The Tudor Princess by Darcey Bonnette


Word PressThe author of this book (Darcey Bonnette, also known as D L Bogdan) apparently thinks that the father of James IV of Scotland (born 1473) was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314).  We all slip up in our research sometimes, but how can someone who doesn’t even know in which century the Battle of Bannockburn took place presume to write a book about Scottish history?  Or English history, for that matter.  And don’t editors bother to check anything?  As bloopers go, that is one of the worst ones I’ve ever found in a historical novel!  I could have lived without her attempts at Scottish dialect as well: she just about stopped short of having characters saying “Och aye the noo”.

All of this is a great shame, because “The Tudor Princess”, Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, elder sister of Henry VIII and direct ancestress of the present British royal family and many other royal families, had a very interesting life.  She was married off to the King of Scotland as a young girl, and, like Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, they sadly lost several children (five, in their case) at birth or in infancy.  The one child who did survive was only six years old when his father was killed at Flodden Field and Margaret was appointed regent, at a court which was hostile both to the English in general and to women holding power.  She made two more marriages, both ill-judged and both ending in divorce, and got into all sorts of messes.  However, she came through it all, and played an important part in bringing about a temporary peace between England and Scotland.

However, this book doesn’t come even close to doing her justice.  On top from the appalling historical blunders, the style of writing is very poor – casual and slangy.  The life of Margaret Tudor would make for an excellent historical novel, but this isn’t it.  I’ve read far better writing than this for free on fanfic websites, and it puzzles me how books like this get published when there’s so much writing out there that’s so very much better.  Seriously – who on earth thinks that there was only one generation between Bannockburn and Flodden Field?!



2 thoughts on “The Tudor Princess by Darcey Bonnette

  1. Chris Deeley

    Another brilliant review! Prince Charles proudly claims descent from Alfred the Great: Margaret Tudor is an essential link in that provenance.

    Just digressing: could you treat us to a review of your favorite book? My two are “The Reason Why” by Cecil Woodham-Smith (about the Charge of the Light Brigade) and “Remember You are an Englishman” by Joseph Lehmann (a biography – maybe the only biography – of Sir Harry Smith).


    • Sorry to be unoriginal, but my favourites are Gone With The Wind and Pride and Prejudice! And the North and South trilogy by John Jakes, which is best-known as a TV series starring Patrick Swayze in his pre-Dirty Dancing days … the books are much better than the TV series, though.


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