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IndisponibleThe Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England
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The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England

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The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England

évaluations:
4/5 (36 évaluations)
Longueur:
500 pages
8 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Mar 1, 2010
ISBN:
9781402247019
Format:
Livre

Description

Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown is a compelling tale of one marriage that changed the fate of England forever

On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything — for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth's two young princes, but Richard's own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties...

Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly good or evil.

"A sweeping tale of danger, treachery, and love, The Stolen Crown is impossible to put down!" —Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Cleopatra's Daughter

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Mar 1, 2010
ISBN:
9781402247019
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Susan Higginbotham is the author of seven historical novels, including Hanging Mary, The Stolen Crown, and The Queen of Last Hopes. The Traitor's Wife, her first novel, was the winner of ForeWord Magazine's 2005 Silver Award for historical fiction and was a Gold Medalist, Historical/Military Fiction, 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. She writes her own historical fiction blog, History Refreshed. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and lives in Maryland with her family.

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4.1
36 évaluations / 16 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    Set in the mid to late 1400s, King Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville. This story is told, in alternating voices, by Kate, Elizabeth's youngest sister and Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who married Kate while they were both still children. The novel continues past Edward's reign into Richard III's. This was really good. I've only read a couple of other books about these people, so at times, it is hard to keep straight who is who (especially with so many people with the same name!). There is not a lot known about the main characters in this novel, but the author weaved a really good story, using what is known. She provides a detailed note at the end, explaining what really is known and what she made up for the story. As always, I tend to prefer a woman's voice in historical novels, so I did find Kate's viewpoint a little more interesting than Harry's, but they were weaved in together very well.
  • (3/5)
    An insiders view of the War Between the Roses, from the perspective of Kate, Woodville sister to the queen. Story often dealt with the friendship of husband Harry, and his friendship with Richard 111, brother to the king. This story is told from a human interest view, and not so heavily focused on the actual wars.
  • (5/5)
    Having taken Tudor-Stuart history in college, how I wish this book had been around instead of the horrifically dry textbook outlining statistics about the black death and number of rats in Tudor London. Much conjecture here, but Higginbotham brings that period of time to life through the eyes of two relatively unknown players.
  • (4/5)
    The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham
    The Secret Marriage That Forever Changed the Fate of England

    Genre: Historical fiction
    Pages: 400
    Publication date: March 1st 2010

    Trapped in the Wars of the Roses, one woman finds herself sister to the queen...and traitor to the crown

    When six-year-old Kate Woodville’s beautiful sister Elizabeth makes a shocking—and secret—marriage to King Edward IV, Kate and her large family are whisked to the king’s court. Soon a bedazzled Kate becomes one of the greatest ladies in the land when she marries young Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. But Kate’s fairy-tale existence as a duchess is shattered when the ongoing conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York engulfs the Woodville family.

    As Edward IV fights to keep his crown, Harry’s relatives become hopelessly divided between Lancaster and York. Forced constantly to struggle with his own allegiances, Harry faces his defining moment when his dear friend Richard, Duke of Gloucester, determines to seize the throne for himself as Richard III. With lives in jeopardy and nothing less than a dynasty at stake, Harry’s loyalties—and his conscience—will be put to the ultimate test.


    Ever since I read a review of Hugh and Bess I have wanted to read Higginbotham, so when I got the chance I jumped at it. And I am happy to say that I did the right thing.

    First of all I must say that she sure did an excellent job keeping all the different Edwards and Henrys and so on apart. I went in after having studied the long lists of names in the beginning and wondered how this would turn out. But she kept track of them all and she made sure that I as the reader could keep track of them all. Cos oh yes the War of the Roses was a messy time, and then I am not only talking about all the people. The twist and turns, the constant backstabbing, I am amazed that any nobleman got through all that without loosing his head, one way or another. And of course this book made me google, yes I could just not sit and read, I had to go google everyone so I would know things before they happened. Things that had happened long ago, trace lineages, oh this book was a treat for the history addict that I am. You know what, I will go google again after this. I want to know more, because even if I knew things (evil Richard screaming my kingdom for a horse), that was pretty much it.

