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From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses. It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has set royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty. With the support of Scotland's King James IV, Richard-known to most of England as Perkin Warbeck-has From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses. It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has set royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty. With the support of Scotland's King James IV, Richard-known to most of England as Perkin Warbeck-has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Stepping finally onto English soil, Lady Catherine Gordon has no doubt that her husband will succeed in his quest. But rather than assuming the throne, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would be stamped as an imposter. With Richard facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, must find the courage to spurn a cruel monarch, shape her own destiny, and win the admiration of a nation.


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From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses. It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has set royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty. With the support of Scotland's King James IV, Richard-known to most of England as Perkin Warbeck-has From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses. It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has set royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty. With the support of Scotland's King James IV, Richard-known to most of England as Perkin Warbeck-has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Stepping finally onto English soil, Lady Catherine Gordon has no doubt that her husband will succeed in his quest. But rather than assuming the throne, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would be stamped as an imposter. With Richard facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, must find the courage to spurn a cruel monarch, shape her own destiny, and win the admiration of a nation.

30 review for Pale Rose of England

  1. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    History tells us that a young man known as Perkin Warbeck claimed to be the son of Edward IV, one of the lost princes in the tower and the rightful King of England. Supported by his *aunt* Margaret of Burgundy, he eventually came to Scotland and obtained support from King James in his efforts to invade England and regain his *lawful* crown. James gave *Richard* the hand of Lady Catherine Gordon, and she accompanied him during his second attempt to invade England, which was just as unsuccessful a History tells us that a young man known as Perkin Warbeck claimed to be the son of Edward IV, one of the lost princes in the tower and the rightful King of England. Supported by his *aunt* Margaret of Burgundy, he eventually came to Scotland and obtained support from King James in his efforts to invade England and regain his *lawful* crown. James gave *Richard* the hand of Lady Catherine Gordon, and she accompanied him during his second attempt to invade England, which was just as unsuccessful as the first. Was Perkin really Richard Duke of York and England's rightful king, or was he a great pretender? We'll never know. Worth begins her novel in 1497 at the start of Richard's campaign in Cornwall, which quickly peters out as he is unable to rally support among the populace. Captured by Henry Tudor's men, they are brought to court and kept on slim leashes and Richard and Catherine play a very tense game of cat and mouse whilst trying to keep their heads intact. Catherine fares a bit better as she's taken into Queen Elizabeth's household, but Richard's every move is watched and members of the Tudor court take turns spitting on him and tossing rotten vegetables (thus showing us how awful they all are). Meantime, mean ole' Henry has taken one look at the beauteous Catherine, goes into immediate lust mode and determines to have her for his very own. Not quite sure what he planned to do about Queen Elizabeth but oh well... Potential readers should be warned that Worth believes Perkin/Richard is the true son of Edward IV, no ifs ands or butts about it. In case you doubt it, we are constantly reminded about his princely bearing and the drooping Plantagenet eye he's inherited from his ancestors Edward I and Henry III. I don't know about you, but I had a hard time swallowing that anyone, whether it be courtier or lowly priest, is up enough on intimate details of the royal family going back that far in time - Edward I (17 June 1239 - 7 July 1307) and Henry III (1 October 1207 - 16 November 1272) - to remember the drooping Plantagenet eye. That's a whole lot of generations between them and Richard and I can't find any others having it. Just sayin'. As for Richard and Catherine, I didn't pick up on much chemistry between the two. They were married and had one child by the time the book begins, and the back-history of their courtship filled out as the story progresses. We know that they love each other because we are told they did, but I really didn't pick up on any grand passion between the two. I did pick up on a lot of purity, perfection and absolute sugar-coated sweetness on Catherine's part, and while Richard might have the bearing of a true king, he sure didn't have a strong nature to go with it. He was kinda (sic) wimpish IMHO but Catherine sure thought he was the cat's meow, "Clad in a white silk doublet, a furred cape around his shoulders, and a beaver hat on his sunny hair, Richard, Duke of York, cantered in on a pale war-horse, a hand resting on his hip, a smile on his lips. She gasped; he was the handsomest man she had ever seen." And to offset all that purity and goodness is the baddest most evil mean nasty awful bad guy ever - Henry Tudor. Honestly, every one in this book is either black or white, there are very few shades of gray to be found here. I think it's obvious I wasn't as enamoured of this book as some of the other reviewers and to each his own when choosing a book, but this one was just a bit too fluffy for my tastes. I was very disappointed that we didn't get a closer look at Elizabeth and what one would expect to be very conflicted emotions - how do you choose between your brother or your son? I was going to give this book an overall three star rating until the latter third covering Catherine's later years threatened to put me to sleep (she spends lots and lots of time in the country). One final note and that is on two items in the author's notes: 1) "English novelist Philippa Gregory, who holds a doctorate in history...". Erm, a simple bit of Google tells me it's English Lit. The historian myth continues. 2) Her reason for sending Richard to his execution via boat instead of how it really happened, "I plead artistic license in not documenting this last indignity and in depicting him as being taken partway by boat. This unfortunate young man had already endured deplorable degradation, and I felt no need to add more such instances to the reader's burden." I for one could have handled that additional burden.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bruno

