Description
THWARTED QUEEN is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.

Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. The seventh daughter, she is the only one left unmarried by 1424, the year she turns nine. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. The Earl of Westmorland plans to marry his youngest daughter to 13-year-old Richard, Duke of York, who is close to the throne. He wants this splendid match to take place so badly, he locks his daughter up.

The event that fuels the narrative is Cecylee’s encounter with Blaybourne, a handsome archer, when she is twenty-six years old.  This love affair produces a child (the “One Seed” of Book II), who becomes King Edward IV.   But how does a public figure like Cecylee, whose position depends upon the goodwill of her husband, carry off such an affair? The duke could have locked her up, or disposed of this illegitimate son.

But Richard does neither, keeping her firmly by his side as he tries to make his voice heard in the tumultuous years that encompass the end of the Hundred Years War - during which England loses all of her possessions in France - and the opening phase of the Wars of the Roses. He inherits the political mantle of his mentor Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and become’s the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France.  But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows.

This book is filled with many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time. By their courageous acts, these fifteenth-century Londoners set the stage for American Democracy.

BOOK TRAILER


The Story Behind This Book
I started to write this novel about Cecylee Neville when I heard that Michael K. Jones, a British historian, had been combing through the archives of Rouen cathedral and discovered that Cecylee's husband Richard of York was absent for 5 weeks during the summer of 1441. Nine months later, Cecylee's son Edward, who later became King Edward IV, was born. This piece of research seemed to give credence to the idea that Edward was illegitimate. I wrote the novel because I had a burning question: What on earth did Cecylee say to her husband when he returned home from fighting the French?


Praise and Reviews

Author Interviews

Buy

Related Links
 
Cynthia Haggard
Born and raised in Surrey, England, CYNTHIA SALLY HAGGARD has lived in the United States for twenty-nine years. She has had four careers: violinist, cognitive scientist, medical wr More...