Book Review: The King’s Daughter a novel of the first Tudor queen
Reviewed by: Lynn Peterson
Rating: An Excellent Book!
The King’s Daughter presents a fascinating portrait of England’s little-known queen, Elizabeth of York. She is daughter of Edward the Fourth, wife to Henry the Seventh, and mother of Henry the Eighth. She is also the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth (Henry VIII’s daughter), but the women of the same name never met. As the eldest daughter of the king, Elizabeth of York’s duty is first and foremost to England, and her life, as told in this book, portrays both the joys and heartache inherent in such a life.
Although she was royalty and would eventually give birth to a future king, Elizabeth was not a free woman. She was subject to both the whims of her scheming mother and to the politics of the day. When her father is killed in battle, she goes in and out of sanctuary with her family to seek protection from the people who would wish them dead. The most freedom she ever had was in the court of Richard III and his wife, Anne, where she served the queen. After Richard’s death, she married King Henry VII which solidified his claim to the throne by uniting the previously warring York and Lancaster houses. Even as queen, she was restricted. Henry’s mother watched over Elizabeth and her children like they were prisoners.
A powerless queen could have easily slipped through the cracks of history, had Sandra Worth not told her story in The King’s Daughter. Here we see a queen who while very restricted, is a beautiful person who shares that beauty with those around her. And more amazing still, she sees beauty and good in those who are hated and feared like Richard III and Henry VII. She shares her money with the poor, she encourages mercy in the king, and she gives the greatest gift to her sisters. They are free and allowed to marry for love, something she could never do. This is a woman who deserves to be remembered.