This reading group guide for Queen by Right includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Anne Easter Smith. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
The Hundred Years War between England and France is still raging when Cecily Neville is born at Raby Castle. Dubbed “the Rose of Raby,” Cecily is the twenty-second and youngest child of Ralph Neville, the powerful Earl of Westmorland, and also cousin to the King Henry VI. Cecily’s fate becomes entwined with the King’s when she is betrothed to Richard Plantagenet, the orphaned duke of York, whose claim to the throne is arguably stronger than young Henry’s.
Cecily’s arranged marriage to Richard develops into a true love match and one of history’s greatest love stories. Their growing family lives abroad for many years, as Richard is posted to the English-controlled regions of France and Ireland by Henry’s councilors, who fear Richard’s proximity to the throne. When King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule due to mental illness, ‘Proud Cis’ must help Richard balance his political ambitions with what is right for their family and the kingdom.