Sunday, March 7, 2010

To The Tower Born By Robin Maxwell

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I thoroughly enjoyed To The Tower Born by Robin Maxwell. I did not want to stop reading it !

The story follows the lives of Nell Caxton , the  daughter of William Caxton (the man who brought he first printing press to England) and of her best friend Elizabeth (Bessie)  - daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. The book follows the period right before and after the death of Edward IV. It chronicles the chaos that ensued as Richard III grabbed for the reigns of England; ostensibly imprisoning and later murdering his nephews (the Princes in the Tower) and forcing Elizabeth Woodville and her family into the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey. This book has it all: history, family feuds, greed, political  conniving, love,

I found this to be an absorbing read – with well defined characters and well executed plot that never lagged. The narration is in chapters by both Nell and Bessie. I found Nell to be an interesting character but perhaps a bit too cold – then again perhaps that is exactly how a highly educated, independent woman of the time had to be in order to  survive and prosper. Nell’s lover (a chaste love I should mention) was Antony, Lord Rivers who Richard also had executed for allegedly conspiring to take over the protectorate of his nephew Edward. Bessie is enamored with her uncle Richard III whose was married at the time to Anne (Neville).


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