader you feel like you are experiencing that particular time first hand. This is the second book in the new cousins war series and I did find this novel hard going at first but after the first 50 pages I found myself completely absorbed in this novel and felt like I was there watching events unfold in front of my eyes. The same time frame of The White Queen is used in this novel and at first I was skeptical and did not think it would work. However I felt it worked well within the context of the novel and really seemed to link the first and second book in the Cousins was series. Margaret Beaufort is not the easiest of characters to like and I did find in places that I wanted to escape from the first-person narrative in places. However once I finished The Red Queen and I was reflecting the character of Margaret Beaufort I actually found myself liking the character and I think the harshness of her characters adds a lot of charm and authenticity to the novel. Overall I found The Red Queen to be a well researched novel that took you into the heart of the beginning of Tudor England. It is not my favourite Philippa Gregory novel however it does show why she is considered one of the masters of the genre. This review was first published on http://everybookhasasoul.wordpress.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is the second book from this author I've read.it does tell you alot of information from the first book,but still enjoyed reading this book.its terrible how you get forced into a marriage at a young age just to have an heir to the throne,and if it's a boy the baby they will save instead of the mother.great read want to read more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth Dean

    I got it cheap with the Daily Mail in duty free and I see why.IT'S THE SAME BOOK BUT MADE A HELL OF A LOT MORE BORING! I was shocked at Gregory's choice of using the same time frame as The White Queen, although she included the story of Magaret from when she was 7 the main story line was the same, revolving around the same events. Since you knew what was going to happen next and who was true and who wasn't Gregory destroyed her best assesst, intrigue. You could skip chapters (I wouldn't but the I got it cheap with the Daily Mail in duty free and I see why.IT'S THE SAME BOOK BUT MADE A HELL OF A LOT MORE BORING! I was shocked at Gregory's choice of using the same time frame as The White Queen, although she included the story of Magaret from when she was 7 the main story line was the same, revolving around the same events. Since you knew what was going to happen next and who was true and who wasn't Gregory destroyed her best assesst, intrigue. You could skip chapters (I wouldn't but the possibility is there) and still understand what was going on. As to narrative Gregory stuck to repeating the same things 1) How much of a whore, witch and beautiful Elizabeth Woodville was 2) It is God's will that her son be King 3) She is destined to be Joan of Arc like This got really reaaaaallllllllyyy boring after a while, I kept going because I thought it would get better, sadly mistaken. Magaret was a stuffy, over-religeous, greedy,patronising,obsessed woman and as much as Gregory tried to make her slightly positive with her comparision of the inspiration of Joan of Arc she couldn't disguise it. I didn't, in fact couldn't like her and therefore didn't enjoy the book. If you don't like the main character you are gonna be hearing a lot about somone you hate and where's the fun in that? As ever it was well-written, but this is now expected from Gregory so overall, worth a read if you are going to keep going with the series but otherwise not worth it really. http://thehouseofliterarymirrors.blog...

  13. 5 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Audiobook #260

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Margaret Beaufort is a horrible, selfish woman who thinks of no one but herself. God she angered me so much!! I've never read a character who I have wanted to punch more than her. It is all about her, her rise, her power because she was destined for greatness and she doesn't care who gets hurt along the way. She's made me so angry!! The story was pretty decent but the best bit was the battle description at the end. I loved Henry Stafford her 2nd husband who was obviously treated like crap and th Margaret Beaufort is a horrible, selfish woman who thinks of no one but herself. God she angered me so much!! I've never read a character who I have wanted to punch more than her. It is all about her, her rise, her power because she was destined for greatness and she doesn't care who gets hurt along the way. She's made me so angry!! The story was pretty decent but the best bit was the battle description at the end. I loved Henry Stafford her 2nd husband who was obviously treated like crap and the relationship with her last husband was basically what she deserved; cold, calculating and simply for personal gain. In all I think it's got to be 2 stars because she's such an awful, selfish cow.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elysium

