“I am alone but I am winning”
So says medieval French queen Margaret of Anjou in her uncharacteristically favourable portrayal in Catherine Hokin’s debut novel, Blood and Roses. Catherine, who was born in Keswick and now lives in Glasgow, re-interprets the story of Margaret of Anjou as a feminist re-telling of one of the bloodiest periods of English history. In a powerful revision of a woman frequently imagined only as the shadowy figure demonised by Shakespeare, Blood and Roses examines Margaret as a French Queen in a hostile country, born to rule but refused the right, as a wife trapped in marriage to a man born to be a saint and as a mother whose son meets a terrible fate she has set in motion.
A key issue for historians has been the relationship between Margaret of Anjou and her husband Henry IV (who suffered from what has been described as narcolepsy, resulting in long periods of what is best described as coma) and the paternity of her son, born 8 years into what was a seemingly barren marriage. Blood and Roses offers a solution to the paternity question rooted in Margaret’s political acumen and her relationship with Jacquetta Woodville – a friendship which ended in a betrayal that has never been fully explored.
Lakes Book Blog is pleased to announce that Catherine will be speaking and answering questions about her novel in her home town of Keswick!
When: Thursday 16th June at 7pm.
Where: Mrs F’s Fine Food Emporium, Main Street, Keswick.
Tickets are £12.99 and include a copy of Blood and Roses. Available from Bookends, Main Street, Keswick (017687 75277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are really looking forward to hearing Catherine talk about her book and what inspired her to write about the Queen she describes as “totally kick-ass” and a “Modern Medieval”. In Catherine’s view, Margaret of Anjou has been given a rough time in historical depictions, feeling that, actually, she should be among “Women celebrated for their strengths, refusing to bow to their detractors, women with a voice: there should be a little of Margaret in all of us.”
Find out more about Catherine below: