Amberley Press £9.99
Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty, By Elizabeth Norton
Portrait of a medieval matriarch
Sunday 27 November 2011
Such is the pull of Philippa Gregory that Amberley feel compelled to advertise this book as "the true story of the 'Red Queen'".
Alas, Elizabeth Norton doesn't quite have Gregory's way with plot and characters – essential, even in non-fiction – and this account of a complex moment in history, when the reign of the Plantagenets came to an end and the Tudor period began, is packed with names (lots of Elizabeths and Margarets) and events (battles, intrigues and constant switching of sides) that are often hard to distinguish from one another. Norton emphasises Margaret's holiness while never really reconciling it with her immense ambition for her son, soon to be Henry VII, which presupposes a real degree of ruthlessness.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'