Have you ever wondered just how the Tudor line came to be the one that ruled? The War of the Roses raged on for a very long time. The House of York and the House of Lancaster were bitter enemies. For a while though and so they thought they were secured it was the house of York and their King Edward on the throne of England.
This book is fantastic and exiting you follow âBessieâ who became the ultimate founder of the house of Tudor through her life. You meet her shortly after her son Arthur has died and than backtrack to her younger life. It is fantastic and thrilling to see these events through the eyes of Bessie and her best friend Nell Caxton.
Once King Edward dies it certainly is mysterious how two Princes of royal blood go into the Tower never to be heard from again. Robin Maxwell tackles just one thing that may have happened to him, but also the most logical. If you're a fan of the War of Roses, or the Tudor line this is a book you should read. There is romance, intrigue, murder and mystery. There is a little bit of something for everybody and a good helping of well researched history.
This book takes place in 1483 and is about the daughter of England's first printer, and her dearest friend "Bessie"-sister to the lost boys and ultimate founder of the Tudor dynasty. Ultimately about Richard III and the disappearance of Edward and Richard of York, where Edward, by law, should have become King of England.
This novel discusses a possible explanation as to what happened to Edward and Richard, the "lost princes" of England in 1483. The boys were locked in the Tower of London shortly after their father's death and the throne was taken by their Uncle Richard, whereas Edward should have been the rightful king. King Richard then decreed that the boys and their siblings were legally "bastards" because their father had been betrothed to another woman before marrying their mother (a legally binding betrothal which is somehow different from a regular engagement). Even though this would make the boys ineligible for the thrown, they were somehow disposed of because they were never seen or heard from again. Historians typically agree that they were murdered and their bodies disposed of somehow. Years later, King Henry VII would lead a revolution that would result in him taking over the throne and he married Elizabeth, the lost princes' older sister, in order to solidify his right to crown since she would have been next in line.
This story is starts off many years later, once Elizabeth is queen and had recently lost her son Arthur, the next king, to an illness. Elizabeth (Bessie) and her friend Nell Caxton begin to tell the tale of the lost princes to her younger son Henry (who would grow up to be King Henry VIII). The rest of the book (except the last chapter) alternates between teenagers Bessie and Nell explaining the events that lead up to the boys' capture and the roles that they played as young women in England during this chaotic time. Nell is the daughter of a printer, and is therefore well-to-do and since her father is the king's service, it wouldn't be unreasonable for her and Bessie to be friends. Although I really enjoyed this story and found myself holding on to every word, the ending left me a bit wanting. The author explains what she feels happened to the lost princes, but even that is a bit rushed and seemingly incomplete. Still, it is a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it!
Having read a review on this book just prior my read, I almost passed it up. However, I had read another book by Robin Maxwell that I liked so I decided to proceed. The story is theoretically told by Nell Caxton, only daughter of the first English printer, and Bessie, sister to the lost boys who were imprisoned in the tower. Both were real people.
What happened to the princes and who was responsible has not been determined but many have put forth theories. As of this writing, Maxwell notes that the bones of two boys had been found in the tower in which they were imprisoned but no DNA tests had been made. Maxwell presents a plausible scenario creating an interesting and entertaining story.
When the princes disappeared, there was much speculation about what happened to them. Did their uncle, Richard, who took the throne, dispose of them? He is strongly suspected of having done so. Did his kingmaker murder them in Richard's absence? This is another possibility because he and his men guarded the tower in which the boys were imprisoned. Were they rescued and if so, by whom? No one seems to have the answer but their disappearance worsened a political situation that was already chaotic. Who would now rule England?
As heads rolled, Richard faced opposition on many fronts. The primary threat was the return of Henry Tudor, aided by his mother, the very wealthy Lady Margaret. The fierce storm that devastated his fleet was but a setback on his way to the throne.
I thought this book read like a fairy tale. Perhaps it is. Read it for yourself and see what you think.