THE SUMMER QUEEN by Alice Walworth Graham


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An uncommonly wearying account of the tumultous reign of Edward IV and his Queen, Elizabeth, who has been accused off and on of witchcraft and/or just plain bloodthirstiness. Supposedly this account is based on the journal kept by Cicily, Marchioness of Dorset, a York and cousin of Edward, his brothers Clarence and Richard, and the Earl of Warwick. Undoubtedly a court habituee, bobbing on the chancy seas of interfamilial sabotage and warfare, was not apt to come down too heavily on any one royal powerhouse, but in her present manifestation, Cicily herself is so bloodless and passionless that her recital of politics and general carnage is as dull as a bill of lading. And the dialogue is oddly out of pace with the period. (Did someone really say of the Earl of Warwick ""Love him or hate him he looms large in men's minds""?) Snippets of historical fact and myth do point to a possible coherent view of personalities and the Queen -- wavering, hysterical, jealously devoted to Edward -- could have been easily responsible for the death of Clarence. But to fit the pieces together is just not worth the effort.

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday