A review of Sandra Worth’s ‘Pale Rose of England’

Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth


It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has thundered across Europe, setting royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocking the fledgling Tudor dynasty. Stepping finally onto English soil, Catherine arrives at the island of Saint Michael’s Mount, along with her husband and young son Dickon, their second child already on the way. With the keen support of Scotland’s King James IV, Richard—known in England as Perkin Warbeck—has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Based on a prophecy given Catherine by a seer that she would be loved by a king, she has no doubt Richard will succeed in his quest. But rather than assuming the throne she believed was their destiny, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would, unimaginably, be stamped as an imposter.

Nothing could shake Catherine’s belief in Richard and her loyalty to the man she loved. She became a favored lady-in-waiting to the queen, Elizabeth of York, but her dazzling beauty only brought her unwanted affections from a jealous king and enmeshed her in a terrifying royal love triangle. With her husband facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, finds the courage to spurn a cruel monarch and shape her own destiny, winning the admiration of a nation.


To say that I really enjoyed this book is an understatement. The truth is it’s an extraordinary story – moving, intriguing, confronting, inspiring and beautifully written.

The protagonist, Lady Catherine Gordon, is strong and courageous in the face of gut-wrenching tragedy. Her unquestionable loyalty to her first husband and her ability to move forward in the pursuit of happiness, when most would have crumbled, make her fascinating and inspiring.

So involved was I in Catherine’s plight that scenes from the story crept into my dreams.  I was incapable of disconnecting from the events that were so vividly brought to life and expertly woven with accurate period detail.

As Lady Catherine’s fair-haired babe was ripped from her arms, I clutched mine a little tighter.

I shared in Catherine’s agony as her handsome husband was humiliated, tortured and executed.

I found myself rejoicing when love and happiness blossomed once more for the Scottish princess and on a number of occasions read through tear stained eyes.

Prior to reading this book my loyalties were firmly placed with the Tudors but I must admit that Sandra’s story has me questioning my loyalties.

A seed of doubt has been planted and now I find myself wondering what if ‘Perkin Warbeck’ was who he claimed to be? What if Henry VII executed the rightful heir to the throne? What if he knowingly murdered his wife’s brother?

Little evidence exists to prove that ‘Perkin’ was a ‘boatman’s son’ as Henry Tudor claimed, apart from a confession extracted under torture. And what man would not confess under such unimaginable horrors?

I believe that more evidence exits to suggest that he was more than just an impostor, including Henry’s own incriminating actions.

To find out more about Perkin Warbeck read Sandra Worth’s article ‘Uncovering the Mystery of Perkin Warbeck’.

To find out more about this fabulous author read my interview with Sandra here.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more of Sandra’s work.

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  1. Thanks for the review of this book 🙂 I’ll defiantly put it on my list of books I want to read. Love your blogs 😉

  2. I’ll be reading this shortly. I like to read about some of the lesser known historical figures and this one sounds really interesting. Glad you liked it!

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