Little Anne, nearly nine years old, is processing into the throne room at the Tower of London, come to pay her respects to the Queen who will be crowned tomorrow. She steps forward to make her curtsey and is stunned by the beauty of this woman, and the warmth of her smile. A smile just for her. Later she is reprimanded for praising the Queen, for she is Anne Neville, daughter of the most powerful man in England, Richard, Earl of Warwick. The Earl is most upset with King Edward IV. He had put Edward on the throne and planned a grand and advantageous marriage for him. Then Edward secretly married a nobody, Elizabeth Woodville. Now Anne and all of the Warwicks are expected to dislike the plotting and grasping Queen.
Warwick can’t give up his dream of being the power behind the throne and he considers his daughters, Anne and Isabel, valuable only as instruments to be used for his benefit. The girls are raised to value the welfare of their father and to do his bidding without question. Isabel is married first, to a contender for the throne. When Warwick’s attempt to make his son-in-law king fails, little Anne, only 14, is married to another contender. And the wars continue.
Philippa Gregory first told the story of the reign of Edward IV in The White Queen through the eyes of Elizabeth Woodville. This time she tells it through the eyes of Anne Neville. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the events unfold in another light. I got out my copy of The White Queen and re-read some passages to see history from both points of view. I was left wondering just what really happened. Another excellent historical fiction novel from the prolific author.
Galley review Publication date 8.14.12