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To Hold the Crown by Jean Plaidy

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

To Hold the Crown by Jean Plaidy

Postby Misfit » Wed November 5th, 2008, 12:02 am

Image

Don’t be fooled by the new book jacket, this is not a love story. From the back cover “And though their union was born from political necessity, it became a wonderful love story…” Huh? You have to wonder sometimes what is going through the publisher’s heads – the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York a love match?

Originally published as Uneasy Lies the Head, this book covers the reign of Henry VII following the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. With a very tenuous claim on the throne of England Henry marries Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV, in an effort to strengthen his claim. Despite keeping peace in the country and restoring the empty coffers, Henry is always fearful of conspiracies to challenge his reign with pretenders to the throne claiming to be one of the lost princes in the tower.

So much of this book is known history, we’ve all read enough of the Tudors I don’t need to rehash it all again. The book takes the reader from the beginning of Henry’s reign until the end and at his death and the assumption to the throne of his son Henry VIII. Although I did enjoy this book very much, it was a bit dry at times, especially at the beginning, and those not familiar with the Wars of The Roses might have a difficult time picking up the story.

Henry was nicely portrayed as a parsimonious penny pincher always worried about threats to his crown, the younger Henry a bit too full of himself and his “knightly” responsibilities, Katharine of Aragon suitably pious and obedient – my only complaint was the how Elizabeth of York was portrayed. A virtually non-existent character, the few times she was in the storyline she was quite vapid and very forgettable. She was pretty much there for the procreation of children. All in all a pleasant read, not the best but not the worst either. 3.5/5 stars.

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Wed November 5th, 2008, 12:27 am

"Misfit" wrote:Image

Don’t be fooled by the new book jacket, this is not a love story. From the back cover “And though their union was born from political necessity, it became a wonderful love story…” Huh? You have to wonder sometimes what is going through the publisher’s heads


Dollars and pounds Misfit I would think! ;) If they told it like it was - unsexy, they'd not get the sales!
Plaidy's Tudor material is probably the best of her oevre. I'm probably not going to read her again, but I enjoyed your review! :)
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed November 5th, 2008, 1:40 am

Thanks EC. What is it they say? Sex sells? I had to point it out, some poor reader on goodreads picked up the book based on the "love story" aspect and was sorely disappointed. I do want to read more about Margaret and Mary when I get a chance -- especially Margaret and her marriage to James.

Carla
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Postby Carla » Wed November 5th, 2008, 3:44 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Thanks EC. What is it they say? Sex sells? I had to point it out, some poor reader on goodreads picked up the book based on the "love story" aspect and was sorely disappointed. I do want to read more about Margaret and Mary when I get a chance -- especially Margaret and her marriage to James.


I think Jean Plaidy covered Margaret Tudor's marriage to James in The Thistle and the Rose, if that's any help (and if I've got the right Margaret and James!). I agree with EC, Jean Plaidy's Tudor novels seem to be her best.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

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Tanzanite
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed November 5th, 2008, 3:59 pm

I read this last year and wasn't that impressed with it.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed November 5th, 2008, 4:03 pm

Thanks Carly, I think that's the one, thank you. Tanzanite, believe it or not this was my first Plaidy ever. I can see trying a couple more but not sure if she's ever going to be a favorite author.

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Telynor
Bibliophile
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Postby Telynor » Wed November 5th, 2008, 6:51 pm

I chewed my way through the Plaidy histo-novels as a teen, and remembered being glad to get a bit of grounding, but as romantic fiction, no, not so much. Still, she was one of the few authors out there in the genre, so I read what I could get my hands on.

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Tanzanite
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Postby Tanzanite » Thu November 6th, 2008, 5:22 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Thanks Carly, I think that's the one, thank you. Tanzanite, believe it or not this was my first Plaidy ever. I can see trying a couple more but not sure if she's ever going to be a favorite author.


I've read about 25 or so of her books and have found that the quality varies widely. There are a few I really liked, more than a few I thought were just awful and most, just an average kind of book. I do think she provides a good basic background and so lately, if I don't know anything about a particular subject, I like to read a Plaidy first because it introduces me to the people and situations involved without getting overly complex. I have always thought that if I had read Plaidy's The Sun in Splendor first that I would have understood Penman's a lot more (since hers is a lot more detailed).

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu November 6th, 2008, 5:48 pm

I know what you mean about having a good background. Penman's been a huge help to me, especially the Stephen and Maude thing in WCAHSS. Now I understand what was going on and I'm able to enjoy other books set at the same time much better.

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Rowan
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Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans
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Postby Rowan » Wed July 9th, 2014, 6:27 pm

I just started reading this one after giving up on a book about the lost colony of Roanoke.

I'm admittedly not as well-versed as some on the Wars of the Roses and immediate history, though I strive to improve my knowledge.

I'm only on page 53 or so, but I have to ask... was Margaret Beaufort really that big of a bitch? lol


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