Friday, August 19, 2016

making them feel like flesh and blood

Philippa Gregory puts the reader right in the middle of the lives of the rich and famous, even when it's over five hundred years ago. She makes historical figures come alive, giving them believable personalities, putting words in their mouths. We can watch a movie about historical figures accepting an actor's interpretation without comment, yet when it is put in writing we somehow expect the author to know exactly what they were thinking. Gregory has created viable personalities for the famous women dotting the English monarchy and aristocracy. She does it with insight, making them feel like flesh and blood, rather than flat, boring characters. Margaret Tudor is no exception. She is haughty, conceited, jealous and quite full of herself. She was entitled, indulged,and spoiled. Not surprising when you read about her brother's personality in all the history books. I enjoyed this book. Gregory breathes life into the Tudor court, giving believable personalities to the players. Margaret Tudor was sent into Scotland as a child. She ended up being the ancestor of the current ruling dynasty, and it seems that most of the attention landed upon her grandson James Stewart, nieces, brother, and even her sister eclipsing both Margaret and her husband. Little Jane Grey, the nine day queen even gets more press. There is not much known about Margaret and the spotlight shining on the Tudor court seemed rarely to catch her. I think Gregory brings her into the warmth of that spotlight with an understanding of what a teenager might be feeling when left out in the cold.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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