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Penguin UK, Jun 26, 2014 - Fiction - 368 pages
3 Reviews
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'In Succession Livi Michael engages meticulously with the diverse historical accounts of the Wars of the Roses, but she also invests intimate and poignant humanity into the personal tragedies of an era wrought with conflict and terror.' Elizabeth Fremantle, author of Queen's Gambit

Behind the bloody battle scenes of the Wars of the Roses lie the sinewy political skills of a remarkable pair of women.

Margaret of Anjou, French, beautiful, unpopular; her marriage in 1444 to a young Henry VI causes national uproar. As English rule in France collapses, Henry goes insane, civil war erupts, and families are pitted against each other. With Henry VI incapacitated, Margaret Anjou is left to fight alone for her son's position as rightful heir.

Meanwhile Margaret Beaufort, nobly born but far more distant from the throne, becomes a great heiress while only an infant. Her childhood is lived in echoing remote castles and she is lonely and vulnerable: everyone at Henry's court competes to be her guardian and to engineer an advantageous alliance through marriage to her. By the age of thirteen, she has married twice and given birth to her only son - the future King of England. But then she is separated from him . . . and her fight really begins

Succession is the intense and powerful story of the women who gave birth to the Tudor dynasty.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wagner.sarah35 - LibraryThing

The Wars of the Roses is rich in drama with a range of historical figures, gruesome battles, and mysterious deaths. I've read several novels set during this period, but this might be one of the more ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BooksCooksLooks - LibraryThing

The battle between York and Lancaster is well trodden material for readers of historical fiction. Ms. Michael’s book purports to be about the two Margarets in the middle of the fray; Margaret of Anjou ... Read full review

Selected pages


Key Characters
The King Prepares to Meet His New Bride
The Wheel of Fortune
The Earl of Somerset
The Duke of Gloucester is Summoned to a Parliament
The Duke of York Accepts a Commission
The Duchess Alice Looks to the Future
The Duke of Suffolk Writes a Letter
The Queen Consults Lady Alice
Margaret Beaufort Comes to Court
A Sudden and Thoughtless Fright
Duchess Cecily Speaks Her Mind
The Earl of Warwick Makes a Speech
The Queen Makes a Resolution
The Queen Receives a Message

The Wedding
Lady Alice Receives News of Her Husband
Lady Alice Visits the Queen
The Kings True Commons
Richard and Cecily
Margaret and Henry
Richard and Henry
So Pore a Kyng was Never Sene
22 May 1455
Margaret Beaufort Travels to Wales
The Hanged
The Earl of Warwick
Cat and Mouse
23 September 1459

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About the author (2014)

Livi Michael has published six novels for adults: Rebellion, published in 2015, Succession, published in 2014; Under a Thin Moon which won the Arthur Welton award in 1992; Their Angel Reach which won the Faber Prize in 1995; All the Dark Air (1997) which was shortlisted for the Mind Award; and Inheritance, which won a Society of Authors Award. Livi has two sons and lives in Greater Manchester. She teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

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