    I’ve got one word for Sandra Worth’s new novel Pale Rose of England – PHENOMENAL! At times heartwarming and at others heart wrenching, this novel runs the gamut of emotions and magnificently details the lives of Catherine Gordon and the man whose identity was at the heart of one of the biggest controversies in England’s history. Whether Perkin Warbeck was in fact the lost prince in the tower is a mystery which may never be solved. Worth’s belief that the man who returned to England in 1495 callin I’ve got one word for Sandra Worth’s new novel Pale Rose of England – PHENOMENAL! At times heartwarming and at others heart wrenching, this novel runs the gamut of emotions and magnificently details the lives of Catherine Gordon and the man whose identity was at the heart of one of the biggest controversies in England’s history. Whether Perkin Warbeck was in fact the lost prince in the tower is a mystery which may never be solved. Worth’s belief that the man who returned to England in 1495 calling himself Richard Plantagenet was truly the one time heir to the English throne was quite convincing and it’s from this point of view that the novel is written. Backed by his aunt Margaret, the Duchess of Burgundy and his uncle by marriage King James IV of Scotland, Richard sets out to England with his pregnant wife Catherine to claim his crown back from Henry Tudor. But the couple’s initial hopefulness is dimmed when the English people fail to rally to his cause and they finally realize that Richard’s youth and inexperience are no match to the merciless and tough as nails Henry VII. Ultimately, both Richard and Catherine become prisoners of Henry’s, where they are subjected to humiliation and degradation at court, culminating to a horrendous ending for Richard. Despite all the fighting and drama, at the heart of Pale Rose of England is love. The love shared between Catherine and Richard was legendary and as the reader you can feel all the genuineness and devotion reverberating off the page. In fact, the one sentence that has been attributed to Catherine Gordon was her refusal to accept a gift and proposal from Henry VII (whom had fallen in love with her), stating “It is the man, and not the king, I love.” Catherine’s courage and resilience regardless of the circumstances set before her was inspiring, her belief in her husband was unwavering and her love for him unfaltering. This was truly one of the most touching and beautiful novels I have read to date! My only advice…keep some Kleenex handy! If you’re like me you’ll want to know more about the Perkin Warbeck story and Worth has recommended both Ann Roe’s book The Perfect Prince and Mary Shelley’s The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck: A Romance. Favorite Quote: “Love is worth everything we have to pay.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Elizabeth

    So, Perkin Warbeck really was the Duke of York? I wonder how the (Ricardian)author feels about the letter Warbeck wrote to Isabella of Castile in which he detailed his life story; about how his "unnatural uncle", Richard of Gloucester, murdered his older brother (King Edward V, and delivered him (Wabreck) to the home of an unnamed Nobleman to be dispatched in similar fashion. Funnily enough that letter, in which the blame for the deaths of the Princes is laid directly at Richard III's feet, is t So, Perkin Warbeck really was the Duke of York? I wonder how the (Ricardian)author feels about the letter Warbeck wrote to Isabella of Castile in which he detailed his life story; about how his "unnatural uncle", Richard of Gloucester, murdered his older brother (King Edward V, and delivered him (Wabreck) to the home of an unnamed Nobleman to be dispatched in similar fashion. Funnily enough that letter, in which the blame for the deaths of the Princes is laid directly at Richard III's feet, is totally omitted from the story. Instead the Tudors get the blame (*yawn*). I like my Historic Fiction to be balanced, based on ALL evidence, and with at least a stab at being fair to all sides. This is Ricardian Propaganda at its most vile.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jemidar

    I read this novel because I wanted to find out more about Catherine Gordon but was very disappointed because this book was more sugary, candy floss romance (and it didn't even do that very well) than informative historical fiction. What "facts" were included were questionable at best and ridiculous at worst, because the authors obvious bias and Yorkist agenda were clearly visible. Only read this book if you like your historical fiction pink and fluffy, and you don't mind if the characters you ar I read this novel because I wanted to find out more about Catherine Gordon but was very disappointed because this book was more sugary, candy floss romance (and it didn't even do that very well) than informative historical fiction. What "facts" were included were questionable at best and ridiculous at worst, because the authors obvious bias and Yorkist agenda were clearly visible. Only read this book if you like your historical fiction pink and fluffy, and you don't mind if the characters you are reading about bear little or no resemblance to the historical figures they claim to be. If you like your HF novels meaty and reasonably accurate then this is not the book for you. I've now read three of Ms Worth's novels and I'm afraid this will be my last. She is clearly not an author for me :-(.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ella

    This may have been good, but I just couldn't read it. It did nothing to get my attention to make me want to try harder. I started getting an ache in my eye. This may have been good, but I just couldn't read it. It did nothing to get my attention to make me want to try harder. I started getting an ache in my eye.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    This is the kind of historical novel that reminds me why I love the genre. It's meaty, it's exciting, it's engrossing, it's romantic, it's chilling, and it's absolutely un-put-down-able. This era (reign of Henry VII) is one I'm wholly unfamiliar with but Worth sets up the story and characters so well, I didn't find myself lost or confused or in need of an encyclopedia. The novel tells the story of Catherine Gordon, a Scottish noblewoman who is married to the man said to be the true King of Englan This is the kind of historical novel that reminds me why I love the genre. It's meaty, it's exciting, it's engrossing, it's romantic, it's chilling, and it's absolutely un-put-down-able. This era (reign of Henry VII) is one I'm wholly unfamiliar with but Worth sets up the story and characters so well, I didn't find myself lost or confused or in need of an encyclopedia. The novel tells the story of Catherine Gordon, a Scottish noblewoman who is married to the man said to be the true King of England, Richard Plantagenet/Perkin Warbeck, even though he is branded an imposter by the reigning monarch, Henry VII. The plot covered in this novel is exciting enough, but I found Worth's characters to be so interesting and real, I cared about all of them -- even the horrible Henry VII. The romantic, clearly loving marriage between Catherine and Richard anchored the story for me; in an era when (I imagine) love matches were rare, Worth's depiction of these two made me fall in love with them -- and made me deeply invested in the survival of their marriage and family. At many times, I wished Worth would just lie and give me a few chapters of their bucolic happiness in a country estate, I liked them so much. This novel, however, encompasses so much more than just their marriage, and is really about Catherine Gordon -- not the Tudors nor Perkin Warbeck. Worth's skill as an author really shows in the development of Catherine. I imagine it must be challenging to imagining a historical figure wholly and envision why they responded or acted the way they did in a way that remains true to history and true to the author's conception of them. Worth's Catherine is a complicated woman who responds to the circumstances around her and does what she deems most moral and true to herself, and I found I genuinely liked her (even if I didn't agree with her opinions or life choices). I can't recommend this novel enough -- I just loved it and resented having to work rather than read! And, happily, Worth has published five other books for me to go back and devour while I wait for her newest!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Grueninger

    To say that I really enjoyed this book is an understatement. The truth is it’s an extraordinary story – moving, intriguing, confronting, inspiring and beautifully written. The protagonist, Lady Catherine Gordon, is strong and courageous in the face of gut-wrenching tragedy. Her unquestionable loyalty to her first husband and her ability to move forward in the pursuit of happiness, when most would have crumbled, make her fascinating and inspiring. So involved was I in Catherine’s plight that scenes To say that I really enjoyed this book is an understatement. The truth is it’s an extraordinary story – moving, intriguing, confronting, inspiring and beautifully written. The protagonist, Lady Catherine Gordon, is strong and courageous in the face of gut-wrenching tragedy. Her unquestionable loyalty to her first husband and her ability to move forward in the pursuit of happiness, when most would have crumbled, make her fascinating and inspiring. So involved was I in Catherine’s plight that scenes from the story crept into my dreams. I was incapable of disconnecting from the events that were so vividly brought to life and expertly woven with accurate period detail. As Lady Catherine’s fair-haired babe was ripped from her arms, I clutched mine a little tighter. I shared in Catherine’s agony as her handsome husband was humiliated, tortured and executed. I found myself rejoicing when love and happiness blossomed once more for the Scottish princess and on a number of occasions read through tear stained eyes. Prior to reading this book my loyalties were firmly placed with the Tudors but I must admit that Sandra’s story has me questioning my loyalties. A seed of doubt has been planted and now I find myself wondering what if ‘Perkin Warbeck’ was who he claimed to be? What if Henry VII executed the rightful heir to the throne? What if he knowingly murdered his wife’s brother? Little evidence exists to prove that ‘Perkin’ was a ‘boatman’s son’ as Henry Tudor claimed, apart from a confession extracted under torture. And what man would not confess under such unimaginable horrors? I believe that more evidence exits to suggest that he was more than just an impostor, including Henry’s own incriminating actions. To find out more about Perkin Warbeck read Sandra Worth’s article ‘Uncovering the Mystery of Perkin Warbeck’:http://onthetudortrail.com/Blog/2011/... To find out more about this fabulous author read my interview with Sandra here: http://onthetudortrail.com/Blog/autho... I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more of Sandra’s work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Regina Lindsey

    Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth 3 Stars History holds a number of fascinating mysteries. One of those deals with the fate of Edward IV's sons. Were they murdered in the Tower? If so, by whom? Their Uncle Richard? The future Tudor King, Henry VII? Duke of Buckingham? Or.....did they actually survive? Worth take the position that Perkin Warbeck was indeed the youngest son - that young Richard survived, matured, and married Catherine Gordon, niece to King James of Scotland. Worth states in her A Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth 3 Stars History holds a number of fascinating mysteries. One of those deals with the fate of Edward IV's sons. Were they murdered in the Tower? If so, by whom? Their Uncle Richard? The future Tudor King, Henry VII? Duke of Buckingham? Or.....did they actually survive? Worth take the position that Perkin Warbeck was indeed the youngest son - that young Richard survived, matured, and married Catherine Gordon, niece to King James of Scotland. Worth states in her Author's Note that she believes Perkins to truly be Ricahrd IV, and she presents a persuasive case on the surface. With so little information left about the central characters I can imagine developing a story like this is gratifying for an author. But, Worth's writing style is not for me. She is melodramatic, relies on grandiloquent phrases to convey love rather than build emotional connection for the reader, and is incredibly repitive. Further, I originally planned to give her credit for her Author's Note. I don't take issue when an author takes artistic license as long as it is admitted. Worth, to her credit does that. I also give her credit for giving both sides of the argument related to the authenticity of Perkins' claims. As I continued to read, what made me uncomfortable were some obvious inaccuracies. That always gives me pause regarding the veracity of the author's other claims. I ended up giving it a three because I was completely unaware of how convinced so many people were of Perkins' authenticity. Of course, there is that Plantangent eye trait that Worth will tell you about over and over, but he would have to present a very convincing case to persuade so many European leaders to his his cause. I don't think I would read another work from this author, but I'm glad I read this one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    loved this book. it has everything i ever wanted: elizabeth of york (even if for just a few pages), plantagenet princesses, early tudor england and, of course, richard of shrewsbury. i like the author's theory, i think the pretender really was richard or half europe wouldn't have backed him up -- it just wouldn't make sense for so many kings to support his claim if he were just a boatman's son. i loved everything about this book; maybe the first 80/90 pages are a little too slow but that's under loved this book. it has everything i ever wanted: elizabeth of york (even if for just a few pages), plantagenet princesses, early tudor england and, of course, richard of shrewsbury. i like the author's theory, i think the pretender really was richard or half europe wouldn't have backed him up -- it just wouldn't make sense for so many kings to support his claim if he were just a boatman's son. i loved everything about this book; maybe the first 80/90 pages are a little too slow but that's understandable. the author likes plantagenets more than tudors - you can see that after like... 5 pages?? - so if you *love* henry vii, this is probably not the book for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    I thought Anne Easter Smith abused the word "'tis"—that was before I read this. The first part of the book could have been interesting, had it been paced differently & began at a different point in time. The second half drags horribly so, & I never could warm to Catherine Gordon; I felt very much unattached to her all throughout. Disappointing, as I had been expecting a lot more. I thought Anne Easter Smith abused the word "'tis"—that was before I read this. The first part of the book could have been interesting, had it been paced differently & began at a different point in time. The second half drags horribly so, & I never could warm to Catherine Gordon; I felt very much unattached to her all throughout. Disappointing, as I had been expecting a lot more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Hoffman

