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Synopsis

Katherine of Valois, born a French princess, was the wife of King Henry V of England, the mother of Henry VI, and ultimately the grandmother of Henry VII, the first Tudor king. In view of the current widespread interest in the Tudors, young adult readers will be fascinated by the story of the widowed Queen who fell in love with—and secretly married—the commoner who gave that dynasty its name.

This biography was written in 1970, following Mildred Allen Butler’s successful Twice Queen of France: Anne of Brittany and several other books for young adults. It was accepted for publication at that time by Harcourt Brace and was edited by the eminent editor Margaret McElderry, then in charge of books for young readers there. But she left the company before its scheduled appearance and her successor decided not to issue it, saying young people were no longer interested in history—a questionable assumption even then, and one that has since proven to be mistaken. Fortunately, the advent of ebook technology makes it possible to offer the book to today’s YA readers, so this posthumous edition has been produced by Sylvia Engdahl, the author’s daughter.

Extensively illustrated with portraits and other art from past eras, the book presents a colorful picture of royal life in the fifteenth century, from Henry V’s conquest of France to the lavish celebrations of his victory, his marriage to Katherine, and the crowning of their young son as child-king. And it tells how after Henry’s death, Katherine defied both law and convention to marry Owen Tudor, the man she then truly loved, and bear the son destined to father the king who founded the House of Tudor.

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