"I was one of them now. A Tudor queen. The first of a long line to come, if Henry had his way. I could not change what God had ordained, but I also knew that what Henry did for his throne would secure it for my own beloved Arthur. I had not sought queenship, nor did I relish it, but I was a pawn of Fate, and queenship was mine by destiny. Though I was an accessory to Henry's sins by virtue of my marriage, I had been a most unwilling participant with no power to alter the flow of events. All I could offer England was my best efforts in raising her future king and in teaching him the ideals in which I believed."
Elizabeth of York was the eldest daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, his reviled queen. Her unhappy relationship with her own mother was only relieved by a brief happy period as lady in waiting to Queen Anne, Richard III's wife. Richard was dazzling to Elizabeth, a kind and good man whom she grew to love.
When Richard was killed in battle by the man who would become Henry VII, Elizabeth's heart was broken. She was forced to marry Henry because she embodied the end of the great Plantagenet line and lent authenticity to Henry's less-than-royal bloodline. They had one thing in common, though. Henry's scheming and domineering mother, Margaret Beaufort, is easily as hated as Elizabeth Woodville ever was.
Margaret Beaufort was the engineer of the Tudor reign. Without her, Henry would never had become king. She was Elizabeth's cross to bear for her entire marriage. Her mother-in-law oversaw every single aspect of her life. It was no better than imprisonment for Elizabeth.
But Elizabeth had a kind and loving nature, remembered by history as "Elizabeth the Good." She loved her children and did her best to instill in them the virtues of kindness and benevolence. Her love for England and its people led her to accept her position in life and to endure with grace and dignity, though she was sickened by her husband's bloody reign.
In The King's Daughter, Sandra Worth opens a window into the life of one of history's least known women. She was truly royal and that showed in her acceptance of the difficulties of her life. This is a detailed and well researched novel with engaging characters and rich background. I particularly liked her portrayal of Richard III as a clear thinking, honest man who never wanted the crown and whose heartbreak and grief over the loss of his wife and child drove him to throw his life away.
The King's Daughter is published by Berkley. ISBN 978-0-425-22144-0
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