    I found this book oddly calming. I enjoyed the entire text, but my favorite part was the small section of author commentary at the end. It makes you appreciate the amount of work that goes into a historical fiction, but also lets you see, quite transparently, the amount of imagination that can be employed as well.

  12. 5 out of 5

    LibraryCin

    In the late 1400s/early 1500s, Perkin Warbeck claimed to be the rightful King of England. He claimed he was actually Richard IV, who had been imprisoned in the Tower of London as a boy with his older brother. It was thought that both young princes died in the Tower, but there was a rumour that Richard had escaped. In this novel, told mostly from the point of view of Richard's wife, Catherine, the two of them come to England from Scotland (where she was royalty) with their son, intending on claim In the late 1400s/early 1500s, Perkin Warbeck claimed to be the rightful King of England. He claimed he was actually Richard IV, who had been imprisoned in the Tower of London as a boy with his older brother. It was thought that both young princes died in the Tower, but there was a rumour that Richard had escaped. In this novel, told mostly from the point of view of Richard's wife, Catherine, the two of them come to England from Scotland (where she was royalty) with their son, intending on claiming his throne from Henry VII. Catherine and Richard were in love (not common amongst royal marriages at the time), so it was hard on them to be separated once they were taken “prisoner” by Henry (and their infant son, Dicken, was taken from them and hidden). Catherine was serving as one of Queen Elizabeth's (Henry VII's wife) ladies, while the Tudor spies kept a close eye on Richard. This book follows the story beyond Richard's death, to follow Catherine in the years after he was gone. I really liked this. I've just recently (the past couple of years) started reading more about the Wars of the Roses, but I haven't read a lot about the two young princes (Edward and Richard), though I want to read more, nor have I read anything about Perkin Warbeck (though I knew his name). Appreciated the author's note at the end, too (as always with historical fiction). Maybe Perkin Warbeck was Richard IV...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Henrieke

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 'Love is worth everything we have to pay.' Set in the aftermath of the wars of the roses, this book paints a picure of how events might have been. It is intriguing that Perkin Warbeck, the boatman's boy, might have been one of the boys of the Tower. The story is really how it could have happened. Personally, I loved the first part of the book, especially the relationship between Perkin/Richard and his wife, Catherine. It felt real, and the characters were complicated, deep and real. When the stor 'Love is worth everything we have to pay.' Set in the aftermath of the wars of the roses, this book paints a picure of how events might have been. It is intriguing that Perkin Warbeck, the boatman's boy, might have been one of the boys of the Tower. The story is really how it could have happened. Personally, I loved the first part of the book, especially the relationship between Perkin/Richard and his wife, Catherine. It felt real, and the characters were complicated, deep and real. When the story turns into absolute misery, I almost cried. In my opinion, Worth could have left out the rest of the book with perhaps just an epilogue or something. In the second part of the book, the pace picks up to quite a race, which makes it seem that Catherine runs through several marriages without thinking properly. Because the pace is so fast, characters are described flatly and sometimes are just names and noble men. However, Worth makes up for this with presenting a historical review about Perkin Warbeck with some impressive evidence and I am inclined to think that Perkin Warbeck was in fact Richard Plantagenet. Concluding, this is a lovely read, but not all of it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna Gavin

    I enjoyed reading this book about Lady Catherine Gordon. She lead a fascinating life and overcame tremendous obstacles. It was heartening to learn that she did find love later in her life. The book is very well written and it made me want to learn more about Catherine Gordon and Perkin Warbeck.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Another smashing novel to add to the list of hot historical fiction releases of 2011. “Pale Rose of England” is a prime example of why I love historical fiction so much. The lovely Sandra has always been one of my favorites, ever since my husband gave me “The Kings Daughter” for Christmas I have followed Sandra in her releases. I was ecstatic when I found out she was going to be releasing a new novel. What is most appealing about this novel is for once it is a heroine that I do not know every de Another smashing novel to add to the list of hot historical fiction releases of 2011. “Pale Rose of England” is a prime example of why I love historical fiction so much. The lovely Sandra has always been one of my favorites, ever since my husband gave me “The Kings Daughter” for Christmas I have followed Sandra in her releases. I was ecstatic when I found out she was going to be releasing a new novel. What is most appealing about this novel is for once it is a heroine that I do not know every detail of their life. It is refreshing to read a new story and find a new heroine that I truly can admire. Catherine Gordon, young cousin of King James IV of Scotland was a worldly renownded great beauty. Dark glossy locks, “eyes like jewels”, a royal barring, and above all else in my mind she is one of the most courageous women I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. Since Catherine was Scottish nobility she possessed that untamable Scottish highlander courage and strength. Being as beautiful as she was courageous Catherine I believe possessed the two attributes that would later come in handy in saving herself from complete destruction. Her life took a monumental turn when her “loving” cousin King James sent her a gift of velvet with a request to come to court. King James had plans for Catherine to come to court because the famous wandering prince Richard Duke of York was paying a visit to the Scottish court in search of support to his claim for the English throne. For the pair it was true love at first sight. With cousin James promising his support of Richard plight he also gave his blessing for their wedding. The married life agreed with the two love birds and they quickly had one child “Dickon” with another quickly on the way. Problems had arisen in Scotland between Richard and King James and the couple decided it was best for them to quit Scotland and go in pursuit of Richard’s claim to England. With Richard being backed by his aunt Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy they decided it was time to pay England a little visit. They came to England with a purpose and Richard was able to raise troops to his cause to fight the “usurper” vile Henry Tudor. With naive dreams of reclaiming the crown the young loving family would find out first hand just how vile calculating King Henry VII of England really could be. With no other choice but to surrender Richard found his rebellion had failed and he was surrounded and cornered by Tudor in every possible way. King Henry gave a false pretense to Richard to lure him out of sanctuary that his family would be safe from his harm and while he made his way to Henry’s tower he found his only thoughts were of his beloved Catherine. Catherine was told of Richard’s capture from Tudor’s henchmen that were sent to take her captive. Under great duress Catherine lost her unborn babe. It was not just Richard that had caused Catherine’s great distress; Tudor had also stolen her young son Dickon and at that moment Catherine’s world as she knew it completely came undone in one day. With no other choice but to go to King Henry’s court, Catherine was now Henry’s prisoner and trophy. Upon her arrival at court she was quick to discover that cold calculating Henry Tudor had a weakness and shockingly to Catherine he “coveted her person”. She did the only thing she could do, raised her chin to the indignities that were thrown upon her with a defiant no. She never gave up hope that someday she might be able to sway Henry into releasing the man she loved and restoring her stolen babe to her. 5++++/5 powerfully intoxicating! I never have read a novel that has a primary focus is Catherine Gordon and I am not sure if even many of them exist. I love that Sandra chose to start “Pale Rose of England” off where famous author Mary Shelly left off in her novel “The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck” written in 1830. I loved this book because it is a fresh take on the lost princes in the tower. Catherine was an impeccable woman that even under great duress she stood her ground and defied a king for the man that was the other half to her soul. Is that not what love is all about, unwavering, unconditional, overpowering emotion that we feel at our core, love? I have to admit after reading this and knowing what it could possibly have been like to have been an enemy of Henry VII, I will never be able to see Henry in the same light again. I have always viewed Henry’s mother Margaret Beaufort as a War of the Roses villain. I guess I never put two and two together that she would spawn evil too. I highly recommend this novel to newcomers of the War of the Roses period. This novel does not go into too much of the nitty gritty details of the war which can be overwhelming. It would be wonderful to follow up with Sandra’s “Rose of York” series. FTC-Sent by Publisher PG-13 Rating for violence

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather C

    This story takes on a unique subject in the genre of historical fiction – that of the quest of Richard, Duke of York to reclaim his throne, but he is known to the world as Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the throne. I love when authors take on a subject that has very rarely been written about. In my opinion, Sandra Worth does Richard much justice. He was just waiting for the right author to come along and write his story. Her writing style really allows you to connect with Richard and uncover h This story takes on a unique subject in the genre of historical fiction – that of the quest of Richard, Duke of York to reclaim his throne, but he is known to the world as Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the throne. I love when authors take on a subject that has very rarely been written about. In my opinion, Sandra Worth does Richard much justice. He was just waiting for the right author to come along and write his story. Her writing style really allows you to connect with Richard and uncover his thoughts and feelings and motivations. The author also presents and very convincing case that suggests the person known as Perkin Warbeck was really Richard. Honestly Richard was a character you could easily fall in love with. I haven’t encountered one of those since William Marshall and Roger Bigod from The Greatest Knight and For the King’s Favor respectively. At the same time, this book is a story of Catherine Gordon and the adversity that she faces being married to Richard and then later having to live in the court of Henry VII, the great enemy of her husband. Her and Richard really were fighting an uphill battle throughout the whole book and I just kept thinking, “could they ever catch a break!?”. All of the books I have read where Henry VII was involved, he played a minor character and I was never really given enough information to even have an opinion about him. In Pale Rose of England Henry is very much a key player in the story and I really came to despise him – he just caused problem after problem for our protagonists. Another thing that I really enjoyed about the characters in this book was that it wasn’t your typical Tudor cast of characters. You had Catherine and Richard, as well as King James of Scotland, James Strangeways (courtier to Henry and her eventual second husband), and Matthew Craddock (her eventual third husband) as well as several of the sisters of Elizabeth of York (Cecily, Anne, Catherine and Bridget). It was great to see a little more of who was who in this time period. A truly wonderful read that will pull on your heartstrings. This book was received for review from the publisher - I was not compensated for my opinions and the above is my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jean V. Naggar Literary