    2.5 stars Margaret Beaufort wants to devote her life to church but is instead maried off to Edmund Tudor when she is 12. He dies soon after that but manages to get her pregnant before that. After her son Henry is born, Margaret devotes her life to get him on the throne. I don’t think I’ve ever hated any character so much as I hated Margaret! By page 60 I just wanted to stab her. She think she is England’s Joan of Arc ans is here to deliver England from the Yorkist. I got it, she’s pious person and 2.5 stars Margaret Beaufort wants to devote her life to church but is instead maried off to Edmund Tudor when she is 12. He dies soon after that but manages to get her pregnant before that. After her son Henry is born, Margaret devotes her life to get him on the throne. I don’t think I’ve ever hated any character so much as I hated Margaret! By page 60 I just wanted to stab her. She think she is England’s Joan of Arc ans is here to deliver England from the Yorkist. I got it, she’s pious person and loves to spend time in praying. I don’t need to be reminded of it on every page. And what up with Margaret and her “saint’s knees”? I read that way many times. I think the book suffer from first person narrative. Margaret spends most of her time in the countryside and much of the happenings must be told in letters. I All in all I enjoyed The White Queen more than this. I just couldn’t stand Margaret and it took a lot from the reading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    I am listening to this book via audio, and I can honestly say I'm not enjoying this as much as I usually enjoy Philippa Gregory's books. This book is very political and while it involves the Court, it's not such a big part of the book. I don't think it's the writing that is bothering me though, I think it's Margaret, who is extremely arrogant and I would almost say selfish - except she does show some compassion now and then. She is single minded, focused on her mission. I feel like the book is m I am listening to this book via audio, and I can honestly say I'm not enjoying this as much as I usually enjoy Philippa Gregory's books. This book is very political and while it involves the Court, it's not such a big part of the book. I don't think it's the writing that is bothering me though, I think it's Margaret, who is extremely arrogant and I would almost say selfish - except she does show some compassion now and then. She is single minded, focused on her mission. I feel like the book is mostly a monologue, Margaret droning on how things are unfair; it's unfair her son isn't King, and how she's in captivity, and things just never seem to work out her way...even THOUGH she is close to God. Actually, I did find it amusing when her own husband questioned whether she could hear God's will, or whether she could only hear her own. At least he's honest with himself, he knows he plays the fence. I really think that Margaret is completely oblivious to the fact that she is acting for her own purposes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    The rise of Henry VII and the beginning of the Tudor reign, as told through the eyes of his mother, Margaret Beaufort. I always love Phillipa Gregory’s take on history, and I accept it for what it is--not history, but historical fiction. Who knows what I would have thought of Margaret if I had known her, but I found her a bit unlikable. Having really liked Elizabeth Woodville in Gregory’s The White Queen, perhaps it was more difficult to like this woman who imagined herself so holy and above oth The rise of Henry VII and the beginning of the Tudor reign, as told through the eyes of his mother, Margaret Beaufort. I always love Phillipa Gregory’s take on history, and I accept it for what it is--not history, but historical fiction. Who knows what I would have thought of Margaret if I had known her, but I found her a bit unlikable. Having really liked Elizabeth Woodville in Gregory’s The White Queen, perhaps it was more difficult to like this woman who imagined herself so holy and above others. I am one who believes you can never go wrong with Gregory if you want to explore a little English history but have an emotional attachment to the story that was once someone’s life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aretha melina

    this is one of the best book by Philippa Gregory. And I am so appalled by others who gave this book only one star. This book deserves more than one star. This book is about a magnificent woman who survives abusive parents, relationships, separation with her son and triumph against all odds. Brought up by a mother who dislikes her and constantly thinks of her more as a nuisance and a misfortune to her than a daughter who deserves to be loved and cared for; young Margaret beauford grown to be a dev this is one of the best book by Philippa Gregory. And I am so appalled by others who gave this book only one star. This book deserves more than one star. This book is about a magnificent woman who survives abusive parents, relationships, separation with her son and triumph against all odds. Brought up by a mother who dislikes her and constantly thinks of her more as a nuisance and a misfortune to her than a daughter who deserves to be loved and cared for; young Margaret beauford grown to be a devout christian woman. She dreams to become a nun, however her unloving mother forced her to be married at the age of only 12 years old. Forced to be wedded to a man more than ten years older than she is, she becomes a vessel to provide an heir to him. She is more like a means to an end. Nobody cares of her, nobody ever loves her and nobody believes that she could be more than just an ordinary woman. As her mother keeps telling her she is a woman, that is why she could not choose her own destiny. Pregnant at such a very young age, she gave birth to her one and only son Henry at the age of 13. The birthing process was very terrible and difficult, added to that her own mother told the midwife to sacrifice her should there be any choices between her and that of the unborn child, only her child could be spared. Her first husband was dead and she was forced to be married off for the second time. She was forced to endure a separation with her beloved child and left him under the care of his uncle. Married off for the second time, she found solace and peace with her second husband. However, her peace was disturbed by the coming war against her house and royal family. She was forced to put her loyalty to the other houses such as York. Born as a loyal lancaster, it was hard to do so. She was forced to give up her son under the care of loyalist york. Many will think of her as a bitch and a wicked woman. However, I am not agree. She is loyal to her house , she fights for her son's right for the throne. She was right to do so for her son has a royal claim. She did anything that a loyalist did, she fought with her smart mind and brilliant political attitude. It is right that at time she could be annoying such as when she tried to force her second husband to join the war. However, it is hard to blame her to do so, because it is only right for the loyalist to fight for their king. People often misrepresents her christian devout as narcissism attitude. But, this is not right, she just a girl and later a woman who has nothing but her faith to God . She was robbed of her inheritance by the loyalist York, she was robbed of her son, she was robbed of her position and the most terrible of them all she was forced to endure the humiliation and the killing of her families. She did what any woman in her position would do. It is not wrong of her to despise elizabeth woodville, for she is represents the very thing that has been unfairly taken from her: honor, position, properties and the most important thing is the happiness of being a mother. Elizabeth did not have to endure terrible marriage, she came from common background yet she secured the position that of a queen, she could live with her children. This book is a story of a mother who long for her son. Who fights for her son's right, and a woman who fights to find happiness. It is a story of survival in a harsh world

