Mastodon The Writing Desk: Book Review ~ Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower, by Susan Higginbotham

17 March 2018

Book Review ~ Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower, by Susan Higginbotham

Available from Amberley Publishing
and on Amazon UK and Amazon US

The true story of 'The King's Curse';
the extraordinary life of Margaret
Pole, niece of Richard III, loyal
servant of the Tudors.

I should begin by saying I'm an avid reader of Susan Higginbotham's historical fiction, so I've been looking forward to reading her non-fiction biography of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, one of the last surviving members of the House of York.

Perhaps unfairly, Margaret Pole is best remembered for her botched execution and a rather unflattering portrait of a thin-faced woman holding a sprig of honeysuckle blossom (a sign of love and faithfulness.)  Interestingly, when I saw the portrait in the National Portrait Gallery, it had been classified as 'Unknown woman, formerly known as Margaret Pole'.

This new book should go some way to restoring Margaret Pole's place in Tudor History, as Susan has done an excellent job of setting out the facts of her complex life and explaining the historical context. Readable and informative, this book falls short of answering my question about why Margaret was executed at the age of sixty-seven - but I suppose we will never know.

Tony Riches

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About the Author

Susan Higginbotham  runs her own historical fiction/history blog, History Refreshed by Susan Higginbotham, and owns a bulletin board, Historical Fiction Online. She has worked as an editor and an attorney and lives in Apex, North Carolina, with her family. You can find out more about her books at Find Susan on Faceboook and follow her on Twitter @S_Higginbotham

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