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The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England [Kindle Edition]

Susan Higginbotham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)

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Book Description

On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything-for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth's two young princes, but Richard's own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties...

Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil-or wholly good.

Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown is a compelling tale of one marriage that changed the fate of England forever.

Praise for The Stolen Crown:
"The Wars of the Roses come spectacularly to life in Susan Higginbotham's compelling new novel about Kate Woodville, sister to Queen Elizabeth of England. A sweeping tale of danger, treachery, and love, The Stolen Crown is impossible to put down!" -Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Cleopatra's Daughter

"A fascinating and compelling look at a tumultuous era. Susan Higginbotham writes the perfect blend of historical fact and fiction." -Elizabeth Kerri Mahon, creator of the Scandalous Women blog

"A new King with a secret Queen; love and tears, loyalty and turmoil. With a single stroke, Susan Higginbotham transports her readers into a vividly portrayed past, where the turbulent lives of her characters become very real. Probably her best novel yet!" -Helen Hollick, author of the Pendragon's Banner trilogy

"A tale of love, palace intrigue, and betrayal...Susan Higginbotham draws the reader under her spell, her characters vivid and real: their voices, their loves, their losses. She brings the dead to life." -Christy English, author of The Queen's Pawn

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Higginbotham's latest historical novel is set during England's turbulent War of the Roses. The title refers to King Edward IV's secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, which serves as catalyst to the exploits of the main characters, Woodville's younger sister Katherine and her first husband, Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Great artistic license is taken in fictionalizing their marriage as a mostly happy one. Those without a strong knowledge of the period will find the book daunting, due to ever-changing alliances and the sheer number of characters, but more knowledgeable readers may find the fruits of Higginbotham's imagination more difficult to swallow. Higginbotham's Henry seems to wander through his life making impolitic outbursts to King Edward, hero-worshipping Richard, and, later, innocently led by Richard's machinations. The majority of the book is narrated by Katherine, whom historians know very little about; she makes an appealing heroine, and those who can suspend disbelief will sympathize quite strongly with this character and the plight of a noble woman in Medieval times.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Higginbotham, author of The Traitor’s Wife (2009) and Hugh and Bess (2009), hits another historical high note in her latest fictional foray into the British monarchy. This time around, the Wars of the Roses provides the colorful backdrop for a plot oozing with romance, intrigue, and political maneuvering. When her older sister secretly marries King Edward IV, young Katherine Woodville’s life abruptly alters course. When Edward dies, both Kate’s fate and the fate of England are up for grabs as many royal insiders, jockeying for position, join forces with Edward’s younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in an effort to seize the throne. Caught up in historical and societal circumstances beyond her control, Kate determines to do everything in her power to keep her family together. This fictional prelude to the Tudor era will appeal to fans of Philippa Gregory’s historicals. --Margaret Flanagan

Product Details

  • File Size: 1638 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00447872I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,956 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 120 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Jean Plaidy tradition... February 21, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Susan Higginbotham's second major novel (I'm not counting the novella-length Hugh and Bess here) hearkens back to an older tradition of historical fiction, one associated with writers like Margaret Campbell Barnes, Jan Westcott or even Jean Plaidy, one characterized by a straightforward recounting of a straightforward series of historic events. That has its pros and its cons -- the "pros" including the fact that it's impeccably researched and detailed, the "cons" lying mostly in what isn't there, rather than what is.

At its heart, this is the story of a ill-fated trio: Harry, Duke of Buckingham by birth (but, with a Lancastrian background, kept out of the center of power); his friend, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother to the new Yorkist King, and the young Katherine Woodville, sister to the new Yorkist queen and chosen as Harry's wife by her new brother-in-law, the king. It's a tale of sharply divided loyalties -- not Kate's, as the cover seems to suggest, but rather those of Harry. For when, in 1483, King Edward IV dies unexpectedly leaving his 13-year-old son as heir, Harry is torn between his allegiance to his wife, and his vow to be a blood brother to Richard, who has ambitions of his own vis-a-vis the crown.

This would be a great introductory novel to read about the dramatic events of 1483 and why they proved so crucial to England's history. Higginbotham has a definite opinion of who the villains of the story are, and it's not the one that has dominated of late, making the tug-of-war over Harry's loyalties more compelling.
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130 of 141 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard III As Villain July 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an unremarkable entry in the current flood of titles pertaining to England during the time of the Wars of the Roses. The two narrators, Katherine Woodville and her husband, Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, were players during the merry-go-round of turmoil surrounding the battle for power between the houses of York and Lancaster for the throne of England at the end of the 15th Century. There are LOTS of historical figures included in the tale, and for those unfamiliar with at least the basics of the events of the period, I fear they will be hopelessly muddled by all the players and their inter-relationships. The bigger problem for me, however, is that I am not of the belief that Richard of Gloucester is the craven murderer depicted here. The debate rages between historians as to whether Richard was the blackguard portrayed by Shakespeare (and the view held by this author) or the more admirable Richard whose reputation has lately been restored by the Ricardians. Personally, I am more a proponent of this latter viewpoint. Consequently, I was quickly disenchanted with the protagonists due to the hatred and malice they displayed toward Richard and their efforts to bring him down. All that aside, however, I found the writing flat and unevocative and there is nothing here that hasn't been done before and better. Finally, I have a personal gripe with bad grammar and poor English which crop up all too often in this novel. "What if the queen dies and leaves Richard a widow?" Huh? Or "He asked to let the boy ride pillion behind Harry and I." Gadzooks! Don't know whether to fault the author, her editor or a failure to proofread, but one would hope mistakes of this sort be limited to message boards and not be made by professional writers. Just MO, but these lapses seem indicative of the fairly haphazard overall effort this novel represents.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Story from Ms. Higginbotham February 19, 2010
This is another wonderful novel by Susan Higginbotham and it covers a very interesting and active period in British history - the Cousins War (or as we call it, the Wars of the Roses). Between the pages we get the story through the eyes of Katherine Woodville and her husband Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. We see from both points of view their marriage as children, their time at Edward IV's court, their life at home, the birth of their children, and Henry's involvement with Richard III.

The first half or so of the novel really focuses on their lives and how they both grow and mature in a very turbulent time. The second half of the novel seems to focus more on Henry's involvement with Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Personally I liked the first half of the novel more because I really enjoyed watching Kate and Henry grow and come to love and care for one another. The scenes between the two when they were young were very sweet and touching. Higginbotham takes on some of the "rumors" about their marriage and shows how they could have been started and why. I thoroughly enjoyed how she weaved these into the story. The author also explores reasons why Buckingham rebelled against Richard and gives her version of "the truth" behind the mystery of the princes in the Tower, which seems believable. Richard III is not shown in a glowing light here but he is not made into a horrible monster (though Kate despises him). We see a more ruthless side of him but it just seems to make him appear more of a man of a time where you had to be a bit ruthless to survive.

As always in Higginbotham's novels, the writing is wonderful, there are fantastic details and descriptions, and great character development.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Woodville history
Well written historical novel and compare s highly with most authors of this genre. Anyone who enjoys novels regarding English history will find this a compelling read, with... Read more
Published 10 days ago by tnrosegarden
5.0 out of 5 stars I appreciated the background work she did on the book ...
I appreciated the background work she did on the book before writing it. Now I am onto another book she wrote
Published 1 month ago by Ellie Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars What a read!
I thought the perspectives of Harry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Kate, a sister-in-law to Edward IV were an interesting plot device. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amy Paige Looney
1.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and nonsensical
Her writing style is unbelievably bad & at no point do I feel like I am actually there. She applies "artistic license" to historical events as well. Read more
Published 1 month ago by kingfish
5.0 out of 5 stars very intriguing
I really liked how this was written from both Harry's and Kate's perspective. Also it was written using the actual history of the time.
Published 2 months ago by Diana L Sutor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Deal!!! Thanks!!
Published 2 months ago by Arnaldo
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting view point on royal intrigue and families.
Published 2 months ago by Catherine Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting historical novel
Published 3 months ago by CECILIA FRUGONI
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Cleverly entertaining, Brilliant read
Published 4 months ago by Pauline
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
good god this book was boring.
Published 4 months ago by Alicia M.
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More About the Author

Susan Higginbotham's meticulously researched historical fiction brought to life by her heartfelt writing delights readers. Higginbotham runs her own historical fiction/history blog, History Refreshed by Susan Higginbotham, and owns a bulletin board, Historical Fiction Online. She has worked as an editor and an attorney and lives in Apex, North Carolina, with her family.

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