From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. As daughter of Henry VII, 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 she has rivals. While Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And providing an heir cannot guarantee Margaret's safety when Jamie leads an invading army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of tragic loss she falls prey to the attentions of the ambitious Earl of Angus--a move that brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal, secret alliances, and the vagaries of her own heart, Margaret has one overriding ambition--to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost.
Exquisitely detailed and poignant, The Forgotten Queen vividly depicts the life and loves of an extraordinary woman who helped shape the fate of two kingdoms--and in time, became the means of uniting them.
Praise for the novels of D.L. Bogdan
""A story of love and redemption, beautifully told."" --Christy English on The Sumerton Women
""Throbs with intensity as it lays bare the secret delights of Tudor court life and the sudden, lethal terrors. A tale of innocence and ruthless ambition locked in a love-hate embrace."" --Barbara Kyle on Secrets of the Tudor Court
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About the Author
D.L Bogdan is a history major, aiming for a master’s so that she might lecture one day. She is also a musician with classical voice training who has been playing keyboards and singing in bands since she was 18. She also enjoys reading, traveling, summer activities, spending time with family and friends, and researching her next novel! She makes her home in central Wisconsin.
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The Wilted Rose
There was no one high enough to intervene on behalf of my immortal soul, my grandmother had cried. I was a shameful creature, she went on, a wilted petal on the Tudor rose. It was time I was made to examine my wicked ways and repent. Grandmother was through with humble chaplains and confessors. I was a Princess of the Blood; the fate of kingdoms may rest in my finding salvation. Thus I was removed to my godfather, the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, where I must come up with an impressive confession. I was certain it wouldn't take much; I had a wealth of sins to choose from.
Lord Chancellor John Morton sat before me in his grand white robes, drumming his slim fingers on his knee waiting, waiting for the recitation of my various sins.
I wrung my hands. Oh, where to begin?
"I hit my brother Henry on the head with a stick," I told him, swallowing my fear as I approached him to lay a hand on his lap. I refused to sit in the confessional. I did not like walls between me and anyone, see-through or not. The archbishop's robe was very soft under my fingertips and I found myself scrunching the material beneath my nails in nervousness.
He offered a grave nod, urging me to continue. "Why would you do such a thing, Princess Margaret?"
"Because Henry is stupid," I explained with impatience. "If you knew him you would surely hit him as well, my lord."
The archbishop's lips twitched. "Pray continue, Highness."
I twisted the material of his gown in my fist, edging closer to him. My tone was conspiratorial. "And then I stuck my tongue out at my tutor because he called me saucy. I am not saucy, Your Grace!"
"Indeed?" The smallest smile curved his lips. "Go on."
I swallowed several times, shifting from foot to foot. "And then ... then I put a frog in my grandmother's slipper — "
"Gracious, Your Highness, that was creative," he observed. "Why should you grieve your gentle grandmother so?"
"Do you know my grandmother, Your Grace?" I asked, incredulous that anyone should describe the severe Margaret Beaufort as gentle.
"She is a great lady," said the archbishop. "It would serve you better to respect her." He paused, arching a brow. "Now. Anything else?"
"Well, I also hid Grandmother's hair shirt," I confessed. "I wasn't trying to be bad that time. Honest. I just thought to give her skin a rest — "
"How old are you, Princess Margaret?"
"I am ten," I told him, offering a bright smile to display the pearly row of grown-up teeth that were my pride.
"Do you think a girl of ten should meddle in the affairs of a woman thrice her age?" he asked me in patient tones. "I should say not. The Lord commands us to honor our mother and father; this applies to all elders. Your grandmother is a very spiritual lady and needs none of your ... intervention. She is an example of faithfulness. Remember, through her loving discipline you are brought to a better understanding of God."
I bowed my head. I hated talking about the Venerable Margaret Beaufort with anyone. I hated even thinking about her. Spiritual! How I had suffered for Margaret Beaufort's "spirituality"! If her cane across my back was made to bring about a better understanding of God I could have been an abbess!
Summoned to mind was the most grievous sin of all. I sighed. "I asked the king what a whore is."
The priest's eyes widened as he covered his mouth with one large hand. "Did you find out?"