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natasa

    “The Red Queen” by Philippa Gregory is a story, part history, part fiction, part speculation of the life of Margaret Beaufort during the English War of the Roses in the 15th Century. Margaret’s ambition for her son to become the King of England (Henry VII) is full of plots, intrigues, and murders. In a time when women had little power or control in their lives, Margaret maneuvers through family situations and courtly infighting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    A bit better than TWQ, and will appeal to PG fans, but perhaps not the serious Ricardians. http://misfitandmom.wordpress.com/201...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    WOW. This one I really could not put down--primarily because Margaret Beaufort is one of the most appalling characters I have ever met. When we read THE WHITE QUEEN, she was just in the background--but here she is front and center, and she is a horrible combination of religious zealot and jealousy. Next to her, Elizabeth Woodville seems like a true queen. In her defense, Margaret is given in marriage to Edmund Tudor at the young age of 12; he simply wants a son and treats her brutally. Edmund's b WOW. This one I really could not put down--primarily because Margaret Beaufort is one of the most appalling characters I have ever met. When we read THE WHITE QUEEN, she was just in the background--but here she is front and center, and she is a horrible combination of religious zealot and jealousy. Next to her, Elizabeth Woodville seems like a true queen. In her defense, Margaret is given in marriage to Edmund Tudor at the young age of 12; he simply wants a son and treats her brutally. Edmund's brother Jasper is kind to her, and throughout the book, he remains the man she could have loved, if her own distorted piety and lust for power had not formed her character. The description of the birth of her son, when she is only 13, makes it clear what victims women were in these times--indeed, Henry Tudor was the only child she had. Margaret, who idolizeds Joan of Arc, transfers her holy obsessions to her son, claiming that "God" has decided Henry will be King of England. From THE WHITE QUEEN, we have learned how this "vision" did eventually come true--but only the pragmatist Thomas Stanley, her third husband, bluntly states: "You think God wants your son to be King of England. I don't think your God has ever advised you otherwise. You hear only what you want. He only ever commands your preferences." And those "preferences" include her belief that "God" wants her to help kill the Princes in the Tower--so she does (according to Gregory). And of course, as such egomaniacs do, she chooses to blame others. At one point she says: "Elizabeth Woodville is to blame for everything." She never understood the best man in the book, Henry Stafford (her second husband), whom she regarded as a coward although he was a warm-hearted person who refused to rush into battle. Gregory has chosen, in both QUEEN books, to contend that a) Richard the III was NOT guilty of the deaths of the Princes in the Tower, and b) that Elizabeth Woodville saved her youngest son Richard by substituting a poor child in his place. Since "history" offers conjectures on all this, she has the right to select which possibility she will choose. She has chosen to have a more sympathetic view of Richard III, but we can never know the truth. I'm not sure why this book drew me, since I'm usually only interested in books that have characters with whom I can empathize. Perhaps a part of me sympathizes with a young girl who just wanted to go to a convent and lead a holy life--but instead was forced to become a child bride and mother.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I found some of this book interesting, but for the most part, it dragged. It was way too repetitive, even by Gregory's previous theme-repeating standards. 