Author(s): Hugh Bicheno
THE REAL GAME OF THRONES CONTINUES... Blood Royal is the second volume of a magisterial new interpretation of the savage struggle for supreme power between and within the Plantagenet houses of Lancaster and York from 1450 until 1485. It is a story of closely interwoven families riven by ambition, hatred and treachery, told in chapters narrating the points of view of the key players in England's longest and bloodiest civil war. Battle Royal ended with the Lancastrian cause crushed and the Yorkist usurper Edward IV firmly established on the throne. Blood Royal details the renewed and chronic instability sparked by Edward's humiliation of Duchess Cecily, his imperious mother, and her nephew the Neville double earl known to history as 'Warwick the Kingmaker', by secretly marrying the beautiful commoner Elizabeth Woodville.
In her fury Duchess Cecily tells her sons George of Clarence and Richard of Gloucester that Edward, who is totally unlike them, is the product of her adultery and not their father's heir. Edward's brief overthrow in 1470-71, the execution of Clarence in 1478 and the usurpation and murder of Edward's young sons by Richard of Gloucester in 1483 all followed from that poisonous revelation.
Readers may judge that the 331-year-old Plantagenet dynasty came to a fitting end with the death of Richard on Bosworth Field in 1485, to be replaced by the Tudors and a vigorous new era in English history.
Hugh Bicheno read history at Cambridge, and later joined the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). He is the author of Crescent and Cross: the Battle of Lepanto, Razor's Edge: the Unofficial History of the Falklands War and Elizabeth's Sea Dogs.