Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pale Rose of England-Sandra Worth

Pale Rose of England
Sandra Worth
Berkley, Feb 1 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425238776

In a political marriage, Scottish Catherine Gordon and Lord Richard of Gloucester Perkin Warbeck marry. Catherine and Richard fall in love as she supports her spouse’s claim to the throne of England. Shockingly instead of her marriage leading to universal support of her husband being king as the offspring of the former late ruler Edward, in 1497 it leads to a civil war when the House of Tudor declares Richard a fraud and imposter.

Richard loses the war that keeps his rival Henry Tudor on the throne and Catherine as a royal prisoner is forced to serve in the demoralizing role of lady-in-waiting to the queen instead of being the king’s wife as she expected. Henry VII is attracted to her and acts on his desire though Catherine rejects his attempts. She only cares for her husband trying to keep him alive even if it means selling her soul to the devil sitting on the throne.

Although the War of the Roses has been the focus of much literature (Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins’ War- The red Queen, and The White Queen), Sandra Worth provides a fresh perspective by showcasing the story line though the eyes of the loser’s wife. Lady Catherine makes the tale as she and Richard marry out of political expedience but their marriage of convenience becomes a love match. Readers who relish royal historical England will appreciate this engaging energetic look at the rise of the Plantagenet line to the throne from the side of those who lost.

Harriet Klausner

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