Monday, July 10, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: The Uncrowned Queen by Posie Graeme-Evans

The Uncrowned Queen, the finalé to Posie Graeme-Evans’ Anne trilogy, picks up eighteen months after The Exile. Commencing shortly after Edward Plantagenet, Edward the IV, lost the throne of England to the Lancastrian line (Henry VI and his wife, Margaret of Anjou) for several months in 1470-1471, Anne de Bohun lives on a small farm outside the walls of Brugge. In the eighteen months since Anne has seen her lover, Edward the IV, she has returned to the a more natural life, growing saffron and other medicinal herbs while tending to her growing son Edward.

Edward has fled England, driven away by the combined treachery of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and George, Duke of Clarence, Edward’s younger brother. Seeking shelter at Binnenhof with his friend Louis de Gruuthuis, the governor of the province of Holland for Charles, Duke of Burgundy, Edward hopes that Charles will lend aid to recover the English throne. Faced with a strong foe in Louis XI, King of France who is plotting with Warwick to reinstate Henry VI on the English throne, Charles faces war with France if he assists his brother-in-law Edward.

Anne, close friends with Charles’s wife, is Edward’s only hope to broker a deal with Charles and, as a last resort, he sends her the desperate message ‘The king needs you.’ Charles has the means to help Edward regain his throne, but the question is, will he? Will Edward and Anne be reunited for good? The Uncrowned Queen is a memorable and dazzling end to this historical saga.

Set amidst a turbulent period in European history, Graeme-Evans has created a compelling love story which manages to hold up amidst the political drama which drives the plot. Although the character of Anne is fictitious, Edward IV is known to have had many mistresses, and fathered children with several of them, so the relationship, which has developed through this trilogy, has a ring of truth.

What is most fascinating in Graeme-Evans’ writing is the portrait of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, another of Edward’s brothers. Long viewed as the scheming hunchback protrayed by Shakespeare in Richard III, Graeme-Evans portrays him as Edward’s right hand and most trusted supporter. This portrait is so at odds with the conventional understanding of Richard, that it has prompted this reviewer to seek out contemporary biographies of both Richard and Edward IV to better understand this turbulent period in England’s history.

The Uncrowned Queen (or The Beloved as it is titled outside of North America), while the concluding chapter in a trilogy, contains enough adventure, passion and drama to engage readers, even if they have not read the preceding two instalments of Anne’s journey.

This review is published at Front Street Reviews.

ISBN10: 0743443748
ISBN13: 9780743443746

Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 6, 2006
Binding: Trade Paperback
Author Website: www.posie-graeme-evans.com


Related Books:
· The Innocent
· The Exiled
· Edward IV by Michael Hicks
· Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower by David Baldwin
· The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
· Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
· Richard III by Michael Hicks


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2 comments:

Gata said...

Thanks for recommendation - I love historical novels - and that time period was such an explosive one for England.

Janelle Martin said...

You're welcome Gata. Welcome to my part of the Closet! Feel free to explore and let me know if you have any questions.

P.S. Your cat is gorgeous!