Excellent historical fiction! The story of the ancestress of five centuries of English monarchs, QUEEN BY RIGHT tells the story of Cecily Neville over a period of 40 years. Awarded five stars on Goodreads.
An outspoken woman for her time, with a razor sharp intellect, she lived at the center of history making events in the 1400s. This book satisfies on so many levels:
• The deeply romantic love match between Cecily and her husband, Richard of York, beginning from their meeting as children.
• Insights into the medical care available to someone through 14(!) pregnancies.
• Best of all, for me, understanding how the arranged marriages among England’s noble families led to shifting loyalties in the decades leading up to the start of The Wars of The Roses.While I read a lot of history fiction, this is the first book that gave me an appreciation of how much family relationships impacted politics at this time.
For example –
• What happens when your sister believes your own husband is guilty of treason?
• What is it like when your uncle becomes your mortal enemy?
• What if your own daughter marries someone on the “other side?”
I loved discovering how Anne Easter Smith uses the private details of her characters’ lives and ambitions to tell the political story of this fascinating era in English history. And I now understand the events that led to the beginning of the “Cousins War.” This is a thoughtfully presented and well-researched novel.
More about one of my favorite historical novelists, Anne Easter Smith.
You may also be interested in my reviews of other historical novels by Anne Easter Smith:
This Son of York, about King Richard III
Daughter of York, about Margaret of York, sister to Richard III.
A Rose for the Crown, about King Richard III’s mistress, Katherine Haute.