It is with the greatest of pleasures that I welcome Historical Fiction author, Samantha Wilcoxson, onto the blog today to talk about her inspirations behind her series of books set in the Plantagenet / Tudor era.
Will the remnant of the York dynasty thrive under this tempestuous king or will Margaret discover that there is a price to pay for having an excess of royal blood?
Before I had completed Elizabeth’s story in which peace prevails after the Wars of the Roses, I knew that I would have to continue with her cousin Margaret’s journey. Though their fathers were brothers, these women lived much different lives, Elizabeth as Henry Tudor’s queen and Margaret as both victim and beneficiary of fortune’s wheel. Elizabeth had a quiet strength that enabled her to submit to Henry’s rule and partner with him for the good of their kingdom. Margaret, left alone with young children, was forced to carefully make a name for herself without appearing to be a threat to the Tudor king’s reign.
Most people remember Margaret Pole’s name either for her grisly execution or that of her father. I wanted people to know that there was much more to this woman who raised sons with Plantagenet blood during the reign of the tempestuous Tudor king, Henry VIII. She was also more than a mother, claiming the title of Countess of Salisbury that had been last held by her grandfather, ‘Kingmaker’ Richard Neville. She steadfastly stood by her friends and her faith, even as the cost of that loyalty rose shockingly high.
Though her life did eventually end in tragedy, Margaret lived life to the fullest, serving as governess to Princess Mary and defending her faith in the Catholic Church when the king insisted that he was the Head of the Church of England rather than the Pope. Margaret was forced to constantly balance her faithfulness to her God and her king, but Henry VIII did not like to share. His temper increased with his age and health problems, leaving Margaret and her family vulnerable to his wrathful whim.
Margaret’s life is an inspiring blend of triumphs, heartache, and the strength of character that brought her through both. She deserves to be remembered as more than the daughter of a traitor or an old woman who was grievously murdered. As Countess of Salisbury, Margaret took on ambitious building projects and had her intricate coat of arms etched into the windows of her home. Advantageous marriages were arranged for each of her children, except for the one who went on to almost become Pope. (Cardinal Reginald Pole will also play an important part in my next book.) She counted Queen Katherine of Aragon as a close friend and served Princess Mary with the same love and dedication that she showed her own children.
I hope that each person who reads Faithful Traitor is touched by the plans made, battles fought, and moments enjoyed by this strong Plantagenet daughter. Even as her dynasty was turning to ashes, she made her own way in a Tudor world.
Margaret Pole lived from 1473 to 1541, an amazing and volatile era in England. The medieval world was passing away and the renaissance taking its place. The Plantagenet dynasty that Margaret was a member of had ruled for more than three centuries, but the short lived Tudor dynasty would work to overshadow it with scandal and drama that is crazier than fiction. Through all this, one woman, Margaret Pole, found and lost love, fortune, and life. It was a privilege to write her story.
(UK customers grab your Kindle copy of the Plantagenet Princes Tudor Queen for only 0.99p ~ Bargain!)
The Plantagenet Embers series debuted with Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen: The Story of Elizabeth of York. It has been selected as an Editors' Choice by the Historical Novel Society and long-listed for the 2016 HNS Indie Award.
Faithful Traitor: The Story of Margaret Pole is the second novel in the trilogy, continuing the story of the Plantagenet remnant in Tudor times. The final installment in Plantagenet Embers, Queen of Martyrs, will feature Queen Mary I and is scheduled for release in 2017.
My blog – http://SamanthaWilcoxson.blogspot.com