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

by Philippa Gregory (Author)

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5251919,248 (3.86)12
Member:paulmorriss
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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Margaret Pole is the daughter of the Duke of Clarence, cousin to the White Queen and niece of Richard III. Her brother is executed by Henry VII to reduce the number of rivals to the throne and she is married off to a loyal but minor knight. Margaret and her husband are in change of the household of Arthur, Prince of Wales, before and during his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. After his death Margaret becomes a trusted companion to Catherine through her marriage to Henry VIII and to her daughter Mary. Living under the rule of a capricious and increasingly paranoid King, Margaret is aware that her loyalty must never be questioned as her lineage marks her for treachery.

This is the background to Gregory's new novel in the 'Cousin's War' series and again she chooses to fictionalise the life of a woman central to events but of whom little is known. My only knowledge of Margaret Pole before this book was of her place in the family tree and the rather horrific circumstances of her execution (which are barely touched on here, as the book is written in the first person).

As ever a new book by Philippa Gregory is a real treat. She has a lightness of touch to her writing which genuinely seems to create a personality and a three-dimensional character to her subjects. As ever there is that little bit too much of the mystical (The King's Curse) but the stories are so engrossing, so well-researched and so enjoyable that can be forgiven.

Many of the events covered here overlap with the events narrated by Mantel in her books on the Tudor court - Gregory is less literary but far more accessible. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
I totally was not out to get sucked into another series or sail through them all in a very few short months. But this one grabbed me as something different. Yes, the history through a wife's eyes has been done and is growing in popularity, it's here to stay. That is how this series started out, but it's so much more, even from book one. It's the Tudors and Plantagnents. It's the Rivers. Its The Elizabeths you never heard of. And this one! It's a stand alone (but if you can take the time, read them all).

I've been fascinated with the king who divorced or beheaded 6 wives since I first heard of him as a young girl. (Please tell me you have been, too!) It took me a much longer time to understand the destruction of the Catholic Church in England. But this book, told from the POV of disregarded Margaret Pole, had me realizing a whole different facet. What Henry VIII did to his country, to his men, to his cousins, shows a whole other tyrant. A madman.

But what is more interesting to me is that people don't speak up. They think it will stop at each narcissistic act. Appease the monster and he'll leave us alone. But he doesn't, as is shown by history time and time and time again, and soon the narcissist turns into a tyrant, a fascist, a demigod whose tide swallows us whole, even on a whim.

I kept wondering how Gregory would write the (well documented historical) ending. Bravo to you! You wowed me and got it oh so right. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Could not stop reading this book - it was like a persons fascination with a car crash. I have read a lot about the subject of Henry VIII and seen a lot of documentaries and dramas about him but this book really portrays him in a very raw and brutal way and it was just brilliant to see an author do this. There was little sympathy for him in Philippa's writing and I applaud her for it. ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
Could not stop reading this book - it was like a persons fascination with a car crash. I have read a lot about the subject of Henry VIII and seen a lot of documentaries and dramas about him but this book really portrays him in a very raw and brutal way and it was just brilliant to see an author do this. There was little sympathy for him in Philippa's writing and I applaud her for it. ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
I've got a lot of other things going on at the moment, so I ended up giving this book back to the library before I finished it. However, I wasn't super into this one. I don't know if I've just read to many historical novels covering this era, or if the main character just wasn't inspiring/interesting enough.

She's already covered so many of the other character's we see going on in this time period....

Also, do they need to go on and on about the curse thrown down by the lady of the rivers enough?

I do need to go back and finish this book to really give it a fair review, but I doubt my rating will change much.
( )
  Schlyne | Nov 12, 2015 |
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In the moment of waking I am innocent, my conscience clear of any wrongdoing.
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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.
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The riveting story of Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and was one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses. Plantagenet, once carried proudly by Margaret like a crown upon her head, is now, at the end of the 15th century, the most dangerous name in England.… (more)

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