'Joan of Arc, blah blah...Lancaster heir, blah blah...the will of God, blah blah.' Yes, I get it, Margaret Beaufort was one hell of a determined woman, driven by a deep religious belief and a sole aim to get her son on the throne - there’s no need to bash me over the head with it on every page. I ended up skim-reading the second half of this b I found some of this book interesting, but for the most part, it dragged. It was way too repetitive, even by Gregory's previous theme-repeating standards. 'Joan of Arc, blah blah...Lancaster heir, blah blah...the will of God, blah blah.' Yes, I get it, Margaret Beaufort was one hell of a determined woman, driven by a deep religious belief and a sole aim to get her son on the throne - there’s no need to bash me over the head with it on every page. I ended up skim-reading the second half of this book as the persistent rants and rambles just wore me down. Philippa Gregory is such a hit and miss author. This is my eighth book by her; my ratings range from two stars to five. It’s strange how she can make some books exciting, dramatic and moving, yet others remain slow and soulless.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This showed up in the local library, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I wonder if it was Ms Gregory's deliberate intention to portray a 'heroine' so unlikeable that I could not find a single redeeming feature in her? Maybe. I mean, I am not exactly Margaret Beaufort's leading fan, not by a very long way, but if someone paid me a substantial sum to write a novel about her, I am pretty sure I could find some positive aspects to her character. In fact, I know I could. This novel almost made me feel This showed up in the local library, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I wonder if it was Ms Gregory's deliberate intention to portray a 'heroine' so unlikeable that I could not find a single redeeming feature in her? Maybe. I mean, I am not exactly Margaret Beaufort's leading fan, not by a very long way, but if someone paid me a substantial sum to write a novel about her, I am pretty sure I could find some positive aspects to her character. In fact, I know I could. This novel almost made me feel sorry for the poor woman - not as a result of the characterisation, but because I felt her 'case' could have been made much more attractive. She is portrayed here as some sort of religious eccentric - now I have no doubt Lady Margaret was devout, but was she *really* all that exceptionally devout, as opposed to conventionally devout? This remember, is the age of Richard III, Cecily of York and Margaret of York, all of whom were more than averagely pious. It's good to bring religion in - it was a religious age - but I'm not sure Margaret was in any way 'odd' in this regard. Touching on this, I was bewildered by her apparent admiration for Joan of Arc. *We* may admire Joan in our own time, but an ultra devout English 15th Century noblewoman of the Lancastrian persuasion would be highly likely to regard that lady as an evil heretic. That was what her religious superiors would have told her Joan was, and it would also have been a matter of absolute orthodoxy among the English secular nobility, if only for political reasons. So where did Margaret get her dissenting opinion from - Private Eye? Now, a bit of pedant stuff. Margaret's title, after she married Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond was Countess of Richmond. She retained this title through her subsequent marriages because it was the highest ranking. Yet in this novel (which is written first-person) she does not, instead referring to herself by such unlikely titles as 'Lady Margaret Stanley'. Sorry, to many people this will not matter, but to me it grated like hell, especially as Margaret (the character) was so damned up herself about her rank and who she was. Better leave it there, as I can't think of anything positive to say, except if I was forced to read one or the other I'd probably take this before _The White Queen_. But I'd much sooner read the weakest book ever produced by Sharon Penman, Elizabeth Chadwick or even Rosemary Hawley Jarman.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cheeky Cher

    3 stars - It was good. Much slower than Gregory's other books that I have read, in part because you are revisiting many of the same events from the last book, The White Queen. Read much like a memoir of a pompous, cold woman with ambition being her nucleus and what she loved above all else. Having just read The White Queen and feeling attached to Elizabeth Woodville (both mother and daughter), you feel like someone is picking a fight with one of your friends every time Margaret calls either a who 3 stars - It was good. Much slower than Gregory's other books that I have read, in part because you are revisiting many of the same events from the last book, The White Queen. Read much like a memoir of a pompous, cold woman with ambition being her nucleus and what she loved above all else. Having just read The White Queen and feeling attached to Elizabeth Woodville (both mother and daughter), you feel like someone is picking a fight with one of your friends every time Margaret calls either a whore. I found b*tchy old Margaret to be infuriating - self righteous and judgmental of others while not seeing any of her own blatant faults or cruelties. A sneak peak into her mind (from Gregory's vision of course): God cannot really want these women to lead peaceful, happy lives while my son is in exile. It cannot be His will. He must want justice, He must want to see them punished, He must want to see their downfall. He must long for the burning of the brand. He must desire the scent of the smoke of their sacrifice. And, God knows, I would be His willing instrument if He would just put the weapon in my obedient hand. It is no comfort to me that I despise the court, that I never loved my husband, and that my son was born only to fulfill my destiny, and if he cannot do that, I don't know what use we are to each other. Of course, this is in part why I really enjoy Gregory's books. She makes historical figures come to life and feel more real than they ever do in textbooks. In summary, from this point forward whenever I read about anything atrocious or cruel that was done by my favorite scandalous rascal, Henry VIII, I shall remember that he came by it honestly...from his paternal grandmother. ---------------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: A parcel, taken from one place to another, handed from one owner to another, unwrapped and bundled up at will, is all that I am. A vessel, for the bearing of sons, for one nobleman or another: it hardly matters who. First Sentence: The light of the open sky is brilliant after the darkness of the inner rooms.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angelc

    Margaret Beaufort isn't really a likable heroine. She was so stiff and unemotional, it was hard for me to relate to her. This criticism isn't against the author, it's just what you have to deal with in historical fiction based on real life. When Margaret was a child, her prickliness was actually cute. And how can you not laugh when she rejoices at her knees being callused from kneeling in prayer, calling them 'Saint's Knees.' I sympathized with her being forced into marriage with Edmund, who never Margaret Beaufort isn't really a likable heroine. She was so stiff and unemotional, it was hard for me to relate to her. This criticism isn't against the author, it's just what you have to deal with in historical fiction based on real life. When Margaret was a child, her prickliness was actually cute. And how can you not laugh when she rejoices at her knees being callused from kneeling in prayer, calling them 'Saint's Knees.' I sympathized with her being forced into marriage with Edmund, who never really cared about her at all. And the scene where she has her baby, Henry Tudor, is heartbreaking because her own mother tells the midwife to save the baby at the expense of Margaret. So, I do understand that she has had a hard life and has felt unloved. However, it seemed like she only cared about her son for what he could do for her-make her the mother of a King. Some of the interaction between Margaret and her brother-in-law Jasper Tudor was really romantic, but neither of them really went the extra mile to be together. I really started to get frustrated with Margaret at her careless treatment of her second husband, Henry Stafford. He was never anything but nice to her and gave her a very comfortable life. But she was always mean to him and acted like she was disappointed in him because he lacked her all-consuming ambition. The story was fast and intriguing. I was surprised I stayed so interested because I had just finished reading The White Queen-which dealt with the same time period and events from a different perspective. I think readers will be fascinated by Margaret's story even if she isn't the most endearing heroine. this ARC was provided by Simon and Schuster UK in exchange for an honest review reviewed for http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jax

    Started reading this on Kindle on 9th September. The story of Margaret Beaufort, mother to the eventual first Tudor king Henry V11 of England. Margaret was married at 12 and had her son at 13 yrs old. The horror of the high risk of dying in childbirth was relevant to all women as was a wife's position as a possession of her husband. Well written from Margaret's point of view. A scary believer in 'God's will' as long as that coincided with her ambition for her son's destiny. A good companion to T Started reading this on Kindle on 9th September. The story of Margaret Beaufort, mother to the eventual first Tudor king Henry V11 of England. Margaret was married at 12 and had her son at 13 yrs old. The horror of the high risk of dying in childbirth was relevant to all women as was a wife's position as a possession of her husband. Well written from Margaret's point of view. A scary believer in 'God's will' as long as that coincided with her ambition for her son's destiny. A good companion to The White Queen also by Philippa Gregory about the Women in the Wars of the Roses or the Cousins war as it was called at the time. Re reading Dec 2016 to 12th January 2017.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Virag

