Tom wrote today's Blog:
My favorite genre of books is historical fiction, and I’m a huge fan of Philippa Gregory. I’m currently reading an older work of hers – The Constant Princess. What I like about Gregory's storytelling is that she fills in the gaps with reasonably plausible concepts where the historical record is silent.
Here’s an example. When Henry Tudor won the crown to rule England at the Battle of Bosworth Field, there still survived other more legitimate claimants to the throne – one of them being Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick.
Historical accounts seem to indicate that Warwick was a bit “slow” or touched in the head, and thus no real threat. However, Henry Tudor made a deal with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain (yes, the same ones that funded Columbus’ expeditions to the Americas), whereby their youngest daughter, Katherine, was promised to marry his eldest son, Arthur – Prince of Wales. But Ferdinand and Isabella would not send their daughter to England until all "threats" to the English throne were removed.
So Henry Tudor had Warwick arrested and thrown in the Tower. At that time, the Tower was both a palace and a prison. Of course, Warwick thought this was grand. He was the last surviving male in the Plantagenet line, and thought that he was getting the royal treatment he was due. However, Warwick was put in a cell next to Perkin Warbeck and the two of them concocted a plan to escape which was overheard by a prison guard. Warwick thought it was all a game, but attempting to escape from the Tower in those days was considered a treasonable offense. So both Warwick and Warbeck were tried and executed in November 1499.
With Warwick removed, Katherine was sent to England to marry Arthur. Gregory’s novel proposes that Katherine was plagued by guilt the rest of her life over Warwick’s unnecessary death.
Arthur dies within a year of their marriage, and Katherine marries Henry VIII, Arthur’s younger brother. Henry and Katherine have six children, only one survived to adulthood. Was it karma? What do you think?