Behind the Legend of Perkin Warbeck
Guest Post by Sandra Worth, author of
Pale Rose of England
The disappearance of the little princes in the Tower has fascinated people for centuries. Was the mysterious young man the Tudors nicknamed “Perkin Warbeck” really a fraud as they claimed, or was he Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two princes who vanished in the Tower of London, as he himself said he was? His story has been given before, so what can Pale Rose of England possibly offer?Consider this. Have you ever read a book where he stars in his own story? In novels he is someone seen by others as “an event” in their lives. What is different in Pale Rose of England is that it presents the Pretender’s case based on a wonderful new biography. Now Richard aka “Perkin Warbeck” takes center stage to tell his own tale—and what a tale it turns out to be!
There is no definitive answer to the mystery of the princes at this great distance in time, but my research of the facts and inconsistencies surrounding the Pretender have convinced me, as it has numerous others, that he was indeed the lost prince in the Tower. Certainly, many contemporaries thought so and even Henry VII behaved as if he believed the young man was who he claimed to be.
Pale Rose of England relates the heroic journey of a young prince who comes to reclaim his inheritance—his father’s crown. While Arthurian elements lend his story heart, at essence it remains a murder mystery wrapped up in lies and half-truths that is served up to history as fact by those who had the most to gain at the time. Pale Rose of England peels off the misrepresentations to reveal a young man who finds great love, and great adventure, and for a fleeting moment is seen to touch his dreams. At his side stands the grand passion of his life, a princess of royal Scottish blood who never wavers in her love and support of him, even when faced with temptation of Mephistophelian proportions. Her loyalty, courage, and beauty win her the love of the king who took her captive, and the admiration of the English people who come to call her their “Pale Rose of England.”
The Romantic Times gave Pale Rose of England their highest marks. To quote: “Worth creates a love story amidst war, a history filled with glorious people and an unforgettable female character who triumphs when others fail; whose faith and love move a king and who has been lost to history until now.” Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, took Richard/Perkin to her heart over a hundred and fifty years ago, and left us this observation: “The various adventures of this unfortunate prince… and his alliance with a beautiful and high-born woman, who proved a faithful, loving wife to him, take away the sting from the ignominy which might attach itself to his fate; and make him, we venture to believe, in spite of the contumely later historians have chosen, in the most arbitrary way, to heap upon him… a hero to ennoble the pages of a humble tale.”
I hope you enjoy my humble tale, Pale Rose of England.
Sandra Worth is the acclaimed author of five books set during England’s Wars of the Roses. Each is a recipient of multiple awards and prizes, including three Reviewers Choice Awards. For more information, visit her at http://www.sandraworth.com/.
As part of this week's HFBRT event, check out:
The giveaway for a copy of the book at the HFBRT site
Review of the book at Historical-Fiction.com