Saturday, October 31, 2009

Review: The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes (plus a Giveaway!)

From her happy and carefree childhood to her loveless marriage, Elizabeth Plantagenet always did her duty. Born the oldest daughter of Edward IV and his hated Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, she grew up in a world of privilege. Except for the months spent in sanctuary while her father was fighting to keep his crown.

She was a loving daughter and sister, there to support her family through the dark times that were to come. After their father's sudden death, the entire family once again sought the protection of the church, but to no avail. Elizabeth's two brothers, both heirs to the throne, were taken away and never seen again. Like so many others in a turbulent world, they were sacrificed to a powerful man's ambition.

Through all of the twisting, swirling political currents, Elizabeth maintained her poise and grace, trying desperately to avoid the type of machinations that her mother excelled at. And for the most part, she succeeded.

Just once, though, she took a great chance to change her own future. When she was sure that her uncle, Richard III, had murdered her brothers, she conspired to support another claimant to the throne. She took steps to invite young Henry Tudor, who had royal blood, to both overthrow King Richard and marry her to cement his claim. As a beautiful young woman, she wove dreams of love around the handsome Henry and waited with longing to meet him after his victory.

Her dreams were destined to be smashed, though their enterprise was wholly successful. Elizabeth and Henry founded a dynasty, the Tudors ruled England for many peaceful years. But Henry turned out to be cold and unloving...she never found the companion she had hoped for, though she found joy in her children.

Margaret Campbell Barnes first published this fascinating look at Elizabeth Plantagenet in 1953, bringing to life the world of a woman who had been largely forgotten, or at least overshadowed completely by her wildly famous son, Henry VIII and granddaughter, Elizabeth I. She was far ahead of her time, considering how popular historical fiction in general, and Tudor historical fiction in particular, has become in the past few years.

Elizabeth's world is lovingly created by this author, so that it comes to life with all the color and vibrance that are the hallmarks of excellent historical fiction. The story is fast paced and interesting (which is quite a compliment, because I already knew the facts and was still intrigued). If you are looking for the next Philippa Gregory or Sharon Kay Penman, give Margaret Campbell Barnes a try...she was writing what we want to read today fifty years ago!

The Tudor Rose is published by Sourcebooks, ISBN 978-1-4022-2468-3

Sourcebooks is providing one copy for a giveaway! To enter, just leave a comment here letting me know who your favorite Plantagenet or Tudor is. Winner must have a US or Canada mailing address and will be drawn at random. Enter until midnight eastern time on November 7. Thank you and good luck everyone!

37 comments:

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

This book sounds so interesting. I recently finished The White Queen and would like to read more about Elizabeth Woodville's daughter. I don't really have a favorite Tudor, but I'm currently reading an excellent biography on Queen Elizabeth by Alison Weir, and I also like reading about the Grey sisters.

fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

Marg said...

Margart Campbell Barnes' books have certainly stood the test of time! I preferred the others I have read to this one, but this was still an engaging read.

Linda said...

Hard to choose just one favorite Plantagenet, I enjoy reading about Henry II, and Richard III plus all the Edwards in between. Thanks for this giveaway; The Tudor Rose sounds great.

lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this book and I hope you're doing well. I really haven't gotten into the Tudors, so I'm not going to enter.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

This book sounds really interesting. I've read most of the Boelyn/Tudor books by Gregory. I've read The White Queen. I don't really have a favorite Tudor or Plantagenet but guess just from familiarity I would pick Henry the 8th. He is awfully fun to hate.

I would love to be entered.
michwerm@gmail.com

Bingo said...

I am no expert about this genre but I would like to read more about Eleanor of Aquitaine...she always pops up in things I read and seems interesting.

kdhaney (at) gmail (DOT) com

Pricilla said...

I am probably so boring in this answer but I am completely fascinated by Elizabeth I
thank you
kaiminani@gmail.com

Laura's Reviews said...