"No! Grandmother slapped me!" I cried, hoping to solicit his sympathy. "I can't begin to imagine why! I only asked because I heard one of the ladies say there were an awful lot of whores about and I feared it was some kind of insect, so I thought it best to find out! I do not want anything crawling on me, after all!"
Archbishop Morton tilted his head back, closing his eyes a long moment. He drew in a deep breath, expelling it slowly. "Anything else, my lady?"
I bit my lip. "I ... I'm not sure."
"You're not sure?"
I shook my head. "I'm sorry, Your Grace. It's just that I sin with such terrible frequency — I can't seem to keep track. I suppose I should make a list...."
"Highness, has it ever occurred to you that the best way to — er — 'keep track' of your sins is to reduce the list or perhaps, to the best of your ability, cease sinning altogether?" he asked.
"Oh, but that would be impossible!" I cried.
"Indeed, we're all human and it is in our nature to sin, but I do not believe reducing the regularity of the habit to be an impossibility — "
"How on God's earth do you expect me to have any fun that way?" I cried.
"Charity shall be your penance," said the archbishop in decisive tones as he rose. "I should like you to accompany your grandmother on her charitable exploits. 'Twill teach you humility as well and do your soul much good."
"Yes, Your Grace." I bowed my head in an attempt at humility, though I was much aggrieved at the thought of accompanying Grandmother anywhere. I raised my head, hoping there was some way to endear myself to him. "Thank you ever so!" I cried then, throwing my arms about his waist and resting my chin against his chest, casting adoring eyes to his stern countenance. How I wished he would scoop me up in his arms and carry me off to Lambeth. Then I could be his little girl most loved. Of course, archbishops couldn't have little girls, so I supposed it would do to place this fantasy with yet another gentleman. Unfortunately, I seemed to be running out.
"Now, now, Highness, that is quite enough!" cried the archbishop as he disengaged himself from me.
Blinking back a sudden onset of tears, I fell to my knees and, in an unusual display of reverence, kissed his grand ring.
"I will pray fervently for your soul, Your Highness," he told me.
I rose. "Your Grace ... no one ever did tell me ... what is a whore?"
"Your Highness ..." The archbishop removed his cap to run a hand through his thinning white hair. "You'll ... find out when you're older."
I refrained from stamping my foot.
I'd find out when I was older. Everyone's favorite answer when they couldn't tell me a thing. Likely they didn't even know!
Oh, confession was a bore!
I resolved to think of a hundred other fun sins to indulge in just to spite them all.
If anything, it would make the dread chore more interesting. It was rather fun shocking the Archbishop of Canterbury.
I liked shocking everyone.
Christmastide distracted me from my mischievous missions and was all the initiative I needed to remain good. Grandmother said this in itself is a sin; I should be good because I wanted to be good, not because it involved some kind of reward.
"But aren't you being good just so you can get into Heaven?" I countered, recalling my grandmother's famous displays of piety. "That is a reward."
This rewarded me with a clout on the mouth and no satisfactory answer.
We removed from Greenwich to Westminster, where all the family would be together for the first time in many months. Excitement surged through me as I peeked out the curtains of my litter to wave to the throng gathered at the palace gates, who shouted blessings at me.
"Bless the princess!" they called.
"Throw them some coin; that's what they're waiting for," my grandmother urged in stern tones. "Goodness knows they're not really here to see you."
"They are, too!" I returned. "They adore me!"
Just to ensure this, however, I reached into her purse to fish out a handful of sovereigns, tossing them to the awaiting crowd, who scrambled and scuffled over them in the street. My heart lurched as the truth of my grandmother's words rang in my ears.
When at last I was permitted to quit the litter and my grandmother's deplorable company, I ran through the Long Gallery to search out my family. I offered warm greetings to the courtiers and dignitaries who surrounded Father like butterflies around flowers. All rewarded me with smiles and bows.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was there. His dark eyes sparkled with amusement. "Well, Princess Margaret. You have come to grace us with your presence for the holiday season. Let us pray the palace doesn't take fire this year."
My eyes misted as I recalled my precious Sheen, now being rebuilt as my father had promised into a grand palace he had decided to call Richmond, for our family's seat.
