The King's CurseBook - 2014
Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII's claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter-Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret's contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.
After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret's world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and "holiest" woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.
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"I am filled with a great ecstasy of rebellion. I do not consent to the will of the madman Henry Tudor, and I do not put my head meekly down upon the block, and I never will. I am going to fight for my life and I say "No!" as I struggle to rise, and "No" as the blow comes again, and "No" as I crawl away, blood pouring from the wound in my neck and my head, blinding me but not drowning my joy in fighting for my life even as it is slipping away from me, and witnessing, to the very last moment, to the wrong that Henry Tudor has done to me and mine. "No!" I cry out. "No! No! No!"
"Before God, I am a Plantagenet. I am a daughter of the House of York. My own father broke sanctuary, murdered a king, and was killed by his own brother. My mother followed her father into rebellion and changed sides and waged war with her husband against him. We are a house of men and women who always follow our own wills; we cannot be made to fear consequences. If you show us danger we will always, always go towards it. They call us the demon's brood for our devilish willfulness"
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