    “Worth's study...moves into one of the most intriguing and scrutinized aspects of history...Through the eyes of...Lady Catherine Gordon, the rebellion takes on new light. Worth creates a love story amidst war, a history filled with glorious people and an unforgettable female character who triumphs when others fail; whose faith and love move a king and who has been lost to history until now.” --Romantic Times, 4 ½ stars “5 stars out of 5. Powerfully intoxicating! Another smashing novel.” --Histori “Worth's study...moves into one of the most intriguing and scrutinized aspects of history...Through the eyes of...Lady Catherine Gordon, the rebellion takes on new light. Worth creates a love story amidst war, a history filled with glorious people and an unforgettable female character who triumphs when others fail; whose faith and love move a king and who has been lost to history until now.” --Romantic Times, 4 ½ stars “5 stars out of 5. Powerfully intoxicating! Another smashing novel.” --Historically Obsessed “Worth's novels offer a well-researched, beautifully written, and exciting journey into Plantagenet England. Her passion for the time period shines through in all her works.” --Examiner.com “Fans of The Other Boleyn Girl...will appreciate the attention to detail, the intense love story, and the heartbreaking saga of Lady Catherine. Fans of historical romance will find their assumptions challenged and ultimately rewarded. Fans of historical fiction will love the great care with which Sandra Worth treats real events of history, and yet the startling beauty with which she illustrates one of history's mysterious figures.” --Enduring Romance Blog “Awash in murder, romance and the excesses of ruthless royal power, PALE ROSE OF ENGLAND races along unfolding a tale that cries out to be told. Written with grace and heart, it is at once tender and terrifying.” --Robin Maxwell, bestselling author of SIGNORA DA VINCI “Worth has crafted a fascinating, vivid tale.” --C.W. Gortner, author of THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI “Fascinating...The world of violent storms on rocky coasts, monasteries, gardens, and the court is so real you can touch it, as are the people, from monarchs to serving maids.” —Stephanie Cowell, author of CLAUDE AND CAMILLE

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    I knew a little about the tale of "the pretender" Perkin Warbeck before I read this wonderful novel but after I wanted to know more. I love a book that sends me researching. This tale of Lady Catherine Gordon and the alleged son of Richard Plantagenet will steal your heart. It is so very sad. Was Perkin Warbeck one of the Princes in the Tower? We will never really know for sure but after reading this book I am convinced. The story is really about Lady Catherine as her life went on for many years I knew a little about the tale of "the pretender" Perkin Warbeck before I read this wonderful novel but after I wanted to know more. I love a book that sends me researching. This tale of Lady Catherine Gordon and the alleged son of Richard Plantagenet will steal your heart. It is so very sad. Was Perkin Warbeck one of the Princes in the Tower? We will never really know for sure but after reading this book I am convinced. The story is really about Lady Catherine as her life went on for many years after the death of Perkin. She was a remarkable woman in a dangerous time. She must have been something and Ms. Worth has crafted a book from limited information left to history. It is richly detailed and an excellent read. The first part is so very exciting as the two of them plan their lives as King and Queen of England but then after Perkin is captured the overwhelming mood is of such despair that it almost pours from the page.Ms. Worth's writing is such that you feel you are there experiencing what the characters are feeling and it can be uncomfortable but that is what good writing can do. The third part encompasses Catherine dealing with Henry VII's passion for her and her subsequent marriages. I was happy she was able to survive such an obnoxious man I found it to be one of those books that I didn't want to leave. Excellent writing and fascinating characters.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Bass

    I know, I say this about virtually every book I have read; but, I truly enjoyed Pale Rose of England. I have just recently read Alison Weir's book, The Princes in the Tower and was ALMOST convinced that neither of Edward IV's sons survived their stay in The Tower, when Richard III took the English throne. However, after reading the Pale Rose of England, and the manner in which Sandra Worth presents the lives of Catherine Gordon and Richard ("Perkin") Duke of York, I believe the younger prince ma I know, I say this about virtually every book I have read; but, I truly enjoyed Pale Rose of England. I have just recently read Alison Weir's book, The Princes in the Tower and was ALMOST convinced that neither of Edward IV's sons survived their stay in The Tower, when Richard III took the English throne. However, after reading the Pale Rose of England, and the manner in which Sandra Worth presents the lives of Catherine Gordon and Richard ("Perkin") Duke of York, I believe the younger prince may have possibly survived. This story is touching, at the same time tragically sad; but the one thing which pervades this story is the remarkable strength of Catherine Gordon, and they hope she had which never died.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    I found this a very interesting British historical fiction read centered on the life story of Lady Catherine Gordon and her husband, who claims to be Richard Plantagenet, one of the two princes of England taken to the Tower of London. When he comes out of hiding, after missing for years, Richard struggles to prove his identity and assert his rightful position. Be sure to read the author's notes providing her historical support and reasoning for Richard's identity at the end. Although the story o I found this a very interesting British historical fiction read centered on the life story of Lady Catherine Gordon and her husband, who claims to be Richard Plantagenet, one of the two princes of England taken to the Tower of London. When he comes out of hiding, after missing for years, Richard struggles to prove his identity and assert his rightful position. Be sure to read the author's notes providing her historical support and reasoning for Richard's identity at the end. Although the story of Richard is gripping, it is just a piece of the novel, within the dramatic story of Catherine's life. You will be swept away by Catherine's inner strength as she marries four times, creating a new life for herself each time and struggling with her grief, heartache and politics along the way. Amazing read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Babs

    I have always heard the prince was not who he said he was. It's a great mystery no one will really be able to tell us what is truth and what is myth. I enjoyed the book for that main reason and to learn more about Catherine. She truly believed who Richard was and loved him until her death. Even though she married 3 times after, she still held a spot in her life just for him. Sandra writes as if she lived in the same era. The descriptions are so detailed you can easily imagine yourself sitting be I have always heard the prince was not who he said he was. It's a great mystery no one will really be able to tell us what is truth and what is myth. I enjoyed the book for that main reason and to learn more about Catherine. She truly believed who Richard was and loved him until her death. Even though she married 3 times after, she still held a spot in her life just for him. Sandra writes as if she lived in the same era. The descriptions are so detailed you can easily imagine yourself sitting beside or walking along with the characters. The research as you can tell from the book is well-played out. I will be reading the other books Sandra has out as they do keep you turning the pages.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Sandra Worth has become one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Once again she manages to capture my interest in a period of English history I thought would never interest me. This was an excellent and engaging read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    For a review check my blog! :) http://burnorbuythatbook.wordpress.co... For a review check my blog! :) http://burnorbuythatbook.wordpress.co...

  24. 5 out of 5

    HalKid2

    Here is beautifully told, suspenseful novel about a little known figure in English history - Catherine Gordon. A renowned beauty and cousin to King James IV of Scotland, Catherine marries a controversial figure — the man who claims to be Richard, Duke of York — one of the two famous princes (sons of King Edward IV of England) imprisoned in the Tower of London. Richard claims he was rescued, raised in obscurity, and now, backed by many European monarchs, is committed to reclaiming his rightful th Here is beautifully told, suspenseful novel about a little known figure in English history - Catherine Gordon. A renowned beauty and cousin to King James IV of Scotland, Catherine marries a controversial figure — the man who claims to be Richard, Duke of York — one of the two famous princes (sons of King Edward IV of England) imprisoned in the Tower of London. Richard claims he was rescued, raised in obscurity, and now, backed by many European monarchs, is committed to reclaiming his rightful throne from the usurper, King Henry VII. Unfortunately, Richard and Catherine are young, idealistic, and naive — unprepared for the paranoia, ruthlessness and brutality of Henry VII. (He definitely becomes that villain you will love to hate.)  As the author writes in the book’s afterward, little factual knowledge exists about Catherine Gordon. But, in Sandra Worth’s hands, that provides a wonderful opportunity to create. And Worth’s Catherine is a fully fleshed out woman — deeply in love with her husband, committed to his cause, and struggling to navigate the devious politics of Henry VII’s court, all the time deeply wary of the lustful glances coming from the Henry himself. It’s a wonderful story full of plots and double dealings. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to observe the life of a noble woman of high birth in the late 1400s and early 1500s. And the stringent limitations of her power in a medieval world so fully controlled by men. Like nearly all women of the time, we learn about important historical events, more from the sidelines that from direct participation — like the bloody Battle of Culloden, the famous Field of Gold gathering with France’s King Francois I, and Henry’s VIII’s struggle for a divorce from Katherine of Aragon. This is a winner! Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy getting under the skin of Catherine Gordon and the life she led during one of the most interesting and perilous periods of English history. 

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sashi

    The book is about the story of Catherine Gordon and Richard, Duke of York. Both the main characters were married in Scotland by King James and their journey begins when they return to England to claim Richard legal throne. However, at that point of time Richard did not have enough army or the skill needed to win wars and fail miserably to King Henry VII. The tudors were ruthless and was tough on Richard which made him lose his family and also made him witness the hardship his wife and son went t The book is about the story of Catherine Gordon and Richard, Duke of York. Both the main characters were married in Scotland by King James and their journey begins when they return to England to claim Richard legal throne. However, at that point of time Richard did not have enough army or the skill needed to win wars and fail miserably to King Henry VII. The tudors were ruthless and was tough on Richard which made him lose his family and also made him witness the hardship his wife and son went through. The story was narrated from the point of view of Catherine Gordon and it mainly focuses on her. Her life with Richard, her search for her lost son, her life with her second husband James, and also the third husband Matthew. In the history it was written she was married to Christopher Ashton however in the book it was not explained in detail. After reading the book it can be said that Lady Catherine is a very strong and truly magnificent character. It is not a every day occurrence that a lady rejects the king offer to be a queen. Yes, she did reject the proposal from King Henry and live with her head held high. She is a woman that is sincere, trustworthy and also loyal to the end. Moreover, after reading the story it can be said that an extensive research was done by the author. A very good job indeed. It's worth reading and it changes the way we see things in a whole.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    This has been sitting on my TBR shelf for the longest time because it took me forever to find a copy. I'm glad I finally discovered this gem at my used bookstore because this was a fantastic book. It brought an entirely new perspective to the reign of Henry VII, that of Catherine Gordon, the Scottish royal wed to Richard Plantagenet/Perkin Warbeck. In every other book I've read, the Richard/Perkin dilemma is addressed from the perspective of the Tudor court but seeing it from the other side was This has been sitting on my TBR shelf for the longest time because it took me forever to find a copy. I'm glad I finally discovered this gem at my used bookstore because this was a fantastic book. It brought an entirely new perspective to the reign of Henry VII, that of Catherine Gordon, the Scottish royal wed to Richard Plantagenet/Perkin Warbeck. In every other book I've read, the Richard/Perkin dilemma is addressed from the perspective of the Tudor court but seeing it from the other side was fascinating and heart-breaking. The author's historical notes make a convincing case that he truly was the lost prince from the Tower (his unique physical characteristics seen in the Plantagenet line and why else would Burgundy and Rome offer to give up their claims to the English throne to see his safe return).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    Interesting, in this version the premise is that Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the Tudor throne, was, in fact, really, no doubt, the lost prince, Richard, Duke of York, and we follow all the joys and sorrows that brings to his wife, the lady Catherine Gordon. The story follows Catherine Gordon's life and all the many husbands she had and wannabe lovers she had to fend off, and the ups and downs she went through because of the Tudors. It does a great job showing the details of the time period, a Interesting, in this version the premise is that Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the Tudor throne, was, in fact, really, no doubt, the lost prince, Richard, Duke of York, and we follow all the joys and sorrows that brings to his wife, the lady Catherine Gordon. The story follows Catherine Gordon's life and all the many husbands she had and wannabe lovers she had to fend off, and the ups and downs she went through because of the Tudors. It does a great job showing the details of the time period, as well as really getting inside Catherine's head and showing what she might have gone through emotionally as events tossed her up and down, and how she might have been handling it. It drags on a bit at the end after most of the more exciting events have passed, but that was very much in keeping with her life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The second half was a little slow, and had lots of descriptive filler. However, the first half was excellent - a fascinating view of the woman who married the man who claimed to be the last Prince of York. There is a theory, supported by some historical evidence, that the last of the two princes of York was not murdered. The youngest was spirited away, and was a threat to Henry VII for the throne of England.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mallory Gillespie

