As soon as I had completed my research on The White Queen I realised that I wanted to write a companion novel about the other side, the Tudors and Margaret Beaufort the matriarch of their house.
Now a grown man, Henry VI has maintained his hold on the English throne, despite decades of political and military challenges by the House of York. The Hundred Years' War comes to an end in France and England is defeated, losing all of her territory except for Calais. News of defeat drives King Henry into an unresponsive stupor. His wife, the despised Margaret of Anjou, cannot keep control and their great rival Richard Duke of York becomes Protector of the Realm. England is in limbo: a king crippled by insanity, a disliked and mistrusted queen, and two great families vying for control of the kingdom. Meanwhile a third potential line of succession is emerging from the agreed marriage of the newly ennobled Edmund Tudor Earl of Richmond to the child heiress Margaret Beaufort.
You can read the history behind this book in The Women of the Cousins' War, a series of non-fiction essays on the lives of Jacquetta Duchess of Bedford, her daughter Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth's great rival, Margaret Beaufort.
Margaret's story is included in the BBC and Starz television drama The White Queen (2013); she is played by Amanda Hale.