Back in mid-June, my mom surprised me one night with the fact that we now had Kindle Unlimited. At first, I was happy about it but as I was attempting to go online within five minutes after reading that text message, our WiFi turned off and both of my parents were in bed asleep. I had to wait roughly nine hours for them to get up and turn it back on, but once they did I began my search for my next book. However, I wasn’t even close to finishing my previous read: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake. I really didn’t have to wait too long because I was running through it fast as lightning!
It was rough making my decision on my next read because I really wanted to go into a non-fiction but keep the same theme I was in the month before and as soon as I saw the cover, I knew it was apart of my Goodreads long TBR; it has been on my “to be read” list since 2017 and apparently it had been released a year earlier, so yeah, I’d been waiting quite a long time to check it out for myself.
Margaret Pole is no stranger to fortune’s wheel. From her childhood as firstborn of the heir apparent of England, she was brought low as the daughter of a traitor. After years of turmoil as the Tudor dynasty made its roots, Margaret finds favor with her cousin, King Henry VIII.
Will the remnant of the York dynasty thrive under this tempestuous king or will Margaret discover that there is a price to pay for having an excess of royal blood?
Step into Tudor England . . . .
taken from Goodreads.
Back in 2006, I was a freshman in high school and I was never into reading at all and my English teacher at the time, told all of us that if we didn’t find anything to read on Fridays that we would be forced to find something in the classroom to read, and this terrified me! So, within a week I discovered the fictional side of bookshelves, and I found out that I really enjoyed reading about people, both famous and lesser known, and I just loved seeing how people lived in certain time period and situations. So, in a way I give my former English teacher lots of credit to my love of the Tudor era.
When I first started reading this book, I thought it would be a biographical story of Margaret Pole, like when I read about her cousin Elizabeth of York by the author Alison Weir a few years ago, but in reality it is more fictionized than I had originally realized but after a couple chapters I actually grew to enjoy it this way. I haven’t had a lot of good luck staying interested in these types of books lately so, I was both concerned and thrilled at the same time!
So, the author has written this story as part of a Plantagenet series, starting with Elizabeth of York, who was at the heart of the War Of The Roses. She was a York princess that married the Lancastrian heir Henry Tudor, thus creating the beginning of the Tudor dynasty. This one is about her cousin. Elizabeth’s father was King Edward IV and Margaret’s father was his brother George, Duke Of Clarence. By the time we approach Margaret’s story, she is at home in Brockmar, with her husband Richard Pole and children: Henry, Arthur, Reginald, and Ursula after she has heard the news of her cousin’s death.
Every chapter goes by a certain month and year at the top, so unless you know your Tudor dates really well, you can keep track to the bigger moments happening. However, this is again, a fictionized tale of her life, which means some things are made up here and there, but I didn’t mind it at all.
I have always built up that wall that medieval women and girls – did the women always do what they were suppose to? Did they even bash an eye at things that maybe we would in modern times? I was basically forced to face reality and give these women more credit at shielding their true feelings. Between this book and the STARZ television series based on Philippa Gregory’s novels; I’ve tried to squash that state of mind and for Margaret, she had been through a lot in her lifetime, both good and bad moments in history, so it was much more difficult to stick to that mindset because honestly she had it rough, and I have felt very sympathic to her over in the last few years.
One thing I was a tiny bit confused was after the death of her husband, she did not want to depend on the court and her cousin King Henry VIII for the rest of her life. As she was marrying off her eldest son Henry, he was hoping a little bit too much on a role to the king and Margaret makes a point that she doesn’t want him to hope too much for that to happen. However, after his marriage, he does get promoted by the king as he turns into Lord Montague and Margaret is graced with her ancestral title Countess of Salisbury. The Countess becomes one of Catherine Of Aragon’s ladies in waiting and after the birth of Princess Mary, she turns into her governess.
It’s at this point that her role of staying out of royal affairs, especially in the aftermath of the divorce proceedings between Henry and Catherine, breaking away from the Roman Catholic church, and eventual news of Henry’s decision to make his daughter illegitimated, really makes everything go topsy-turvy for Margaret and her family. I will say, I figured that all of this would be a fast decline as far as reading, but it stayed really balanced and there was enough of the story where nothing was too chaotic in my mind. Unfortunately, I did know how things ended for Margaret in real life. So, when I got to that part, it was so incredibly sad. I was so into the story and would consider this Margaret as a friend, the downfall really made me emotional.
Now like I said in the beginning of this post, this is a series of three books and that means the next story is about Princess Mary and I’m thinking it will start at the death of Margaret since that’s how this book began, but I’m not really sure. I do want to read the other two, but if you are concerned if you need to start with book 1 and continue down the line, you really don’t have to do it that way, which I really seemed to enjoy the most.
Have you read “Faithful Traitor: The Story Of Margaret Pole” by Samantha Wilcoxson yet? Are you a lover of these types of fictionized stories about royals, whether they are current or medieval?