UNEASY LIES THE HEAD by Jean Plaidy

UNEASY LIES THE HEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

You thought Plaidy had finished--after ten 16th-century novels--with the Tudors? So did we. But here she is again, this time highlighting--in primary colors--the artful savagery of chilly, calculating Henry VII and the ascendancy of the future Henry VIII. Much of the story concerns the measures taken by King Henry to further secure the Crown he won at Bosworth Field from Richard III. He handily puts down four revolts--salting the sad, innocent Earl of Warwick (Edward IV's nephew) away for years in the Tower while coaching an impostor to take the Earl's place. Likewise, the rebellion led by a bogus Richard of York is ruthlessly axed. But, in between executions of finagling foes and innocent bystanders, the King is busy on the royal domestic front. A marriage is arranged for frail Arthur, Prince of Wales, with the young Spanish lnfanta, Katharine--a union left unconsummated on the King's orders, paving the way for a legal joining of young Henry and his brother's wife after Arthur's death. (For years poor Katharine is ignored and impoverished, while the King looks for bigger and better dowry money, squabbles with Spain, and plays marital politics.) Then, however, the King dies when his willful heir is 17. . . so it's a whole new game of divide-and-conquer for Henry VIII. Uneasy would lie a scholar's head among all the over-simplifications here--but the rebellions under Henry VII are relatively fresh territory, and Plaidy tackles them with a straightforward crispness that's been missing from much of her recent assembly-line output.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1984
Publisher: Putnam