    Really enjoyed this work of fiction. I know it is a work of fiction but how Sandra Worth took a 10 worded statement into a 400+ narrative is no easy feat. Recommend to anyone who enjoys this era of fictional literature.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tudor Book Blog

    A The Tudor Book Blog Review(http://www.thetudorbookblog.com). Synopsis: This novel is set during the reign of Henry VII. It follows Catherine and Richard (Perkin Warbeck) as they attempt to seize the English throne. Richard claims to be Richard, Duke of York, the youngest of the Princes in the Tower. Catherine, the daughter of a Scottish noble and cousin to King James, marries Richard and, after his defeat, joins the English court as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. The novel follows Catheri A The Tudor Book Blog Review(http://www.thetudorbookblog.com). Synopsis: This novel is set during the reign of Henry VII. It follows Catherine and Richard (Perkin Warbeck) as they attempt to seize the English throne. Richard claims to be Richard, Duke of York, the youngest of the Princes in the Tower. Catherine, the daughter of a Scottish noble and cousin to King James, marries Richard and, after his defeat, joins the English court as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. The novel follows Catherine through her next three marriages, to her death in 1537. My Thoughts: Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Personally, I am a huge fan of third-person novels. However, a lot of people prefer first-person because you really get inside the main character's head. Though Pale Rose... is in third-person, Worth did a good job of relating the story through Catherine's point of view. For example, Catherine firmly believes, without a shadow of a doubt, that Richard is Richard, Duke of York, thus you believe it too. I also really liked how one can tell Worth has done her research. The time period comes alive in the smallest details. Worth even provides an author's note at the end of the story to explain the history behind her novel. I feel this is extremely important when writing historical fiction. Another highlight of the novel is how Worth shows Perkin Warbeck as, without a doubt, the youngest of the Princes in the Tower. Few historians believe that Perkin Warbeck was Richard, Duke of York. However, Worth offers a few valid arguments to support he was. She goes into detail about his handsome appearance (which greatly resembled the real Richard's father, King Edward IV, including his "Plantagenet eye"), his courtly and royal air (quite unlike the uneducated peasant Henry VII makes him out to be), and the fact that many European monarchs supported him (including James of Scotland, who allowed Warbeck to marry his niece) even after he was captured and was of no political use to them. Though two bodies were found in the Tower in the 1600's, and thought to be the two Princes, DNA testing has not been performed, and the mystery remains unsolved. Lastly, I really liked how Worth chose a time period few Tudor authors venture to. Her characters are barely mentioned in other Tudor novels (or even history books), but are well developed in hers. She barely mentions Henry VIII and "The Great Matter," but focuses on Richard and his quest to take the English Throne. Just think, if he had there would have been no "Great Matter!" One thing I did not like about the story was how the author seemed to skim over Catherine's later life. Each chapter became a whole new chunk of time in her life. I would have rather the author break the novel into two novels, and focus more attention on Catherine's life before and during her marriage to Richard. The novel picks up right before their defeat by Henry VII. I would have rather had a few chapters going into more detail about their meeting, marriage, etc. Worth also attempts to show that Henry VII was in love with Catherine. Of course, this makes for a great story, but it is not factual. Firstly, most Tudor historians do not think Henry VII had extramarital affairs. Secondly, looking at Henry VII's treatment of Catherine, there isn't much cause to think he thought anything of her. He did give her large gifts of clothing, but this was about the time his daughter married the King of Scotland. Of course he wanted to treat the King of Scotland's niece well... Worth also shows Catherine and Richard as having a son. There is no historical evidence of this. Ok, I will admit that these last two can't really be counted as "dislikes." This is a fictional account, and it makes for a good story :) Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and give it Four Tudor Roses.

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