Lady Margaret Beaufort was born on 31 May 1443 at Bletso as the daughter of Margaret Beauchamp and John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. Her father was the second son of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, the eldest son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster by his mistress and later his wife, Katherine Swynford. Margaret would never know her father. He died on 27 May 1444, leaving Margaret a wealthy heiress.
A first marriage at a very early age was dissolved, and Margaret never considered it a real marriage. At the age of 12, she was married again to Edmund Tudor, the half-brother of King Henry VI. He was 24 years old, and Margaret became pregnant almost immediately. Edmund never lived to see the birth of his child. He died on 1 November 1456 of the plague. On 28 January 1457, still only 13 years old, Margaret gave birth to her only child, a son – the future Henry VII.
Much has been written in fiction about Margaret’s supposed scheming to get her son on the throne, leaving her with a brutal reputation that has even included the murder of the Princes in the Tower.
Nicola Tallis attempts to piece back Margaret’s reputation to something resembling the truth, which is not an easy thing to do. Nevertheless, Nicola Tallis succeeds and brings back Margaret to her rightful place in history. As a fan of Nicola’s previous book about Lady Jane Grey (Crown of Blood), I had honestly expected nothing less. A highly recommended read for all Tudor lovers.