Gregory has done for the War of the Roses what she did for the Tudors: bring history to life through the eyes of remarkable women. Scheming, self-centered and determined to see her son on the throne, Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII and grandmother to Henry VIII, is a key player in “The Cousins’ War.” Gregory enthralls readers with how easily she turns historical fact into a riveting read with people you care about and events you can see through the characters’ eyes. If only history courses were as fascinating.

As a child Margaret believes that God has her destined for greatness. However, her mother has other plans to marry her off and send her to Wales. After her husband’s death she remarries and by 15 is widowed again and separated from her son, Henry. By 29 she has been wed four times. Finally able to put her plans in motion to place her son on the throne, Margaret does whatever she must to achieve her goal, including pledge fealty to Richard III, raise an army, and plan a rebellion in hopes of gaining the power and prominence she craves. In the end it is her son and grandson who reap the rewards of her sacrifice. (TOUCHSTONE, Aug., 400 pp., $25.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin