Sunday, October 23, 2016

Three Sisters, Three Queens

Three Sisters, Three Queens
Philippa Gregory
Simon and Schuster
New York, New York
ISBN: 9781476758572
$ 27.99
550 pages

"You can't do what you want when you are a princess,...You are doing the work of God,  you are going to be the mother to a king, you are one below the angels, you have a destiny."
Can anyone possibly imagine what Margaret Tudor's life was like as a child?   Author, Philippa Gregory, her natural curiosity to this character has created a marvelous, insightful perspective to the infamous and long-lasting events of the time.
Margaret adored her older brother, Arthur who was to be the next King of England.  Along with her younger sister, Mary, the two sisters joined by a third, the intended wife of her brother, Katherine of Aragon from Spain, these three united in a sisterly bond lasting most of their lives.  Her parents were Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, the ones who sponsored the expedition of Columbus.
As with all sisters, loyalty is fierce but not always consistent and not always meeting their personal desires.  The sisterly bond between Katherine, and the Tudor sister, Margaret and Mary is an unusual relationship involving death, riches, power, debt, as well as moral support as each discovers and completes their royal duties, as God, the King and men allow.   Throughout the years, none of these ruling women lived a life of leisure with each enduring hardship and pain. 
Margaret and Mary have a unique lineage combining the Lancaster and Plantagenet into the House of Tudor along with their brothers Arthur and Henry.  Because of this, each one's future is carefully planned to benefit the English crown.
Arthur marries Katherine.   Margaret is to become the Queen of Scotland after marrying James creating peace between the Northlands and England.  Mary, who is much younger, is to become the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor or the Queen of France. 
However, life changes for all of them when their beloved brother Arthur dies of the sweating sickness leaving his wife Catherine, childless and widowed.  Henry is only ten-years-old and now is heir to the throne in England.
Eventually, Henry marries his brother's wife to begin their ruling of England.  All that is needed is a male heir to complete their destiny.
Three Sisters, Three Queens, is an unusual novel in which the lives of the royals is realistic showing how these women who believed their birthrites led to power, riches, and happiness in actuality suffered immense pain, humiliation, debt, and suffering.  These women could never live the life of their dreams.
Three Sisters, Three Queens is an outstanding novel based on real history revealing many of the explanations for many of the conflicts even in today's world.

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