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The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England

The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England [Kindle Edition]

Susan Higginbotham
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


The story of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV has been told hundreds of times, but never quite the way that Higginbotham tells it here through the words of Bess s youngest sister, Kate, and Kate s husband, Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Married in early childhood, the Duke and Duchess learn the ways of Edward s court, the pitfalls and the benefits of being tied inextricably to the Woodvilles, while they grow into a stable, loving couple, acquiring lands and children. But the seeds of the destruction of the Staffords as a couple and as a family are planted in Harry s blood brotherhood with Edward s brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. From our introduction to Kate at age six to her survival as the only remaining Woodville, she is an engaging character clever, opinionated, sassy, sexy. Harry grows from a self-important youngster, worshipful of his friend, Richard, to a profoundly determined and powerful man, and ultimately to a soul of deep conviction who accepts moral responsibility for his actions and choices. We come to have great respect for Buckingham by the time he is put to death by Richard. Richard, though, is another story. Higginbotham adopts the hard-line anti-Ricardian position that Richard was not merely instrumental in, but ordered the deaths of his nephews, the young Edward V and his brother Richard. And through Buckingham, we are led to question whether Gloucester ever intended to act as regent for his brother s son in his kinghood. The rebellion conspiracies of Hastings, Rivers and Vaughan, the precontract of marriage between Edward IV and Eleanor Butler they are all creations of Richard s demonic machinations to usurp Edward V s throne. Certainly a worthy contribution to the debate, told from an interesting and novel point of view. --Ilysa Magnus

Product Description

On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything-for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth's two young princes, but Richard's own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties...

Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil-or wholly good.

Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown is a compelling tale of one marriage that changed the fate of England forever.

Praise for The Stolen Crown:

"The Wars of the Roses come spectacularly to life in Susan Higginbotham's compelling new novel about Kate Woodville, sister to Queen Elizabeth of England. A sweeping tale of danger, treachery, and love, The Stolen Crown is impossible to put down!"

-Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Cleopatra's Daughter

"A fascinating and compelling look at a tumultuous era. Susan Higginbotham writes the perfect blend of historical fact and fiction."

-Elizabeth Kerri Mahon, creator of the Scandalous Women blog

"A new King with a secret Queen; love and tears, loyalty and turmoil. With a single stroke, Susan Higginbotham transports her readers into a vividly portrayed past, where the turbulent lives of her characters become very real. Probably her best novel yet!"

-Helen Hollick, author of the Pendragon's Banner trilogy

"A tale of love, palace intrigue, and betrayal...Susan Higginbotham draws the reader under her spell, her characters vivid and real: their voices, their loves, their losses. She brings the dead to life."

-Christy English, author of The Queen's Pawn

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 710 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402237669
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; 1 edition (1 Mar 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00447872I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,593 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Stolen Crown begins is told from the alternating POV of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and his wife Katherine Woodville. Henry (Harry) was married as a young child to Katherine, younger sister of Elizabeth Woodville - Queen of England and wife to Edward IV (no small feat for those *grasping* Woodvilles). When they grow older Harry and Katherine are able to establish a strong marriage, but Harry wants more power and position at court than Edward is willing to give him and he chafes at the bit, which only exacerbates his dilema. Harry is on firmer ground with Edward's younger brother Richard and when Edward dies and Richard thinks he can take it all.......

This period and it's history is much too complicated to try to spell out in a review - either you know the basics going in and don't need a rehash or if you don't I'd just have your eyes glazing over trying to explain it all. What I enjoyed most about this one was the *fresh* look at the period from the POV of Harry and Kate and how his rebellion against Richard III might have come about. I just loved Kate's voice and her dry sense of humor, as well as seeing them both as children and then adults caught up in a political storm beyond their control.

