The Kings Curse

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I finished The Kings Curse by Phillipa Gregory only moments ago and I am still staggering.

If you are a fan of Gregory’s work (and we all know I’m obsessed) you will know that this book is about the reign of Henry VIII of England. It is told solely through the point of view of Margaret Plantagenet married Pole following her life from 1499 to 1541. It follows her life as she struggles with her obligation as one of the old royal family of England and her obligation to keep her sons safe.

When I started this book i did not like it. I do not like Gregory’s portrayal of the Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales and the young Katherine of Aragon in their marriage at Ludlow. It’s not just that I disagree with her views on an old controversy, I disagree with her writing Katherine as a scheming, plotting girl who will happily announce that she plans to lie about her marriage. If you know that history, you know what I mean, if not there is not enough space her for me to tell you and I am sorry.

After that annoyance I simply thought the book too slow. “She’s writing history from the point of view of a side character!” I think i said that at least twice to my ever patient boyfriend. The story was jumpy as nothing was really happening and Margaret was not important enough to be in the thick of things. It takes about 3 or 4 decades (in the book) before things start picking up really fast. The King begins loosing his mind and Margaret and her sons are in the thick of Plantagenet conspiracy. If you are reading this and finding it slow just push forward. The last page makes it all worth while.

Going in i knew the fate of Margaret and many of the other Plantagenets. I opened the book and sighed as i recognized her name and recalled her story. Each page I read brought me closer to what I knew was coming, and I am sorry if i am spoiling you but when that dreaded moment finally come I didn’t flinch away in horror as I’d always done before. I teared up, yes, but with pride and happiness. The ending of this book, the very last page of this book, is beautifully written and turned horror into triumph in a way I admire.

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Book 25 of 36: The Kings Curse by Phillipa Gregory

  • 1- Don’t Read
  • 2- It’s Good
  • 3- Read
  • 4- Highly Recommend
  • 5- Must Read

If you are a fan of history, the Tudor era, of Phillipa Gregory you should read this book. It is more than just a story of this one lady and her family, it is the story of tyranny, power, and the need, the ever present need, for someone to stand up and speak out. Never be trampled on, never let your voice be silenced. Reading this book i am reminded of the horrors of Henry’s reign and throughout the poem “The Hangman” by Maurice Ogden kept springing into mind.  That poem is a must read for anyone anywhere, and you may have read it in school. Give it a reread.

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