Posted By Claire on June 29, 2011
Fancy a fun read this summer? Need a break from heavy history books? Well, here’s the perfect book for you and I guarantee that it will have you rolling around on the floor laughing, or perhaps chuckling quietly under your breath!
When you find yourself laughing at the author’s note at the beginning, you know that the book is going to be a fun read. It is in the author’s note that Karen Clark writes of how she learned the “explosive secrets” which she shares in her novel, the revelation of “the Greatest Love Story Ever Told”, or rather not told until now – the passionate (very passionate!) romance between the She-Wolf, Margaret of Anjou, and the man who fathered her son, Edward Prince of Wales, a man who has never before been linked to Margaret in this way… Well, I’m not going to tell you, am I? But this is shocking news!
If you haven’t guessed already, this novel is a spoof, a send-up of the Wars of the Roses, and a delightful “mickey take” of authors who have taken great delight in making Margaret of Anjou a bit of a slut whose “insatiable lusts… were not satisfied by any of the Beauforts, the Duke of Suffolk or the Earl of Wiltshire, not to mention Pierre de Breze and a whole lot of others”. It is a delight to read, and, for those of you who like the raunchy bits in novels, Karen’s novel now has 25% more sex! Yes, lots of sex scenes, along with secret lovers hiding behind tapestries and spies hiding in suits of armour!
Highlights for me included:-
- Margaret’s wonderful French accent, e.g. “Ziss is not zee life for a Frenchwoman wiz fire in ‘er blood”.
- The sex scenes – Such wonderful descriptions which really do take the mickey out of the historical romances on the market. Rather explicit, but so funny!
- Poignant moments like baby Edward’s nurse calling him “her ickle bunny sweetums”.
- Descriptions of characters, e.g. Cecily Neville, “Duchess of York, Rose of Rabies and Proud Ciss”, Richard III as a boy being described constantly as “frail and angelicR“.
- The Earl of Warwick practising pirate speak.
- Bits like Lord Henry Fitzhugh asking what chapter it is and his wife informing him that he’s not needed!
- The author’s sense of humour – “She giggled girlishly and followed him upstairs to his bedroom and there I think we shall draw a veil over the scene because there’s nothing a taciturn man likes less than being caught in fragrant delecto” and “the Tudors got their arses kicked but not enough of them because people are still going on about them now as if they were some kind of great heroes when really they were just overblown oiks who got lucky.”
- Chapter 9: A Very Neville Christmas – Written as a screenplay, this chapter is laugh-out-loud funny and is complete with soundtrack, e.g. “You’re the Angel on the Top of my Christmas Tree”!
- The dig at “the whole Wydeville witch thing” and “Melusine nonsense”.
- Chapter 16 “t’Subjugation o’ t’ North” – Written completely in ‘oop North’ speak.
This list could go on and on because actually the book was one huge highlight for me! It was the perfect antedote for me, after I had been banging my head against a brick wall over an email telling me that “The Other Boleyn Girl” was fact and that I really shouldn’t ever criticise it or try to correct it!
So, if you want a lighter look at the Wars of the Roses then get this book. Just be warned that you should never read a bit after taking a gulp of coffee, or coke, or anything that will stain your clothes or wreck your computer! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
A paperback version is available at Lulu.com – click here.