The Red Queen
Fans and reviewers everywhere agree that no one writes historical fiction better than Philippa Gregory. In The Red Queen, Gregory illuminates the fascinating woman who founded England’s most powerful ruling line, the Tudors: Margaret Beaufort.
Ignored by the king, mocked by her mother, and forced into a loveless marriage, Margaret, heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. Convinced that her piety and lineage have destined her for greatness, she is determined that her son Henry will rule England—no matter what the cost. After the death of her first husband, she sends the boy into exile and promises him in marriage to the daughter of her enemy, Elizabeth of York. As the political tides constantly turn, Margaret charts her course through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. Following the death of her second husband, she marries the ruthless Thomas, Lord Stanley, and gambles her life and her son’s future on his support as she masterminds a final rebellion that will either put her son on the throne or send them all to their deaths.
Read an Excerpt
I go to bed uneasy, and the very next day, straight after matins, Dr Lewis comes to my rooms looking strained and anxious. At once I say I am feeling unwell, and send all my women away. We are alone in my privy chamber and I let him take a stool and sit opposite me, almost as an equal.
‘The Queen Elizabeth summoned me to sanctuary last night and she was distraught,’ he says quietly.
‘She had been told that the princes were dead, and she was begging me to tell her that it was not the case.’
‘What did you say?’
‘I didn’t know what you would... see more
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Reading Group Guide
Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the ruler of England and she has a great destiny before her. Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son of the throne of England regardless of the cost. As the political tides constantly shift, Margaret charts her way through two more loveless marriages, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. She masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of all time, knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and now waits for his opportunity to win the greatest prize.
1. In the beginning of The Red Queen, young Margaret Beaufort is an extremely pious young girl, happy to have “saints’ knees” when she kneels too long at her prayers. Discuss the role of religion throughout Margaret’s life. What does she see see more