When the tall, athletic Edward of York seized the English throne in 1461, he could have chosen any bride he wanted. With his dazzling good looks and royal lineage, the nineteen-year-old quickly got a reputation for womanising, and few were able to resist his charm and promises. For three years he had a succession of mistresses, while foreign princesses were lined up to be considered for his queen. Then he fell in love. The woman who captured the king was Elizabeth Woodville, a widow five years his elder. While her contemporaries and later historians have been divided over her character, none have denied her beauty. She had previously been married to a Lancastrian knight who had lost his life fighting against the Yorkists. When she petitioned the king to help restore her son's inheritance, reputedly waiting for him under an oak tree, the young Edward was immediately spellbound. But this romance was not to be just another fling. Conscious of her honour and her future, Elizabeth repelled his advances. Edward's answer was to make her his wife. It was to prove an unpopular decision. Since then, Edward's queen has attracted extreme criticism, her story and connections reported by hostile chroniclers, her actions interpreted in the bleakest of lights. In this enlightening book, Amy Licence reassesses the tumultuous lives of the real White Queen and the king she captivated.
Amy Licence has been a teacher for over a decade. She has an MA in Medieval and Tudor Studies and has published several scholarly articles on the Tudor dynasty and Richard III. Her books include Cecily Neville ('This insight is so rare and so valuable' PHILIPPA GREGORY), In Bed With the Tudors ('A fascinating book examining the sex lives of the Tudors in unprecedented detail' THE DAILY EXPRESS), and Living In Squares, Loving In Triangles: The Lives and Loves of Viginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group. Amy has written for THE GUARDIAN, TLS, BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE and appeared on BBC radio and television. She lives in Canterbury with her husband and three children.