"Well, I didn't do it," I assured him, in case that had been his implication.
The archbishop, in a moment of rare tenderness, ruffled my hair as he chuckled. "Of course not, Your Highness. Now. Come with me. You'll be anxious to see your father, no doubt."
"Oh, yes!" I cried, sliding my hand in his and leaning my head on his arm. He disengaged and my arm fell to my side as we progressed through the gallery toward my father's apartments.
We entered King Henry VII's privy chamber to find him hunched over his writing table, scouring documents. He did not put them aside when my presence was announced and I stood among members of the council, who rolled their eyes at each other as if to say, Here she is again.
Yes, here I am again and you'll never forget me! I longed to cry. I was not some common street urchin; I was Princess Margaret Tudor and a finer lass they'd never lay eyes upon!
But I said nothing. I sighed and fiddled with the pearls sewn into the neckline of my blue velvet gown. I plaited and unplaited my coppery tresses over my shoulder to busy my fidgety hands until at last the King of England raised his taciturn face toward me. With one slim hand, he gestured for me to come forth.
I made a face at the councilors present, hoping to convey my dislike for them in one charming grimace, and proceeded toward the grand table. I curtsied low.
"Margaret," he muttered in his gruff voice, looking me up and down. "So this is what we have to work with."
I scowled before I could help myself. "Your Grace?"
"Altogether too thin," he mumbled, looking down at his papers. "You had better be able to bear children else you'll be no use at all."
"Your Grace!" I cried. This was not the happy reunion I had envisaged. But then most of my fantasies fell scathingly short of reality. I heaved a deep sigh. "There is no reason to believe I shouldn't be able to bear a wealth of sons, my lord. I am of good Tudor and Plantagenet stock — I will do you proud."
He raised his head at this, offering a rueful smile. "I think I rather like you," he said, as though he were experiencing an epiphany and the idea of actually liking his children was quite novel indeed.
"You'll not let anyone get the best of you, will you?" he mused, rising and rounding the table to lay a hand on my shoulder. "You are of particular interest to me this year, Daughter," he said, his narrow face creasing into a smile. I must say he looked horrible. His auburn hair grazed his shoulders in a straight and sensible mass that did his long features no good at all. I wished he'd cut it. He looked like an old fox wrapped in his furs, an old fox waiting to leap out and, with the slyness associated with the creature, wreak subtle havoc on those who dared oppose him.
And yet without those foxy and wily ways Henry VII would not be Henry VII at all but the obscure Duke of Richmond nobody cared about. Had my father not conspired against (with the help of another fox, my cunning grandmother Margaret Beaufort) and eventually slain the usurper King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, the crown of England would not be in Tudor hands and the Wars of the Roses would still be fought in vain. But my father the king, for all his bad hair and fashion sense, swept in and won the day, not only claiming the crown but also uniting the houses of York and Lancaster at last by marrying my fair mother, Elizabeth, ending the wars for good. My father filled the treasury, modernized the government through the appointments of councilors (also men with bad hair and worse fashion sense), ousting all pretenders to the throne with the mightiness of his hand. He was a formidable man, this Henry Tudor, cold and calculating, miserly and cautious. This man, this king, was my father and never was the thought far from my mind that his were the hands that would shape my destiny.
"Everyone out — We should have audience with Our daughter alone!" Father barked, rousing me from my reverie as I watched a room of scrambling servants and councilors all too eager to do his bidding.
Father rounded the desk once more to look out the window, past the gardens, past the Tower, far past the known horizon. He was squinting. I found myself doing the same, though I had no idea what we were looking for.
"You do realize that as a daughter of this house yours is not an ordinary future We have planned," he said. "Margaret, the peace of kingdoms depends on you."
"Oh, if this is about me sinning again I can tell you I have been good for at least a week!" I cried.
He silenced me with a hand. "Margaret, I've news on your suit."
I began to tremble. My suit. I braced myself. What prince had my father chosen for me? To what distant land would I be sent?
"We need an end to these frays with Scotland and one of the ways of achieving that is by forming an alliance," he explained. "D'you understand?"
I shook my head, though against my will comprehension was settling upon me, clutching my heart in its merciless talons until I became short of breath.
