This is a really enjoyable historical novel, telling the story of Elizabeth of York from her childhood to her death. It’s quite lightly written, but covers all the main events of the time insofar as they affected Elizabeth.
History gives us two versions of the young Elizabeth – the heroine of The Song of the Lady Bessy, working towards marriage with the future Henry VII because she believed that her uncle Richard III had murdered her brothers, and the scheming minx who wanted to marry Richard and was plotting it even before Anne Neville was dead. Alison Weir largely goes for the first version, but works with the second by saying that Richard wanted to marry Elizabeth, talked her into the idea by claiming that Buckingham had spirited the boys away, then changed his mind. We later see relatives of James Tyrell confirming that he’d had the boys murdered on Richard’s orders.
Elizabeth, Henry, Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth Woodville/Wydeville are all quite favourably portrayed in this. It’s a very nice, gentle book, considering that it covers some very violent times! There are going to be two sequels: going into the first one, it takes the traditional view that Arthur was always sickly, and that his marriage to Catherine of Aragon was never consummated. It takes the traditional view on pretty much everything, which I’d much rather have than people making up nonsense just for the sake of being different.
I really enjoyed this, and highly recommend it.