The King’s Curse, by Philippa Gregory
You could say this novel covers Henry’s transformation from golden boy to bloodthirsty tyrant. It is told through the eyes of Margaret Plantagenet, the last York princess and spans 40 years. It covers the rise of the Tudors, and Henry VIII’s attempt to secure the Tudor dynasty. Henry is Margaret’s cousin and his marriage to Katherine of Aragon brings about a ‘deal’ that results in the execution of Margaret’s brother, who had claims on the throne .
Margaret herself is married into obscurity for her own safety. Her children too are potential rivals to the Tudors, so she lives quietly away from court. Eventually, she is left widowed and living in poverty, barely able to provide for her children.
Henry wants to create unity between the warring houses and returns the forfeited York lands and riches to Margaret. She is welcomed back to court, and becomes devoted to the new Queen Katherine . Her sons too are given positions. She sees the Queen suffer a decade of miscarriages and stillbirths, losing favour with her once devoted husband for bearing just one healthy daughter, Mary. With the Queen rejected in favour of Anne Boleyn, Margaret finds herself embroiled in a political battle …