I loved the way the author brought some humor into the York/Lancaster differences, as well as busting some of those commonly held myths - Katherine being much older than Harry as well as the Woodville women being practicing witches. I appreciate that Higginbotham doesn't try to muddle her story with *authentic* period language - no "woe is me" to be found in this book (but that's a good thing).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective 6 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The core of this book is historically very accurate and I enjoyed viewing the story from this different angle.
These were very complex times as to who was related to who, married to who and loyal to who at any one moment in time (it was forever shifting).
The story was told in such a way as to make those relationships understandable and the story held my interest throughout.
It is possible that Buckingham has been portrayed in a much more favoured light than he deserves but we will never know for certain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Stolen Crown 27 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Stolen Crown was another good read from Susan Higginbotham for me, but I didn't quite get into it as much as The Queen of Last Hopes. It starts promisingly with exciting opening scenes that immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading, but it does tails off in the middle - that is, it's well-written, but the story kind of treads water for a while in the middle whilst Katherine Woodville and Henry Stafford grow up, and you just know we're all waiting for Richard III to come along.

Higginbotham admits in her author's note that very little is known about Buckingham and his motives, so I enjoyed reading about a plausible recreation of his what might have happened. We'll never really know, of course. I kind of felt that the marriage between Katherine and Henry depicted here seemed the same as the other marriages in medieval historical fiction - rocky starts, solidifying as they get to know each other. Having read a lot of medieval fiction recently, I've noticed that this sort of marriage seems to crop up a lot.

One thing I'm not sure was a decision that worked was telling the story from the perspective of Katherine and Henry. It was definitely interesting to get the perspective of characters who we don't often get to know very well in wars of the roses fiction because they're not the main players... but because they are often secondary figures in events, they're not always present for key events, or aware of what's going on. That works for me as a reader who already knows the wars of the roses well and so I can gain novelty and enjoyment from reading the same tale again from this fresh new angle, but for other readers it may be different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting, well-written book on the War of the Roses. As mentioned by someone else I think, a basic understanding of the events and people involved in the War of the Roses would be helpful... or easy access to Wikipedia, I suppose ;-)

I have read a number of books on this period in history. I've not found anything to surpass S K Penman' s Sunne in Splendour, and this is no exception. However, this was an enjoyable read. I found the portrayal of Richard III after Edward IV' s death a bit jarring, as well as the incredible stupidity and/or naivete of Buckingham.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very complicated time 9 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hadn't realised how truly complicated this fairly short period of English history was. Considering the list of the kings of England and their queens, Elizabeth Woodville did seem an anomaly, I mean where did she come from? This books clears that up: she was beautiful and gentle, and Edward IV fell for her. And Edward himself, and the doubts as to his 'provenance' - which might well have been the reason his brother Richard felt entitled to grab for the throne upon his untimely death.

It was quite a twist to get the story from the viewpoint of two other royals. But well over half way through the book, I made a big mistake. I googled Richard III's story of how he achieved his coup, and who his backers were, and the mess that ensued after he became king. So, through no mistake of the author, I just couldn't face reading anymore as the fate of someone I'd come to really like and respect slowly unwound. Won't be doing that again when I read my next historical novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing
It was a good read. It was sad, disturbing but this Richard was more realistic than the romantic one. Refreshing.
Published 7 months ago by Sophie Maya
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Perspective
This book captured me with the dedication, "To those who died in 1483." I paused here considering what I already knew about this tragic year. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Carpe Librum
4.0 out of 5 stars an Interesting View of a Turbulent Time
The Wars of the Roses is a time steeped in mystery and obviously it allows authors a great deal of scope to explore ideas and possibilities. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kindle Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than The White Queen
I have read these two books in fairly quick succession and they deal with the same period and the same topic, the Wars of the Roses. Of the two I prefer Stolen Crown. Read more
Published 15 months ago by H. M. Sykes
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too much like history rather than fiction.
I did not get a real feel for the characters in this novel. Bess was quite well done, but the others seemed almost as if they were out of a history textbook. Read more
Published 19 months ago by jeremy bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book was dispatched quickly and I received soon after purchase. I am unable ton comment on the content y because I haven't read it.
Published 19 months ago by Cheryl Coscia
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely enjoyed it
A bit of a slow start but really picked up!! Was a shame it finished so quickly. Will defo read it again
Published 23 months ago by Gem87
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
The Stolen Crown begins is told from the alternating POV of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and his wife Katherine Woodville. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2012 by Angela O'Neill
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening entertainment
This book satisfied me on a couple of levels. First of all, it shed light on a period of history that I knew little about - but did it in a way that made it all fairly accessible. Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2012 by Ghengiz Jones
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