    Read a while ago, and I loved it at the time, but if I read it again I'd probably not like it as much. I don't remember much of the story, besides the fact that Margaret was quite bitchy, but I kind of enjoyed that because my middle-school self couldn't quite grasp that cruelty does not equal amusing. So if you're reading my review and thinking "Wtf is wrong with her, this book is freaking horrible!", then keep in mind that my rating is probably quite off if I were to read this again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Margaret Beaufort is fervently religious and prays every day, often multiple times. She’s been raised to be a devout girl and to trust in God, especially since she believes when her mother tells her it’s God’s wish she rise to royalty—that she deserves to fulfill a role ordained to her by birth. She has two desires in life: to sign her name Margaret R. (for Regina, or Queen) and to become Joan of Arc. The hindsight of history allows us to indulge in the curious inclinations of this most famous m Margaret Beaufort is fervently religious and prays every day, often multiple times. She’s been raised to be a devout girl and to trust in God, especially since she believes when her mother tells her it’s God’s wish she rise to royalty—that she deserves to fulfill a role ordained to her by birth. She has two desires in life: to sign her name Margaret R. (for Regina, or Queen) and to become Joan of Arc. The hindsight of history allows us to indulge in the curious inclinations of this most famous mother, but for Margaret, the journey is an uphill struggle. It’s difficult to claim her rightful place in history when Yorks and Lancasters are at each other’s throats, refusing to recognize the supremacy of the rightful royal heir: her son, Henry Tudor. The Red Queen is the second in Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins’ War trilogy. The narrative follows young Margaret Beaufort from the age of nine as she grows into adulthood, three marriages, and a son destined to become the next King of England. She’s a far cry from Elizabeth Woodville, the protagonist of The White Queen, who is used like a pawn in her mother’s political ambition, rather than a willful participant. Margaret believes with the kind of faith belonging to the righteously devoted that pursuing the violently contested seat at the head of her country is hers by way of virtue. Elizabeth is a reluctant Queen; Margaret is a bitter and vengeful one. In fact, she’s not even very likable. Margaret is more than a little full of herself. She believes from an early age that she is “especially favoured by God” (p. 33 of ARC) with absolute and unwavering conviction. This makes her seriously opinionated and seriously irritating. She’s a difficult protagonist to relate to; unless you’ve lied, schemed, and murdered to scrape your way to victory, there is little to ingratiate Margaret to contemporary reader sensibilities. In her immediacy for satisfaction, her actions can come across as childish and—ironically—short-sighted. Even her ideas, measured by the fantasies of a child enamored by her idol, are unrealistic. Her demands on her second husband, Henry Stafford, continue to go unchecked until she experiences war first-hand and her romanticized notions of battle are dispersed with the kind of horror inevitable in the destruction of a dream. She’s incredibly selfish and loathsome, but one of those characters I eventually loved to hate. There is almost nothing about her to pity or admire. Even understanding her ambitions in the context of the 15th century, where people were ruled largely by faith, was difficult to swallow. Her prayers were self-serving, self-absorbed, and to quote her third husband, nothing but the product of her own “selfish ambition” (p. 250 ARC). As difficult as she is, her mother is worse. Is it no wonder this character survives her mother’s cold indifference and single-minded objectives to become the same type of woman herself? She is clearly a product of her time, resigned to her duty as “a bridge to the next generation” (p. 59 ARC); as a woman she is unwanted, unimportant, and largely unloved. Margaret merely chooses what type of vessel she wants to become. It isn’t entirely clear which Margaret wants more: to become a “woman scholar of piety” (p. 66 ARC) or be in a position where she can sign her name “Margaret R.” Her wicked enterprises leave little room for speculation when she becomes co-conspirator in the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, but her character has a subtle complexity. The future she wants is not necessarily the future she’s achieving. She is a woman eager for the attention of her son (who, as a contested heir, is always taken away from her) and craving the authority only he can make possible. Her obsession with Henry is nothing more than compensation as she ameliorates her current life with the one she once imagined having. Margaret is such a demanding character that her presence almost overwhelms the larger historical plot motivating her behavior, but that’s what makes this book so irresistible. About halfway through the novel, the two timelines of Margaret and Elizabeth Woodville merge into a haunting reminiscence. The two are connected as rivals and it’s only the invisible thread of survival that urges each to rise above and beyond their abilities to sway history in their favor. If I’ve spent so much time discussing Margaret it’s because she’s the focus of the novel, or at least believes herself to be and manages to overshadow everything else that doesn’t deal directly with herself. The world revolves around Margaret: people are either serving her needs or they’re not. Of course, she is nothing if not grossly flawed, but that’s what makes her such a fascinating and detestable protagonist. Thankfully she meets her match in her third husband, Thomas Stanley, who is a double-crossing, bald-faced liar quite ready to abandon his wife if it insures his own success. He is, if possible, even more despicable than Margaret. But I love that this book examines the desperation women like Margaret face when confronted with less than envious proposals. She may be a difficult character, but she embodies the restrictions women faced, when they were property to be handed into marriage or discarded when divorced. She is at the mercy of her family as a child, and her husband as an adult. Fortunately, she has the influence and funding to orchestrate the future of her choosing, within the confines of her role. If she acts contrary to contemporary morality, it only makes the book more fascinating. Philippa Gregory has written yet another entertaining and engrossing historical fiction. I wasn’t as confused with character relations and names; there is a family tree at the beginning of this ARC that was absent from my advance copy of The White Queen. Although this is the second in a planned trilogy, it could also be read by itself. It’s not dependent on The White Queen and the two could very well be read in reverse order. The two complement each other rather than directly build in any one direction. Whichever way you feel like starting, The Red Queen is a must read if you’re a Philippa Gregory fan. Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for my review copy!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda

