A tale of enduring love amid the thornier antics of the Plantagenets and their enemies in 15th-century Britain--as filtered through the sensibilities of frail Anne, daughter of the Earl of Warwick (""the Kingmaker"") and remembered as the wife of Shakespeare's villainous Richard III. While peripatetic Warwick jumps from alliance to alliance in his political conspiracies, Nickell concentrates on the movement of the pawns: Warwick's daughter Isobel will be wed to the cruel and arrogant Clarence, Anne to King Henry VI's son, Prince Edward. But sweet, noble Anne has never forgotten the warmth and simple kindness of Clarence's youngest brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who had been schooled in Warwick's house. And after the death of Prince Edward, and the defeat of Warwick by Richard and his brother Edward IV, Anne is a prisoner in the house of brother-in-law Clarence who, in this version, is directly responsible for Anne's famous ordeal as an overworked kitchen maid in a London inn. However, she is rescued by Richard and the two are finally wed, although timid Anne becomes, a most reluctant Queen: she'll lose a son (who has inherited her poor health) and will expire before Richard dies as the last Plantagenet king at the hands of Henry Tudor. Nickell accompanies Anne with a quiet persistent undertone of outrage at the hardships (fearful flights and dreadful voyages across the channel) and loveless marriages that can plague the royal victims of political caprice. And, as for Richard III--fie to the Bard; here Richard's a glorious summer of constancy and consideration who safely tucks the little tower princes into a foreign hideaway. Gently romantic costume drama for those who prefer their kings and queens noble and steadfast.