Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen: The Story of Elizabeth of York

Written by Samantha Wilcoxson
Review by Steve Donoghue

The life of Elizabeth of York is a natural lure for novelists, since it is filled with the drama of kings, queens, and war. She was the daughter of England’s King Edward IV and could therefore look forward to a future at some royal court of Europe once she was old enough to marry. But when Edward suddenly dies, that future dies with him; her uncle Richard moves to make himself king – which involves removing Edward’s sons, the infamous Princes in the Tower – and Elizabeth herself becomes a player on a very different stage.

This is the raw material for Samantha Wilcoxson’s novel Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen, a warmly readable novel that follows Elizabeth from her childhood to her life as the wife and queen of Henry Tudor, the usurper who took the crown from Richard at Bosworth.

Wilcoxson makes Elizabeth an invitingly sympathetic character, and the novel’s portrait of Henry VII is truly remarkable for its humanity, a quality of his Tudor novelists often omit.

The book has a tediously workaday title, but the narrative itself is rich with good reading.