Daughter of York: A Novel

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9780743277310: Daughter of York: A Novel

History tells us that the intelligent, wealthy, and powerful Margaret of York had everything any woman could want, except for love. The acclaimed author of A Rose for the Crown takes us between the lines of history and into her heart.

It is 1461: Edward, son of Richard of York, ascends to the throne, and his willful sister, Margaret, immediately becomes a pawn in European politics as Edward negotiates her marriage. The young Margaret falls deeply in love with Anthony Woodville, the married brother of Edward's queen, Elizabeth. But Edward has arranged for his sister to wed Charles, son of the Duke of Burgundy, and soon Margaret is setting sail for her new life. Her official escort: Anthony Woodville.

Margaret of York eventually commanded the respect and admiration of much of Europe, but it appears to history that she had no emotional intimate. Anne Easter Smith's rare gift for storytelling and her extensive research reveal the love that burned at the center of Margaret's life, adding a new dimension to the story of one of the fifteenth century's most powerful women.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

About the Author:

A native of England, Anne Easter Smith has lived in the United States for more than forty years. She was the features editor at a newspaper in New York State and now lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband, Scott. You can visit her website at AnneEasterSmith.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


1
1461

The Micklegate towered above her, seeming to touch the lowering sky, as she knelt in the mud and stared at the gruesome objects decorating the battlement. Rudely thrust on spikes, several human heads kept watch from the crenellations, wisps of hair stirring in the breeze. A paper crown sat askew on one of the bloodied skulls and drooped over a socket now empty of the owner's dark gray eye. The fl esh on the cheeks had been picked clean by birds, and there was no nose. Yet still Margaret recognized her father. She could not tear her eyes from him even as his lifeless lips began to stretch over his teeth into a hideous smile.

It was then Margaret screamed.

"Margaret! Wake up! 'Tis but a dream, my child." Cecily shook her daughter awake. She watched anxiously as Margaret's eyes flew open and looked around her with relief.

"Oh, Mother, dear Mother, I dreamed of Micklegate again! A terrible, ghastly dream. Why does it not go away? I cannot bear to imagine Father and Edmund like that!" Margaret sat up, threw her arms around her mother's neck and sobbed. "Oh, why did they have to die?"

Cecily held her daughter close and was silent for a moment. Why, indeed, she thought, fighting back her own tears. It was surely a mistake, a horrible mistake! If only she had stopped them venturing out that fateful New Year's eve. Christmas was supposed to be sacrosanct no matter how great the hatred between enemies -- all retiring to hearths and homes to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The great hall at Sandal Castle had been decorated with boughs of holly and pine, the rafters ringing with the noise of men feasting and drinking. The Christmas fortnight was half spent, and thoughts of death had been put aside for the holy season. Cecily sat close to her beloved husband, Richard, duke of York, and their second son, Edmund, earl of Rutland, aware of the uneasy peace that lay around them, for the enemy army of Lancaster lay not ten miles hence at the royal castle of Pontefract. Then came the knocking at the great oak door and the unexpected entrance of more soldiers -- but these were armed, disheveled, bloody. Richard upset a goblet of wine as he rose in alarm.

"Ambush!" cried the leader of the stragglers. "Trollope ambushed us as we foraged!"

The duke and seventeen-year-old Edmund called for their arms, and the cry was taken up by the rest of the company: "Aux armes! A York, á York!" Pandemonium broke out as servants ran to fetch weapons and armor, men donned breastplates, helmets and shields and ran out to the castle courtyard.

"My lord, my dearest lord, this is Christmas!" Cecily cried, taking Richard's face between her hands. "Surely Somerset would not break a Christmas truce! These men must have come upon a band of brigands, not an army of the king!"

"Perhaps you are right. Trust me, mon amour, we shall be home again in a little while. Keep faith, Cecily. I must go and avenge my comrades." Richard bent, kissed her hard on the mouth and grinned. "Just a little while, have no fear!"

"I beg of you, wait for Edward, my love! We know he is coming with his own army. Wait, for the love of God!" But she spoke to an empty hall. Her husband was gone, impetuously -- and arrogantly -- believing he could defeat any Lancastrian force. She had broken down and cried.

