It’s taken me far too long to get round to this amazing piece of historical fiction. Why am I publishing this on Welsh Wednesdays?
Not only is the book partly set in Wales, in Caldecot Castle, I’ve actually met Judith in Wales in the run up to the Llandeilo Book Fair in April and have secured myself a signed copy of her book.
At last I got time to read this and must say I am very impressed.
From the first page onwards the prose hooked me into the story of young Margaret, only 12 years old when she is married to someone twice her age. Although the brother of the king, her husband, like his mad brother, is not a great catch.
Told from the young woman’s perspective we gain a great insight into the life of the 1440s court, the life of women and nobility, politics and intrigue.
Arnopp explored her subject deeply and presents an interesting interpretation of the woman whose son would be king later.
The time before the War of the Roses was particularly fascinating for me. I knew some about it but not a lot and this was truly an eye opener.
Very well written with a narrative voice that grabs and holds your attention, this is historical fiction at its best. I don’t often go for this period but I will definitely read the sequel to this. A great accomplishment and a writer to watch.
Blurb for The Beaufort Bride
As King Henry VI slips into insanity and the realm of England teeters on the brink of civil war, a young girl is married to the mad king’s brother. Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, takes his child bride into Wales where she discovers a land of strife and strangers.
At Caldicot Castle and Lamphey Palace Margaret must put aside childhood, acquire the dignity of a Countess and, despite her tender years, produce Richmond with a son and heir.
While Edmund battles to restore the king’s peace Margaret quietly supports his quest; but it is a quest that ultimately results in his untimely death.
As the friction between York and Lancaster intensifies 14-year-old Margaret, now widowed, turns for protection to her brother-in-law, Jasper Tudor. At his stronghold in Pembroke, two months after her husband’s death, Margaret gives birth to a son whom she names Henry, after her cousin the king.
Margaret is small of stature but her tiny frame conceals a fierce and loyal heart and a determination that will not falter until her son’s destiny as the king of England is secured.
The Beaufort Bride traces Margaret’s early years from her nursery days at Bletsoe Castle to the birth of her only son in 1457 at Pembroke Castle. Her story continues in Book Two: The Beaufort Woman.
Thanks Judith. See you soon in Llandeilo at the Book Fair!
Bio: Judith Arnopp’s first Tudor novel, The Winchester Goose: at the court of Henry VIII is still her best seller while The Kiss of the Concubine: a story of Anne Boleyn; Intractable Heart: the story of Katheryn Parr, and A Song of Sixpence: the story of Elizabeth or York and Perkin Warbeck also sell well and receive excellent reviews.
Judith is currently working on a trilogy tracing the life of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of King Henry VII. Book One of The Beaufort Chronicles will be called The Beaufort Bride and will be available later on in 2016.
For more information about Judith’s work click on the links below.
And Twitter: @juditharnopp