This book sounds fantastic - I love reading about this time period. It is hard to pick a favorite Tudor or Planteganet, they are all fascinating. I think my favorite would have to be Mary, Queen of Scots (Tudor through her mother). She was fascinating!

laarlt(78)hotmail(dot)com.

Thanks for a great giveaway!

holdenj said...

I have enjoyed a couple of the Gregory books, so this looks wonderful to me! I think Elizabeth is one of the more interesting charcters of that time.
Thanks for the chance!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

rubynreba said...

Hnery VIII was a rascal but interesting!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Anonymous said...

I have to say Henry VIII.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

clenna said...

I would loveto read this book. Some of my favorites would be Queen Elizabeth I and mary, Queen of Scots.

Thanks

clenna at aol dot com

chey said...

The Tudor Rose sounds great!
I don't really have a favorite Tudor or Plantagenet. I guess the one I've read about most is Elizabeth I.

chey127 at hotmail dot com

Grad School Mommy said...

I'm a huge fan of Sharon Kay Penman, so with that review (and reference!) -- I'm totally interested in this book! My favorite Tudors/Plataganets are always the women... and I'd have to say that Eleanor of Aquitaine tops my list (along with Elizabeth, of course).

Mom of 5 Boys said...

Wait, you want me to pick just one Plantagenet?? How am I supposed to do that? The whole time period is so interesting! If I must, I will say Elizabeth Woodville, but tomorrow I might say someone else.

susan.byerly said...

I have just recently gotten into historical fiction and love reading about the Tudors. My favorite would be Mary, Queen of Scots.
susan.byerly@comcast.net

pippirose said...

My favourite is Mary Rose Tudor. Though my faves do change, after reading more books...more history.
Fascinating people.
:o)
pippirose59 at gmail dot com

Barb said...

This era of English history is so fascinating. I just finished The Virgin's Daughters which just inspired me to re-enter this era in my reading. My favorite Tudor is Elizabeth I. She is absolutely fascinating and enigmatic at the same time. Please enter me into this giveaway. Thanks.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

lag123 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lag123 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lag123 said...

I don't really have a favorite, but I love reading about Henry VIII

lag110@mchsi.com

Zibilee said...

Great review! I don't really know much about this time in history, but the book looks very interesting and like something I would really enjoy. Please enter me in your givewaway, and to answer the question, I would have to say my favorite Tudor was Henry VII, there is just such lore surrounding him and all of his famous wives.Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

zibilee(at)figearo(dot)net

I am also a follower of your blog.

etirv said...

My favorite Tudor is Elizabeth I!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jennifer said...

My favourite would be King Henry VIII!

knittingmomof3 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

409cope said...

This looks like my type of book. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I follow. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I am an RSS subscriber. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I always find it so hard to pick favorites, but if I MUST, I'll go with Henry VIII for his sheer audacity! I'd love to read this book, tho. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Kathy said...

King Henry VIII is my favorite Tudor to read about because of his passion for a woman he actually started his own religion!
kathydetweiler@gmail.com

Stephanie said...

Hmmm ... a favorite Tudor or Plantagenet. I don't really have a favorite, but the first English historical novel I ever read (in 7th grade) was about Elizabeth I. That piqued my interest in historical fiction, especially about the Tudors, so she holds a special place in my heart.
Steph
laughingstars66@yahoo.com

~The Book Pixie said...

My favorite Tudor is Elizabeth. She got England through some tough times and was a very strong, independent woman.

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

MUM said...

My favorite Tudor would be Catherine of Aragon because she was a strong and powerful leader and warrior.

Marie
utah91960[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

A fabulous giveaway...please include me.

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

S. Krishna said...

I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for the review.

The Tudors said...

what can i say about King Henry VIII, he is great... 6 wives!!!! I also watch The Tudors episodes because it is one of my favorite show...

bill said...

The Tudors is one of the best show on television. The plot of this show is great and well written. Overall I like this show very much.

rookie said...

The Tudors is my favorite show and I always catch my favorite episode online. Its all episodes are very nice. Thanks for sharing this post here.

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.