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!