Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes

The Tudor Rose is the story of Elizabeth of York, the mother of Henry the Eighth. This telling begins when she is a teenager, and is to be wed to the Dauphin of France. Although this marriage falls through, pening the book this way gives the reader a good glimpse of what the rest of the book is going to focus on. After the King, her father, dies, and her brothers are presumably dead, she is basically the heir to the throne of England. Her uncle Richard takes the throne after imprisoning her two young brothers in the Tower, yet she still has the stronger claim. Therefore she becomes the prize to be won, along with the rightful rule of England.
The first half of the book focuses on the struggle for the throne, which ends with the victory of Henry Tudor, who will become King Henry the Seventh. From there on, the story is of her marriage and her children. It is rich in historical detail, although sometimes the way that detail is conveyed is told rather than shown. That was my main difficulty with really getting into the story - the author tends to have her main characters throw in history for us, but it sounds incredibly forced. And in some cases it is clear that the conversations are probably not in anyway historically accurate, but are there to fill the reader in on some details. Despite this, it is an enjoyable book, and as my mother is already reading and enjoying my copy, I can definitely say that fans of historical fiction will like this one.

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