    This book takes place at the center stage but at the same time not on it. It is the story about Katherine Woodville. Her sister married king Edward IV and that shook the country. They thought she was too lowborn, which in a way does not make much sense, except for on her fathers side. But certain people had other plans for the king. Then he married away her siblings and Katherine became Duchess of Buckingham. Fast forward a bit, fighting with the Neville family, fighting with his brother the duke of Clarence, fighting with the French, fighting with the old king and his entourage, and then he died. Which leads to the princes in the Tower, Richard III, and England's savior Henry Tudor. Then finally the civil war could end and York and Lancaster was reunited. This all the reader experiences through Kate's and Harry's eyes.

    Higginbotham managed to bring forth a troubled time in England's history and make it come alive. I love an author that can do that, and she did an excellent job. She made me want to know more, and history felt so real.

    I really liked Kate, and I felt kind of sorry for her because some historian hasn't really had nice things to say about her, they made her marriage sound awful, and of course there are tons of rumors about her family. Witchcraft and so on. But after the way Richard III seized the throne no wonder. And she kept her hope up even after loosing so many of her kin. I truly liked the way she was shown. Same goes with Harry, even if he made some foolish choices. And it was nice to follow them from when they were kids. And they have such a nice life together, I liked their lovestory. In the end no one can tell what really happened in their marriage, but I do believe this story.

    Higginbotham stayed true to the era with everything. She has done her research and it shows. She managed to incorporate the rumors for what they were, rumors about "famous" people.

    I am happy to have read this book, and after such a great historical book I really feel that I must read her previous novel, Hugh and Bess. This is a book that history fans will enjoy a great deal.

    For the rest of you, well this story has romance, betrayal, war, backstabbing, political intrigue, wicked rumors and all those other things that any reader loves to read about. This book is for everyone in that aspect. Oh and you learn a lot!

    Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: It feels like the genre
    Reason for reading: A copy from the publisher
    Final thoughts: I recommend it

