Best-selling author Alison Weir has announced her next non-fiction book, The Princess of Scotland, will focus on the life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox. Margaret Douglas was the daughter of Henry VIII’s older sister, Margaret Tudor, Queen Dowager of Scotland and Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. When her parents faced difficulties in Scotland Margaret was sent to the household of her godfather, Cardinal Wolsey, and after his death she joined the household of Princess Mary Tudor until she was appointed a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.
An heir to the throne after King Henry VIII had bastardised both of his own daughters, Margaret incurred the king’s wrath twice, first for her unauthorised engagement to Lord Thomas Howard and again in 1540 for an affair with Thomas Howard’s nephew Sir Charles Howard, the brother of Queen consort Catherine Howard. Her career spanned the reign of four Tudor monarchs. She clashed with both Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, and she was instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson, James I.
Alison Weir thinks it is time for her story to be told. Alison told us:
“I’ve wanted to write about Margaret Douglas since 1974, when I did a lot of research on her, but since then other projects have taken precedence. A good friend of mine, Siobhan Clarke, a costumed guide lecturer at Hampton Court, guides in costume as Margaret Douglas, as well as lecturing on her. Hearing Siobhan revived my interest at a time when the field of Tudor biography was becoming crowded and all the major royal figures were already the subjects of biographies. It occurred to me that Margaret Douglas, a feisty political operator whose tumultuous life spanned much of the Tudor period, deserved to be better known. It seemed to me that Siobhan Clarke was the ideal person to write her biography, and I tried to persuade her to put pen to paper, but she has very generously urged me to do so instead, because she agrees with me that Margaret’s profile needs to be raised. When I put the idea to my publishers they jumped at it, seeing immediately that the life of Margaret Douglas provides many missing links in the Tudor story.”
Alison will join us next week to discuss her latest book, Elizabeth of York The First Tudor Queen, a vivid and detailed account of the mother of the Tudor dynasty and one of England’s most beloved queens.
…Elizabeth is an enigma. She had schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is likely that she then intrigued to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage, a picture emerges of a model consort, mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted and kept in subjection by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential, and may have been involved at the highest level in one of the most controversial mysteries of the age. Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the myth, showing that differing historical perceptions of Elizabeth can be reconciled.