The scene faded, and Cecily stifled a sob in her daughter's blond hair. That had been exactly a month ago, but it seemed to her a lifetime of loneliness. Richard and Edmund had been killed that day at Wakefield alongside the great Yorkist lord, Richard, earl of Salisbury, who was Cecily's beloved brother. Two thousand men fell in the York ranks, trapped as they were by a far superior Lancastrian force, which lost a mere two hundred, so the messengers said. In an unwonted act of spite, the Lancastrian victors had taken the heads of the defeated Yorkist leaders and stuck them "See," they laughed, "he wanted to be king, this duke of York, and now he's king of his namesake city!"

"Richard, my Richard, why were you always so hasty -- so rash?" Cecily muttered to herself unintelligibly. "If only you had been patient that day -- waited for Edward -- listened to me -- you might be with me still." Her voice rose, "Oh, my dearest love..."

Margaret heard her mother's soft moan and immediately wiped her eyes. The girl was astonished by this uncharacteristic display of emotion from her mother. Cecily came from strong northern stock. Her family were Nevilles -- after the royal princes, the most powerful nobles in England. Her father had been earl of Westmoreland, and she was a granddaughter of John of Gaunt on her mother's side. A noble line indeed -- and one used to the vagaries of political fortune and the terrifying consequences of battle.

"Mother! I am so sorry. How you must be grieving, too! All this time you have allowed me to think...made me wonder..." She hesitated, embarrassed by such an intimate conversation with her usually imperturbable parent. Aloof, proud and stoic were words Margaret had heard whispered behind Cecily's back, and for the most part she agreed with them. But she had also been witness to Cecily's deep devotion for her husband and the recipient of a motherly protection as fierce as any lioness's. Margaret had known, as had her seven siblings, a mother's love from the day she was born.

Cecily allowed her tears to fall. "Aye, sweeting. You thought I had a heart of stone. Is that what you would say?" She attempted a wan smile. "Nay! My loss is so great I feel my heart is shattered in so many shards that they pierce my skin here," she tapped her breast, "and make me want to scream in agony!" And she sobbed again.

This time, it was Margaret who put her arms around Cecily and soothed her with gentle sounds. How glad she was to see a softer side of her mother. At fifteen, she had already formed her own shell and learned to hide inside to protect herself from hurt, but there were times when she ran into the garden and found a solitary place where she could cry or stamp her foot in anger -- emotions that were frowned upon in Cecily's strict household.

"Hush, Mother. God has Father and Edmund in his care now. Let us pray together for their souls," Margaret cajoled, gentling the older woman away. She knew her mother would respond to a call for prayer; Cecily's piety was well known. The two women knelt by the bed, crossed themselves and intoned the ritual, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost..." and then disappeared into silent memories of their lost dear ones.

Margaret shut her eyes tight, hoping the darkness behind them would erase the grisly dream. When that didn't work, she forced herself to think of her father as alive and well and dandling her on his knee when she was a child. She knew she was his favorite -- the boys told her so constantly. Richard of York had not been a big man, but his body was sinewy and carried not an ounce of fat. He used to allow Margaret to test the solid muscle in his upper arm and try to wrap her hands around it. He'd laugh at her wide eyes and loudly kiss her fair head. All his children except the eldest, Anne, and the youngest, Richard, had inherited their mother's fair hair. Margaret and Richard, however, had their father's slate gray eyes. He had worn his thick, dark hair in the old-fashioned short cut -- Margaret told him it looked as though his squire had stuck a bowl on his head and simply chopped off the hair that hung below. That would make him throw back his head and neigh with laughter. Margaret loved it when her father laughed. His whole body shook, and he would make little snorting sounds between the laughs. It would make everyone else laugh -- even Cecily, who never found life very amusing.

Remembering his laughter now, Margaret found herself smiling and thanked the Virgin Mary for giving her a happy memory of her father to replace the nightmare.

Dickon and George were fighting again. Margaret found the antics of her two brothers as tiresome as any elder sister would. She was too grown up now to jump into the fray -- something she would have relished a few years ago.

There were three years between each of them, and nine-year-old Richard -- nicknamed Dickon to distinguish him from his father -- was the runt of York's litter. Small for his age, he had been sickly as a little boy but had survived those first five precarious years when so many children died and now was not loath to tackle his bigger brother, George, when the occasion arose. The three siblings were, in fact, firm friends. During these most tumultuous years, they had endured being dragged around the countryside with their parents or left in the care of others while Cecily followed her beloved husband wherever she could on his quest for the crown -- very often into danger. The children frequently squabbled like dogs over a scrap, but woe betide anyone else who picked on one of them. The other two would rush to their sibling's aid and staunchly defend the victim, fists clenched. Cecily and duke Richard encouraged this behavior in their brood.

"Never forget your blood kin, children," their father would say. "The most important people in your world are right here in this house -- the house of York."

Now, whenever someone referred to the proud lineage of her family name, Margaret would hold her head high, puff out her chest and brim with confidence.

As she idly watched her brothers laughing and tumbling -- taller George with his fair hair and good looks and Richard, who was a miniature of their father -- she wondered what would become of them. Would they, like Edmund, end up on a pike on top of a city gate? She shuddered.

And what of Edward, her godlike eldest brother? Where was he this cold February day? She turned to look out of the window and onto the courtyard of Baynard's Castle, the York family residence in London on the banks of the Thames. Mercifully, Edward -- titled the earl of March -- had been in Wale...

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Descrizione libro Touchstone Books, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. History tells us that the intelligent, wealthy, and powerful Margaret of York had everything any woman could want, except for love. The acclaimed author of A Rose for the Crown takes us between the lines of history and into her heart. It is 1461: Edward, son of Richard of York, ascends to the throne, and his willful sister, Margaret, immediately becomes a pawn in European politics as Edward negotiates her marriage. The young Margaret falls deeply in love with Anthony Woodville, the married brother of Edward s queen, Elizabeth. But Edward has arranged for his sister to wed Charles, son of the Duke of Burgundy, and soon Margaret is setting sail for her new life. Her official escort: Anthony Woodville. Margaret of York eventually commanded the respect and admiration of much of Europe, but it appears to history that she had no emotional intimate. Anne Easter Smith s rare gift for storytelling and her extensive research reveal the love that burned at the center of Margaret s life, adding a new dimension to the story of one of the fifteenth century s most powerful women. Codice libro della libreria BZV9780743277310

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Descrizione libro Touchstone Books, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. History tells us that the intelligent, wealthy, and powerful Margaret of York had everything any woman could want, except for love. The acclaimed author of A Rose for the Crown takes us between the lines of history and into her heart. It is 1461: Edward, son of Richard of York, ascends to the throne, and his willful sister, Margaret, immediately becomes a pawn in European politics as Edward negotiates her marriage. The young Margaret falls deeply in love with Anthony Woodville, the married brother of Edward s queen, Elizabeth. But Edward has arranged for his sister to wed Charles, son of the Duke of Burgundy, and soon Margaret is setting sail for her new life. Her official escort: Anthony Woodville. Margaret of York eventually commanded the respect and admiration of much of Europe, but it appears to history that she had no emotional intimate. Anne Easter Smith s rare gift for storytelling and her extensive research reveal the love that burned at the center of Margaret s life, adding a new dimension to the story of one of the fifteenth century s most powerful women. Codice libro della libreria BZV9780743277310

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Descrizione libro Touchstone Books, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. History tells us that the intelligent, wealthy, and powerful Margaret of York had everything any woman could want, except for love. The acclaimed author of A Rose for the Crown takes us between the lines of history and into her heart. It is 1461: Edward, son of Richard of York, ascends to the throne, and his willful sister, Margaret, immediately becomes a pawn in European politics as Edward negotiates her marriage. The young Margaret falls deeply in love with Anthony Woodville, the married brother of Edward s queen, Elizabeth. But Edward has arranged for his sister to wed Charles, son of the Duke of Burgundy, and soon Margaret is setting sail for her new life. Her official escort: Anthony Woodville. Margaret of York eventually commanded the respect and admiration of much of Europe, but it appears to history that she had no emotional intimate. Anne Easter Smith s rare gift for storytelling and her extensive research reveal the love that burned at the center of Margaret s life, adding a new dimension to the story of one of the fifteenth century s most powerful women. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780743277310

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