So High a Blood: The Story of Margaret Douglas, the Tudor that Time Forgot

Morgan Ring's So High a Blood: The Story of Margaret Douglas, the Tudor that Time Forgot is a deft, rollicking history full of drama of the highest order. It is addicting in the same way as Game of Thrones, providing political intrigue, forbidden love, royal scandal, shocking reversals and murder. But as the book's hefty notes and bibliography reveal, Ring has carefully grounded her dramatic narrative in historical fact. After all, no one could make up the erratic machinations of 16th-century English monarch Henry VIII, as infamous for splitting with the Roman Catholic Church as he was for executing his wives.

Ring uncovers a lesser known story of the Tudor period, that of Henry VIII's niece Margaret Douglas. From the beginning, Ring characterizes Douglas as a mixed child of torn allegiances, half-Scottish, half-English, whom power players in both countries try to use to their own advantage. What emerges, though, through Ring's skilled storytelling, is the portrait of a woman who is smart, shrewd and independent, who follows her own heart in matters of love but also protects her children and dynastic legacy through political maneuvering. Ring gloriously describes the atmosphere of the Tudor royal court, the festivities and weddings that take place, as well as its many scandals. But more importantly, Ring creates a well-rounded, painfully human portrait of her leading lady, incorporating Douglas's own words into the portraiture.

So High a Blood excites and entertains with grand historical drama and produces some potent pathos in the process. --Scott Neuffer, freelance journalist, poet and fiction author

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