    Beautifully blending historical fact with vivid creative vision, this splendid read is magnificent and bold. Philippa Gregory, bestselling author of ‘The other Boleyn girl’ in my opinion is one of the best writers of historical fiction connected to the Tudor period. She brings to life the fiery, heated passion and rivalry within the dangerous Tudor Court through in-depth research and acute perception that is so assured. Full of substance and promising premise, Margaret Beaufort’s tale is one th Beautifully blending historical fact with vivid creative vision, this splendid read is magnificent and bold. Philippa Gregory, bestselling author of ‘The other Boleyn girl’ in my opinion is one of the best writers of historical fiction connected to the Tudor period. She brings to life the fiery, heated passion and rivalry within the dangerous Tudor Court through in-depth research and acute perception that is so assured. Full of substance and promising premise, Margaret Beaufort’s tale is one that touches the heart and stirs the mind. The writing was so remarkable that I found myself stepping into the main protagonist’s shoes (metaphorically speaking) and thinking about her outlook as the dramatic scenes unfold. Never have I within this genre connected to a character so instinctively, as I was also presented with an entirely new perspective on Henry VIII’s ancestors – one of our greatest monarchs upon England’s throne. Knowing that she has a great destiny before her to then encounter a catastrophic blow has to be one of the most trying events within Margaret’s lifetime in the late 1400’s. As Henry VI ignores her plight, she is in danger of falling prey to melancholy and suspect to idle gossip. As a fourteen year old mother and wife to an older man, Margaret focuses on the more radiant elements within her life such as her son Henry whom she is set on becoming King. Despite cold-hearted ambition and rival heirs, her challenge to aid her son in becoming known in court is a tough road with hindrances along the way. Brimming full of rich period detail and well-written, captivating prose this exceptional story encapsulates perfectly the atmosphere and electric tension of the times. Profoundly affecting, outstanding and truth-drawing I was unable to tear my eyes away from the pages as I lost myself within such sublime storytelling and memorable characters. Capturing the turbulent times perfectly with such dexterity as a freshly sharpened blade, I highly praise and commend Philippa Gregory for such a gripping tale. Fans of other historical works and authors such as Hilary Mantel, Emily Purdy and Alison Weir will find this a most impressive novel of such scope.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Faith Spinks

    I always enjoy the journey of discovery into the history of my own country which I get from Gregory's historical novels and once again I was not disappointed. The Red Queen tells one side of the historical story of The Cousin's War - the battle between the houses of York, lancaster and Tudor to hold the Royal throne of England, to be the rightful King of England. Margaret Beaufort is the mother of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) and never stops believing that her son is the rightful God ordained King. As I always enjoy the journey of discovery into the history of my own country which I get from Gregory's historical novels and once again I was not disappointed. The Red Queen tells one side of the historical story of The Cousin's War - the battle between the houses of York, lancaster and Tudor to hold the Royal throne of England, to be the rightful King of England. Margaret Beaufort is the mother of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) and never stops believing that her son is the rightful God ordained King. As Gregory herself writes, "some parts of the novel are history, some are speculation, and some are fiction", but the story and the way in which Gregory tells it gives a fascinating insight into the world that was England in the 15th Century. I had previously read the White Queen which is the story of Elizabeth Woodville on the other side of the war. I read it long enough ago to have forgotten some of the twists to the story but even those parts which I remembered remained fascinating seen from the other side. Both sides convinced of their right and both sides equally human. I would highly recommend this, and Gregory's other historical novels, as a great read and story as well as a fascinating insight into the history of a nation.

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