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The King's Curse (COUSINS' WAR) by Philippa…

The King's Curse (COUSINS' WAR) (original 2014; edition 2015)

by Philippa Gregory (Author)

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6542421,232 (3.78)17
Title:The King's Curse (COUSINS' WAR)
Authors:Philippa Gregory (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster UK (2015), Edition: UK ed., 624 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory (2014)


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I read this book slowly and in fits and starts but found Margaret Pole's life reimagined like this fascinating. Now I want to read more about her. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Aug 25, 2018 |
My hat is always off to Philippa Gregory and the way she can make English history come alive. She has told the same story dozens of times now, with a different perspective each time and without flinching from the truth.

This tale belongs to Margaret Pole, Henry VIII's oldest Tower victim and a direct descendant of the Plantagenet line. Because she was present for so much of what occurred in Henry's reign and because her life was long enough to witness both beginnings and ends, she is a great narrator. From any perspective, life during the time of Henry was hard and uncertain. It hardly mattered who you were, you would be on top or on the bottom in a blink of an eye, subject to the whims of a maniacal ruler.

I found this book particularly interesting, since I have recently read Wolf Hall and found myself confronted with a completely different view of Thomas Cromwell than the one found there. Of course, most of the histories I have read paint Cromwell as a monster, but having just looked at this world from his point of view, it was interesting to see how he would most certainly have been viewed by someone in Margaret Pole's postion. In the end, the horror always comes back to Henry, doesn't it.

I have loved all of Gregory's novels, but some are stand-outs, and this is one of those. Margaret Pole is a gripping and defiant woman, with strength and endurance enough to stand in situations where most would fall. Gregory is particularly wonderful at portraying women as part of the strength and power of this era and helping us to see them as full-blown and strong (which they must have been to survive these times) and never as pawns in the service of men.

I hope to read all of the novels in this series that I have not yet gotten to. If I could do anything different, I would read them in order...but that is not possible for me and I do not think they suffer from being read out of order, since each stands beautifully alone. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
I rarely so slam a book but I invested 25+ hours listening to the audiobook and I am so disappointed. 99% of the story is told in dialogue recollecting events that took place or bemoaning fear of what is to come. In other words, 99% of no action. What's worse is the narrator is so overly dramatic. I don't recommend it. 🌟🌟 ( )
1 vote KarenMonsen | Mar 28, 2018 |
I put off reading Philippa's books until I could start at the beginning of all the Tudor books (i.e. they turned up in my local library). I then thought, what does it matter, and jumped in with this one. In fact it didn't matter that I jumped in the middle of the whole sweep of history, as this covered one person and her fascinating story. It was also interesting to hear another take on Thomas Cromwell's life compared to Hilary Mantell's account. ( )
  paulmorriss | Dec 30, 2017 |
Acting as a hinge between Gregory's Cousins' War series and her Tudor series, "The King's Curse" follows the life of Margaret Pole, the niece of Edward IV and Richard III. Through Margaret's eyes, we see Katherine of Aragon come to England, Anne Boleyn rise to power and her execution, and Jane Seymour give birth to the future Edward VI and die. We also watch in horror as Henry VIII transforms from the golden, beloved Tudor prince and king to a warped, paranoid tyrant. All the while, Margaret and the rest of the Plantagenet's must tread carefully lest they be the next on the block...

Anna C. / Marathon County Public Library
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( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
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In the moment of waking I am innocent, my conscience clear of any wrongdoing.
The king will not even receive letters from the City for fear of the disease. Cardinal Wolsey writes to him on special paper from Richmond Palace and is living there, ruling like a king himself.
Prior Richard comes to me in my records room at the manor. I am seated at a great round table, with each drawer labelled with a letter. Every tenant's deeds are in a drawer labelled with the right letter, and the table can spin from A to Z so that I can draw out, in a moment, the document that I need.
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"From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen comes the story of lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole and her unique view of King Henry VIII's stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England. Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII's claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter--Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret's contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors. After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret's world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and "holiest" woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors"--… (more)

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