  • (5/5)
    As a relatively recent historical fiction reader, I had yet to read anything by Susan Higginbotham but had read rave reviews and energetic exclamations from other bloggers. Having finished my first Higginbotham novel, I completely understand it. In short, I LOVED The Stolen Crown. The Tudor period has been revitalized with the rash of historical fiction releases and the success of Showtime's The Tudors. The Stolen Crown takes place during the York/Lancaster reign, immediately prior to Henry Tudor's reign (father of the infamous Henry VIII). I didn't know much about this period, nor about Richard III. What I did learn was fascinating, between his relatively short reign and how he managed to acquire the crown (hence, the title of this splendid book). Ms. Higginbotham took very much supporting characters to this slice of British history, using Henry ("Harry") Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and his wife, Katherine ("Kate") Woodville, as narrators of this complex story, rather than one of the kings themselves. And it works, many times over. I was immediately drawn into the story, thanks in equal parts to Ms. Higginbotham's descriptive and warm writing and the sympathetic and engaging Kate and Harry. In my mind, historical fiction novels can be a tricky business. So much research is necessary to go into them and sometimes the story itself can end up as dry as the proverbial Thanksgiving turkey. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but if you want a good, enriching story to go with your history, you might want more than just history. Ms. Higginbotham has no worries here. The story is rich with both history and characterization. The 15th century comes alive in the pages of this book and even if you know the story and the outcome, it's an incredible read and one I encourage you to make. Personally, I did not know all of the history surrounding these events but reading Ms. Higginbotham's tale sent me to do some online researching about the real people. Fans of historical fiction, have no worries. You should be more than pleased with The Stolen Crown. For those readers on the fence about the genre, this book may sway you into fandom territory. The Stolen Crown is not a bodice-ripper; while there is sex, it is mentioned more in passing than in exquisite (or excruciating) detail. There may be a few objectionable words here and there but if you take issue with that, the richness of the story will probably render the words a moot point. Is there anything about The Stolen Crown I didn't care for? Honestly, no. I enjoyed all the characters, even the ones you love to hate. I loved the richness of the characters, the way they were fully developed and I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of 15th century England. My time spent with Harry Stafford, Kate Woodville and a King of England here and there was absolutely worth every minute. Susan Higginbotham is firmly ensconced on my list of "must read" authors.
  • (3/5)
    Well, the book started off a little too slow for me and although it was interesting to read about their lives, I found it not as interesting as some other historical fiction novels I have read in the past. What nearly threw me off of this book was the abundant number of characters, and the majority of them having the same name. So, it was hard for me to figure out who was who. There is a character page in the beginning of the book, detailing who's who in each family and how they are related. It's a lot of information to take and I would have preferred it in family tree format (it's presented as one long list). It did seem overwhelming for me and keeping the characters straight is difficult in this novel. I think one would have to be rather familiar with the history (Wars of the Roses, the Reigns of Edward IV and Richard III, and the Princes in the Tower) to actually grasp the characters and the main events in the storyline. I am not familiar with it, I'm sure if I was, my enjoyment of the novel would be magnified tenfold. However, I did not give up and continued reading - as I do have a love for history and although the plot didn't seem to go nowhere, it did pick up the pace halfway through the novel. Especially events after the death of Edward IV, this is where the story gets a lot more interesting. The narration from Harry dominates most of the time but you get an interesting point of view of events (like the Princes in the Tower). It's hard not to like him. I thought at first he was just a normal spoiled brat who cared about his inheritance and land but as he grew older and realized who Richard really was, it changed him and I felt a great feeling of sympathy towards Harry. I'm not sure how I feel about Katherine. I admired her after having to go through a lot of tragic events of losing her family and loved ones but I thought both Katherine and Harry were indeed fit for one another and 'looked' great together. I loved the ending of the novel, there was a feeling of hope and happiness that Kate deserved after what she had been through. Also, I didn't realize Jasper Tudor could be such a dashing man (albeit, he had a very small part in the novel towards the end but it was enough to make an impression to me). The author's note is very informative and extensive but it is well written and a great follow up to those not familiar to the history.Overall, I would say, don't give up on this novel if you feel so overwhelmed with the names and characters. If you get the general idea on who is who then reading this should not be a problem. I recommend this novel to those in love with history particularly the Wars of the Roses, Richard III and the Princes in the Tower however those new to that time period like I am, give it a chance. I found myself learning a lot and wanting to read more of the history to understand better of the events portrayed in the book.
  • (3/5)
    This book began slowly and the number of characters introduced in the beginning was a bit overwhelming. I thought from the back that the book was written from Katherine Woodville's point of view however it switches between her and her husband and this took away from the book for me. In general this book is average, there are many other better written historical fiction out there that would be better choices.
  • (5/5)
    Let me just say that when you take the drama of the War of the Roses and the fascinating, easy story-telling of Susan Higginbotham, you can’t go wrong. I loved reading about the excitement that unfolded from the point-of-view of Harry Stafford, the person who betrayed a king but about whom little is actually known, as well as the perspective of his wife Kate Woodville who was the sister of the queen and to who history has not been the most kind.I don’t know about you, but for me this is a very confusing time period. I’m not talking about keeping all the details straight (which, hello, is ridiculous to attempt during a cousin’s war) but oh my emotions, I couldn’t keep them in check. One chapter I am living this person and wanting them to succeed and the next chapter I am wishing them dead. I think the changing narrations between Kate and Harry also added to this effect and I loved it.I also love the spunk that Higginbotham writes into her female characters when they are young. I think it makes them seem more real because I know if I was raised prim and proper (which of course I am) I would be doing absurd things whenever I could get away with it. Plus, it just makes the story that much more entertaining. It was quite amusing when I found young Harry to have similar qualities. “I told Grandmother when she talked to me this morning that I thought you were too French,’ Harry said solemnly. ‘But she told me that I was being foolish, that when I was older I would be delighted with your French ways. She didn’t say why. Anyway, she told me that it was either you or the Earl of Warwick’s girls…she thought that I would enjoy marriage to you more. And she said that you would probably be a better bearer of children for me…So I said that I guessed that you would do, and Grandmother said that I was shaping up to be a man of sense after all.”Please Harry, don’t hold back. The dialogue throughout the story is entertaining and it builds such fantastic chemistry between the characters. I know that there are many versions to every story but I like to believe it happened the way that Higginbotham tells it…full of drama and passion and betrayal and redemption.
  • (2/5)
    I just couldn't get into this. I loved her other books but there were just too many names getting flung around to follow along without rereading sections at a time. Nope, not for me.
  • (5/5)
    I read this book after reading Phillipa Gregory's Lady of the Rivers that chronicles the great love affair between Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford and her second husband Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers. This story picks up with the next generation of Woodvilles and the secret marriage of Lady Elizabeth (Bess) Grey to Edward V, former Lord March of the House of York. The twist and turns in the War of Roses is the backdrop of the intermachinations of the warring houses of Lancaster and York as seem through the relationships both familial and through marriage. This story focuses on the alliance between Katherine (Kate) Woodville and her husband, the Duke of Buckingham, Henry (Harry), their 18 years together and Harry's tragic end.
  • (4/5)
    This book solidifies this author’s mastery at world building and historical details for me. Her intimate research on the events of the turbulent Wars of the Roses and how it impacted the various parties involved shines through. It was intriguing to see how these events impacted such young individuals as our leads and how they molded their characters and outlook on life.Characterization was a strong suit for this author in the previous book I read by her, and this one is no different. Her characters seem to just walk off the page in their complexity and bigger-than-life personalities. Even the secondary individuals like Margaret Beaufort were as strong as the leads. I found myself thrilled to see Harry and Kate grow with the times and events presented, growing from the innocence of early childhood to the jaded reality that was late medieval England politics. The author gets the voices down well for both stages in life and everything in between.My only glitch with this book is the beginning third; it seems more like a told-scene non-fiction work rather than a fictional account of real events. There was a ton of dates and figures presented in such a way that it read like non-fiction, with occasional spurts of fictional scenes for flavor. I’m not sure if it was because the main leads were so young, Kate as young as 4, that it was hard to tell the story as flavorfully as an adult POV would allow. But I had a hard time getting through that first third, at times.With great characterization and historical world building, this book is a pretty good addition to Higginbotham’s body of work. The first third can read slowly at times with the excessive use of told scenes and non-fictional accounts, but that doesn’t weigh down the story overall. Definitely a fine read to immerse yourself into.
  • (4/5)
    In this riveting new historical novel, author Susan Higginbotham explores the tumultuous and deliciously intriguing War of the Roses, the well-known, frantic medieval British civil war between the two branches of the Plantagenet family -the House of York and the House of Lancaster. In a time where kings seem to grow on trees, enemies are constantly hiding in the shadows, alliances are made...and compromised Higginbotham paints a fascinating and well-drawn portrait of the War and its characters.Young Kate Woodville is the youngest of twelve in the Woodville family, a lower gentry family who have recently dedicated themselves to the House of York after defecting from the House of Lancaster. Kate's life is suddenly changed when her sister Elizabeth, a widowed mother of two, meets Yorkist King Edward IV, and secretly becomes his bride. This simple act of passion and romance sets off a chain reaction that completely changes Kate's life and the fate of England. Once the marriage becomes public, Kate and her other unwed siblings are quickly wed into influential families in order to increase their power. At a young age Kate is married to Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Kate must learn to play the thorny games at court, while surviving the near-constant shift of power between York and Lancaster forces -and even factions within each side. After King Edward IV dies, Kate's life is plunged into uncertainty and confusion.Oozing with romance, intrigue and drama, The Stolen Crown is a wonderful piece of historical fiction -though, admittedly, many elements, such as the feelings between Kate and Harry, are fiction, but hey -it makes or a compelling novel that kept me flipping pages -well, at least most of the time.I honestly found the first half-ish of the book to be a little slow, and the author relied a little too much on telling, rather showing or giving overviews of what was happening in the plot and making the story feel like it moved almost too quickly -kind of like a history book rather than a novel. I know alot of stuff happening in his period, but Higgenbotham should have tried to find another way to integrate them into the story better or taking out certain things. This issue, however, seems to be resolved as the novel goes on, especially once readers get to the "meat" of the story. It feels like Higgenbotham just wanted to get to that part rather than focusing on the build-up.A wonderful and compelling novel overall, The Stolen Crown is a wonderful picture of the War of the Roses and how Edward IV's seemingly foolish marriage to Elizabeth Woodville changed history.
  • (4/5)
    The 15th-century Wars of the Roses are prominent in this novelization of Kate Woodville's life. Younger sister of Elizabeth Woodville, who made a scandalous marriage to Edward IV,Kate is wed as a child to the Duke of Buckingham and she becomes caught up in the twists and turns of the warring houses of Lancaster and York. Fun reading and a convincing look at a little-known historical figure.
  • (5/5)
    The story takes place from 1464-1496 and tells the story, mostly in Harry Stafford( Duke of Buckingham) and Katherine Woodville's voices. Katherine is the sister of Elizabeth, who when Kate is quite young, marries King Edward IV secretly. Kate and Harry are married at an extremely young age, Kate was 6 and Harry was around 11. Their marriage was not consumated until Kate was at least 17.King Edward IV dies from a short illness and his sons Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, are in succession for the throne, but Richard of Gloucester has other ideas and as the boys protector he assumes the throne supposedly until Edward is old enough to assume the throne. He has Elizabeth and Kates brother Anthony arrested and later executed for plotting to kill Edward V. Richard then gives orders for the boys to be locked up in the Tower at the advice of Lord Hastings whom Richard III later has executed.Richard declaring that Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was illegitimate and that, in consequence, Richard, not his nephew, was the rightful king. According to this story Richard admits to Harry that he had issued an order to have Edward IV's sons killed. No one really knows for sure if this happened or not and there have been many different historians debating this issue.Richard III is the last king of the house of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. As lifelong friends, Harry is loyal to Richard until he realizes what Richard did to Edward V and the Duke of York. The story continues on and there are many characters portrayed in the story and it was a bit difficult to keep them all straight. I felt that the early years of Harry and Kate's friendship and marriage was a very loving one. They had 5 children together and seemed to be very happy.There were two big rebellions against Richard. The first, in 1483, was led by Harry Stafford. The revolt collapsed and Buckingham was executed for treason against the king at Salisbury near the Bull's Head Inn. In 1485 there was another rebellion against Richard, headed by Henry Tudor, 2nd Earl of Richmond and his uncle Jasper. The rebels landed troops and Richard fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last English king to die in battle. Henry Tudor then becomes King Henry VII and marries King Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth and they become the parents of Margaret, Arthur and Henry who becomes King Henry VIII.I feel that the author did an impeccable job of research and telling this story in such a way that I found it very interesting although like I said I had trouble with all the characters. I liked the story of Harry and Kate and the love that they had between them, in spite of what some critics have said that Harry despised Kate. I kind of like this version better. Kate does go on to marry two more times, to Jasper Tudor, King Henry VII's uncle and to Richard Wingfield. This is a must read for historical fiction fans.About the AuthorSusan Higginbotham is the author of three historical fiction novels. The Traitor's Wife, her first novel, is the winner of ForeWord Magazine's 2005 Silver Award for historical fiction and is a Gold Medalist, Historical/Military Fiction, 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. She writes her own historical fiction blog and is a contributor to the blog Yesterday Revisited. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and lives in North Carolina with her family.
  • (5/5)
    From my blog...The Stolen Crown is a beautifully written novel filled with eloquent prose depicting a dreadful period of the English Monarchy, The War of the Roses. The Stolen Crown begins near the end of 1493 with Duke Harry Stafford imprisoned and about to be executed for treason. Susan Higginbotham masterfully takes the reader back to the beginning allowing the tale to unfold, told in alternating voices of Duke Harry Stafford and Katherine Woodville, and through them the reader is taken the best and worst of times in England starting with 1464 and ending in 1496 England. This time period is best known as The War of the Roses and Higginbotham's novel is not only well researched, but also expertly crafted rendering the reader unable to set the novel down. The Stolen Crown is an absolute must read for anyone who is a fan of historical fiction. For those who have yet to try this genre, this novel would make an excellent introduction to the genre.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent overview of England’s history from the reign of Edward IV through Richard III as told from the points of view of Elizabeth’s sister Kate and Harry, the Duke of Buckingham. The author takes creative license, but the underlying facts from the period are front and center in this wonderful story. Recommended.