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( Download E-pub ) Í Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower ⚾ Of The Many Executions Ordered By Henry VIII, Surely The Most Horrifying Was That Of Sixty Seven Year Old Margaret Pole, Countess Of Salisbury, Hacked To Pieces On The Scaffold By A Blundering HeadsmanFrom The Start, Margaret S Life Had Been Marred By Tragedy And Violence Her Father, George, Duke Of Clarence, Had Been Executed At The Order Of His Own Brother, Edward IV, And Her Na Ve Young Brother, Edward, Earl Of Warwick, Had Spent Most Of His Life In The Tower Before Being Executed On Orders Of Henry VII Yet Margaret, Friend To Catherine Of Aragon And The Beloved Governess Of Her Daughter Mary, Had Seemed Destined For A Happier Fate, Until Religious Upheaval And Rebellion Caused Margaret And Her Family To Fall From Grace From Margaret S Birth As The Daughter Of A Royal Duke To Her Beatification Centuries After Her Death, Margaret Pole The Countess In The Tower Tells The Story Of One Of The Fortress S Most Unlikely Prisoners 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. Henry VII and I have something in common cheapskates unless it s something we really want but even then, I suspect he also complained at shelling out , even if you ARE paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to get a traitor in your Tower So, when this book turned up on Kindle with what I consider to be a BIG price tag nearly 20, for an electronic book , I flinched and bought it anyway, since the Hardback has been stalled indefinitely and I need it for research I reserve the right to change my opinions later, with a careful perusal of the book I am rushing through it, due to time constraints on my end for another project but as it stands, this seems to be a fairly thorough and informative read about Margaret Pole I learned a few things I was unaware of in other resources, but also wondered why a few things are missing for example various sources claim Margaret Pole and Henry VIII had a land dispute without further detail in 1518 there is no mention of it here, unless it comes in the context of her later demands for the extended Warwick estate Margaret Pole was no fool She was careful Few people knew her true opinions, so what we do know of her including her intense loyalty to Katharine of Aragon comes from a few specific, isolated incidents, such as when she blatantly refused to turn over Princess Mary s jewels and plate when the king demanded them of her This means historians have little insight into her personality, true opinions, or motivations, which makes writing a biography about her difficult All you have to work with are documentation from other people in the period, dry reports of what she bought her house accounts, a few letters, hearsay from the Spanish ambassador Chapuys an unreliable narrator , and myths so, a lot of it becomes guesswork We don t even know what her husband died of, or when it was, exactly This author does fall into the biographical trap of insinuation from time to time Though we have no record of what Margaret actually thought, we can probably IMAGINE her reaction , which doesn t bother me, butGiven there isn t much to go on about the subject, a lot of the book includes filler extensive details and background on the people around her, and the incidents that made up the circumstances surrounding her life There s a lot about Henry VIII, Mary Tudor, Katharine of Aragon, and so on If the reader has zero knowledge of any of it, in order to fully understand the court itself, the book needs this but if the reader is already familiar with all of this from other sources Henry divorced his first wife to marry Anne, who was unpopular and fell from power , it becomes redundant This means you re mostly paying for History of the Tudor Period with as much as anyone knows about the Pole Family Since I m reading it for research purposes and not for fun, I skimmed a lot of the chapters where I knew most of the background information already, but it does have a straightforward, informative style that doesn t get bogged down too often in boring essentials. I had previously enjoyed Susan Higginbotham s novels and had high hopes of this biography of Margaret Pole, an unusual subject Unfortunately, my hopes were disappointed To be fair to the author, I was put off early by her clear anti Richard III bias what is it about female historians and Richard III it seems to bring out the reactionary in them whereas I am a Riccardian of many years standing I base this assertion on her choice of the word claimed regarding many of Richard s actions along with the absence of opposing facts from the text For instance, Richard claimed that he had evidence of his nephews bastardy He ignored Edward of Warwick s claim to the throne when it wasn t specified in the Act of Attainder against his father but she doesn t mention that no one at the time would have considered that overturning one minor s claim to the throne in favour of another minor s claim which was smudged with that attainder to boot as a good idea Thus it reads as if it were all Richard s idea and implies to be fair, she doesn t state that the throne was usurped She tells several times how the Princes in the Tower disappeared from view under Richard but fails to mention there is no evidence to suggest he killed them She writes of Richard coming south to take up the role of Lord Protector, as willed by Edward IV, as if he grabbed the Regency illegally from the actual usurpers of it, the Woodvilles This is history by smoke and mirrors written to make things appear to be rather than an account of what happened Eventually we get back to Margaret and for the most part read little is known or nothing is known but then she makes some odd assertion that seems hardly pertinent my favourite of these is when Ms Higginbotham tells us about Margaret having prepared a memorial resting place for herself where she wasn t allowed to lie after being executed In this she is similar to Percy Bysshe Shelley, who likewise has a monument at Christchurch without having been buried there What This is a pointless and irrelevant comment and the two aren t even comparable as Shelley did not commission his own monument It does, however, epitomise this history as far as I am concerned.So, I am most disappointed Perhaps Ms Higginbotham should stick to writing HF, which is usually readable.