Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review: THE RELUCTANT QUEEN by Jean Plaidy

Sweet and good natured Anne Neville was extraordinary woman. As documented she truly was vegetarian. A woman born centuries before before her time. She was born during the height of the bitter rival of family house feuds known as the War of the Roses. Her father had had the power to influence many key players in the war including kings of England. Anne was House of York, daughter of the Earl of Warwick the known king maker. In the end of the war her father changed his allegiance after the new king Edward VI married Elizabeth Woodville in secret and he sided with the enemy. Betrothing his daughter Anne to the much despised heir of the Lancasterian French Queen Margaret and King Henry IV, Edward of Westminster. Anne was thrust into Margaret's care as betrothed to her son being her future daughter in law. Her father Warwick intended to replace Edward VI with Anne's newly betrothed. As I have come to conclude about this time period is that all the events that happened were because nothing went ever according to plan and too many people died before they finished their plotting and scheming. Leaving many needy messes that need resolution. I had always been interested in the story of how Anne of York was hidden from Richard as a servant girl in a cook house. Many other books I have read have made reference to the story as a dramatic love story to which young girls day dream about. When Richard storms the cook shop to swoop in and save her it was the high point of the whole book. Jean put a logically interesting spin on a fragmented true story of love conquering all, including your own family who can do the most harm. In the end I find myself left feeling a mix of feelings. The whole book was very detailed about the politics's of court. I feel disappointed that the book trailed of into Richard's rein. Anne faded into the background and events were missed or never even touched upon that I had kind of expected to be there. It was a short good read but I am left with unresolved feelings. Maybe I have it wrong and it belongs in a series but I am starting to notice a trend of that with books set during the war of he roses.

"In 1470, a reluctant Lady Anne Neville is betrothed by her father, the politically ambitious Earl of Warwick, to Edward, Prince of Wales. A gentle yet fiercely intelligent woman, Anne has already given her heart to the prince’s younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Unable to oppose her father’s will, she finds herself in line for the throne of England—an obligation that she does not want. Yet fate intervenes when Edward is killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Anne suddenly finds herself free to marry the man she loves—and who loves her in return. The ceremony is held at Westminster Abbey, and the duke and duchess make a happy home at
Middleham Castle, where both spent much of their childhood. Their life is idyllic, until the reigning king dies and a whirlwind of dynastic maneuvering leads to his children being declared illegitimate. Richard inherits the throne as King Richard III, and Anne is crowned queen consort, a destiny she thought she had successfully avoided. Her husband’s reign lasts two years, two months, and two days—and in that short time Anne witnesses the true toll that wearing the crown takes on Richard, the last king from the House of York."


  1. There is another book called The Reluctant Queen you should keep an eye out for - it is by Molly Costain Haycraft who wrote several YA historicals I loved as a teen. It is about Mary Rose, younger sister of Henry VIII.

  2. Hum I will watch out for that one. I am so burned out on Mary right now it is not even funny.

    Thanks for checking this review out it is an older one of mine before I got into my witting groove. I am glad you liked it!


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