Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Forbidden Queen - Anne O'Brien


This was not the first book I read about Katherine of Valois but it was, by far, the best one.
The author allowed her to tell her story, in a manner that allowed for understanding, and she became real to me.So real that at the end I was very upset at the ending and explored possibilities for the end of her life. I choose now to think that Bermondsey Abbey was like a hospital where she went to get well, although she did not achieve that ending.

Her family was not loving and nurturing,  and Katherine learned early that she had few options, without an understanding as to why.Her mother was promiscuous and her father intermittently insane, and neither were physically or emotionally there for their children. She and her sister, the younger of the children, were ragged, often hungry and very neglected.

We know from the history that her son, who became King Henry VI, had periods of insanity lasting his whole life.Her sons with Owen Tudor did not, although her grandson, Henry Tudor was remote and cold.Owen Tudor seemed to bring her warmth and love and normalcy although it was short lived.

Anne O'Brien did an excellent job of making Katherine a sympathetic character. It was fine book and a necessary tool for Tudor  lovers to understand the family dynamics.

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