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Count your books with me! Mwoarh!

Count your books with me! Mwoarh!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Book Review-Uneasy lies the Head by Jean Plaidy

King Henry VII ended The War of the Roses by uniting his House of Lancaster with the House of York by marrying Elizabeth of York. Even with the birth of two sons, Henry still feels paranoid about losing his throne. He seeks an alliance with the rulers of Spain, while fighting off rebels who support other claimants to the throne. He feels more secure when his son Arthur marries Katherine of Aragon, the young Spanish Princess but disaster is waiting just around the corner.

This book was a good background to the early life of Prince Arthur, the first husband of Katharine of Aragon, and his petulant brother who would become King Henry VIII, and their sisters Mary and Margaret. It is clear that their father has a lot of work to do to secure the throne from pretenders who use the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower to their own ends, presenting fake princes to the public to rally support to overthrow the unpopular King. We also get to see all the diplomatic problems surrounding overseas alliances and marriages which makes this a very interesting read. Henry VII was a cold man who showed little emotion even over his wife and the children that he lost so it's no surprise that the people loved the vibrant Prince Henry much better.

Henry VIII is seen here as a spoiled child who wants to get his own way and sulks at not having the power and glory given to reluctant heir Prince Arthur. His desire for marrying Katherine does not end even when his father decides to break the betrothal and you can see the early seeds of the tyrant showing through in young Henry.

It is the first book I have read about Henry VII and I'll be interested to read more about him and The War of the Roses itself.

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