'The Red Queen' by Philippa Gregory.
Margaret Beaufort was a strong woman. A pious woman. A woman driven by ambition, whose childhood shaped her future life in a dramatic way. In the Spring of 1453 her childhood dreams were all about feminine strength and virtue and she took as her model Joan of France, otherwise known as the Maid of Orleans.
Margaret was the heiress to the House of Lancaster, although due to the raging War of the Roses she was dismissed as 'an also ran' and was given in marriage firstly at the tender age of twelve to Edward Tudor.One son was the issue of this marriage and his life was given over to his uncle after his father's death. Being widowed at such an early age Margaret thought that her lifelong ambition was going to be realised and she would be allowed to enter a nunnery, but her Mother had other ideas.
So her life progressed with two further marriages to men that were old and frail . As her son grew he was taken to France by his Uncle for safety reasons. Margaret never gave up hope of him becoming England's reigning monarch. With much dealings with Elizabeth Woodville , the York Queen, Margaret's cause grew in strength and her faith appeared to support her in these most turbulent times.
A fantastic book , a great insight to a Queen I knew little about. Since finishing the book I have discovered that although deprived of a classical education herself. Margaret founded colleges of Cambridge University,namely Christ's College in 1505.
St John's College in 1511.