The Tudors were a fiery, memorable family. Headstrong, passionate, often foolhardy, restless… this describes the forgotten Tudor, Queen Margaret of Scotland. She was Henry VIII’s older sister, but more importantly, she was the mother of King James V of Scotland, the father of Mary, Queen of Scots. She tried to set into motion peace between England in Scotland, which would finally be realized with her great-grandson James.
Margaret leaves England at an early age to wed the King of Scotland. Though they have a loving relationship, Margaret can never understand why he must always have a mistress. She sees this as a personal affront, but when he dies a few years into their marriage, leaving her a pregnant widow, she misses him dearly. Through several regents, Margaret tries to hold Scotland together. She realizes much too late that her second husband, the Earl of Angus, is greedy and grasping, and by then Scotland is in an uproar.
Margaret lived a long life, having many children. Only two survived infancy, the future King James V and the neglected Lady Margaret Douglas. Bogdan’s Margaret is impetuous, selfish, passionate, lonely, and full of regrets. Yet she never stops dreaming, or hoping for the best for her adopted homeland of Scotland.
This is an excellent, fast-paced story. Margaret is a fully developed character who was at times infuriating, and at others pitiful. The love Margaret must have felt for her country comes through in Bogdan’s lovely descriptions of the country and in Margaret’s feelings about it. Highly recommended.
My review courtesy of the Historical Novel Society.