Wednesday, June 12, 2013

REVIEW: The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan

Synopsis: From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland.

Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…

My Thoughts: I have read a glut of Tudor novels over the last couple of years but if Margaret Tudor was mentioned at all it was in passing as the favorite sister of Henry was obviously Mary.  Margaret has her own interesting tale though and we are introduced to this young girl who embraces her role as a future queen at an early age and follow her on her journey into a foreign country to join in marriage to a man who is decades older than her.  Seeing so much be lain on the shoulders of this little girl in the hopes of uniting Scotland and England made me warm to her in the beginning of the novel.  I genuinely liked Margaret's husband Jamie who showed Margaret much patience and generosity as she came into her own and learned her role as queen.  I found their relationship to be touching and was able to look past the massive age difference.

In the very early chapters I thought the dialogue to be somewhat juvenile but I had to keep reminding myself it makes sense to write Margaret this way since at this point she was still just a child.  The narrative does however flow quite nicely as Margaret begins to find her voice. As the story progresses it became harder to relate to Margaret.  She has her heart in the right place in all of her doings but she suffers many a disappointment and tragedy and it is often her own actions that cause it.  While she displays the fiery spirit that is characteristic of her Tudor siblings, she also displays a fair amount of pride and arrogance that contribute significantly to the difficulties she experiences throughout the novel.  On one hand I felt sorry for her because she wanted so desperately to be loved as a woman and respected as a Queen. On the other hand I became very frustrated with her at points because of her impulsive and rash conduct.  This is most readily displayed in her interactions with second husband Archibald Douglas. Readers familiar with the story of Margaret's granddaughter Mary Queen of Scots will definitely see parallels in their lives.

Despite Margaret being a hard character to sympathize with at times, at other times I really appreciated when the author chose to show Margaret's softer side.  Her relationship with her son and future King James and her regrets for her lack of relationship with her daughter stood out most in this regard.  I thought the book did a nice job of thoroughly constructing Margaret's life.  It was nice to read a novel about this Forgotten Queen who is finally rescued from the shadows cast by the other larger than life members of the Tudor family.

 I received this book from the publisher for review via NetGalley.  These are my honest thoughts on the book.


  1. Thanks for a interesting post.

  2. You might also enjoy this excerpt from my new non-fiction book Tudor:The Family Story. It is taken from a chapter on Margaret Queen of Scots, and here you will find a couple of articles about her daughter Margaret Douglas and grandmother Margaret Beaufort who also feature in my book.