I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Susan Higginbotham’s novel The Queen of Last Hopes this past autumn, and thought I’d share the note I wrote to her editor:
From the moment King Henry appears in The Queen of Last Hopes I was
captivated. With elegantly simple brush strokes Susan Higginbotham reveals
the disarming innocence and sweetness of Henry, and the tender affection
between him and his young bride, Margaret of Anjou. And then at once we
are swept along with them into the maelstrom of political intrigue that
destroys them. Step by inexorable step we endure with them the betrayals,
the humiliations, the horrific deaths of their supporters, all visited
upon them by those who saw them as a fool and his sorceress, intent on
destroying the glory of England-the king’s powerful cousins who took
advantage of his descent into madness. In the end, Margaret of Anjou’s
fury is ours. Higginbotham’s portrayal of Henry and his fiercely loyal
queen never sinks into melodrama. This is a passionate, intelligent novel.
I would add that as a Yorkist, I was a hard sell on Margaret. The book is out now–enjoy!
And incidentally, Susan and I will be on a panel at the Historical Novel Society conference in San Diego (17-19 June), together with Chris Gortner and Anne Easter Smith–our topic, Whose Side Are You On?: Turning the Antagonists of History into Sympathetic Protagonists. Hope to see you there!