"Don't swoon on me now, child," Father commanded. "You've never been a fainting girl and now is no time to start." He rested his hands on my shoulders. "Margaret. You are going to be what unites our kingdoms. You are going to bring about a better understanding between us. You are meant for greatness, perhaps a greatness that surpasses even your own brother the Crown Prince Arthur, because yours is a task that is far from easy." With this he shook me somewhat, not in cruelty, but to illustrate his passion. Fear coursed through me. "Margaret, my child, this is your purpose: You are to become the Queen of the Scots."
Had I been a fainting girl, that would have been the time.
I did not know how to feel, what to think. Queen ... But I knew I would be a queen; Princesses of the Blood are primed from birth for this function. From cradle to table I had been told that I would marry a prince, that I must bear him many sons, else be deemed a failure. And so with this in mind I prepared for my role as political breeder.
The night I learned I was to become Queen of Scots — Scots, as if he couldn't find a more glamorous country than where that lot of barbarians reside! — there was none with whom I could find comfort. For a while I climbed into bed with little Princess Mary, my three-year-old sister, cuddling her close. This golden princess would have a charmed life, I was certain. She was so agreeable and adorable; as yet she showed none of my sinful inclinations and everyone fawned over her.
At once I rose from the bed of the favored princess, stirred to anger as I thought of the wonderful marriage Father would arrange for her. No doubt she would live in some glorious court where there would be artists and musicians to entertain her all day long — likely she'd get to live in sunny Spain or romantic France while I wasted away in the North, freezing in some drafty castle surrounded by fur-clad courtiers who spoke as though they had something obstructing their throats ... ! I dared not think on it anymore. I crossed the rush- strewn floor on bare feet, wringing my hands and blinking back tears. I, Margaret Tudor, was going to be Queen of the Scots ... those frightening, monstrous Scots....
I retrieved a wrap and sneaked out of the nursery, down the hall. I would see my brother Arthur. Gentle, sweet Arthur, so unlike fiery Henry and docile Mary, would be able to guide me.
The guards stood aside to admit me into the apartments of the Prince of Wales. He was lying across some furs before his fire, thumbing through The Canterbury Tales. When he saw me, his handsome, scholarly face lit up with a smile.
"Sister," he said in his handsome voice. "A midnight visit. What an unexpected pleasure. Won't you sit? Take some wine." He held the book up for me to see. "I know, I shouldn't be indulging myself in such fancy, but the naughty parts are too delightful to ignore!"
The tears that had settled in my throat since learning of my impending betrothal were replaced by a smile as I sat beside my brother. There was no one like Arthur the world over, I was convinced. He was the gentlest, sweetest prince in Christendom and would no doubt be a fine king. He was not athletic like Henry, nor did he possess my younger brother's fleet dancing feet. Arthur was an intellectual; content to study, to ponder, to think. His beauty was delicate and whenever I was with him I could not help but feel the need to protect him, nurture him, just as he had always protected and nurtured me.
The smile faded at the thought, replaced by fresh tears. "Oh, Arthur," I began. "I hate that I never get to see you. With you living in Ludlow and me here with nobody but Henry to annoy me and Grandmother to torture me ... it is a miserable existence!"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Forgotten Queen"
Copyright © 2013 D. L. Bogdan.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Praise for The Forgotten Queen,
Books by D. L. Bogdan,
PROLOGUE - The Flames of Sheen,
1 - The Wilted Rose,
2 - The Song of Loss,
3 - The Progress,
4 - Scotland!,
5 - Mistress Stewart,
6 - Margaret the Queen,
7 - The Stewart Curse,
8 - Queens and Warriors,
9 - Ten Thousand Widows,
10 - The Ally,
11 - Mistress Douglas,
12 - The Regent,
13 - The Flight,
14 - The Reunion,
15 - His Sister's Keeper,
16 - The Return,
17 - A Woman of Scandal,
18 - The Crown of Flames,
19 - The Mothers of Kings,
20 - The Captive King,
21 - The Princesses of Scotland,
22 - Distractions,
23 - The Distant Drums,
24 - King Jamie,
25 - The Stewart Legacy,