The Forgotten Queen by D. L. Bogdan
ARC, Ebook, 384 pages
January 29, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Received from publisher for review as part of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour
“From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland.
Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…”
Margaret Tudor is probably the Tudor that I knew the least about prior to reading this book. Most of the time when a book is set in the Tudor court we typically hear about Henry and his younger sister Mary because they spend ample time in England, while we do not typically see his elder sister Margaret at all. I also wanted to know more about James IV of Scotland.
I found that I had mixed feelings about Margaret. I thought she was so funny as a young girl however I grew to be more ambivalent about her over time, especially after the death of King James. It seems like she lost the sense of herself as she became entangled in a series of bad relationships. I think what frustrated me the most was that she didn’t seem to notice that anything was wrong until it became a complete disaster. Truth be told, I didn’t really like any of the men in her life that much – James was probably the best out of them.
One thing that I did find interesting was a different view on the events at Flodden Field. The only book I had read prior that addressed this issue was The Constant Princess which showed these events from Catherine of Aragon’s perspective. I appreciated seeing this event from the side of the “loser”. It actually made me dislike Catherine, whereas she has always been a character I have been able to get behind in the past.
The only real logistical element that gave me trouble throughout the book was the lack of reference to dates. I think this book would have benefitted from some chapter subtitles providing date and place. I frequently found myself lost in a sense of time and place. I liked how the chapters frequently referred us to the man in her life that the segment would revolve around however some dates would have helped.
Overall I liked the book and the writing even if I didn’t end up loving the character. I think it was a good portrayal of this woman who is frequently forgotten about.
Author D. L. Bogdan also has written The Sumerton Women, Rivals in the Tudor Court, and Secrets of the Tudor Court. You can visit Bogdan’s website for additional information about the book.
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Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court