This was my first step back in time from the Tudors. I had read that Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII had been Richard III's lover, and this was such an extraordinary claim that I started to read about her, and from her to her mother, the almost-unknown Elizabeth Woodville. When I started to look at her there was only one reliable biography, by historian David Baldwin, and it was on his biography and my own research that I based this first book in the series that has gone on to be a major BBC TV series.
The country has been torn apart by the Wars of the Roses between the royal houses of York and Lancaster.
The old king Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou have escaped to Scotland and the Lancastrian armies have been decimated by the York forces at the Battle of Towton - the bloodiest ever fought on English soil.
England has a new king on the throne: Edward IV of the House of York - young, handsome and daring.
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.
This book has been adapted for television in the BBC and Starz drama The White Queen (2013); Elizabeth is played by Rebecca Ferguson and Edward by Max Irons.