Readers Guide to Thwarted Queen
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- Cecylee is a high-spirited girl at the beginning of Thwarted Queen. What does she want more than anything in life? Is it attainable for someone of her class and gender?
- Cecylee is beaten and locked up by her father in his determination to force her to marry Richard Duke of York. What happens to Cecylee’s three daughters Nan Duchess of Exeter, Beth Duchess of Suffolk, and Margaret Duchess of Burgundy? Were any of them treated as badly as Cecylee?
- Were you surprised by Cecylee’s affair with the archer Blaybourne? How did she persuade Richard to let her keep her illegitimate son? What did you think of Richard’s decision to make Edward his heir?
- Cecylee and her husband Richard seem close and appear to have an unusually happy marriage for the time period. Evaluate their marriage. What are its strengths and weaknesses? In your opinion, which partner benefited the most from this marriage?
- Each of Cecylee’s sons, Edward IV, George Duke of Clarence and Richard III has a very different personality. Which one did you like the best and why? Which son was Cecylee’s favorite?
- Were you surprised by Edward’s marriage to beautiful commoner Elisabeth Woodville? Were you surprised by Cecylee’s reaction to the marriage? Did you find her reaction understandable or unreasonable?
- Both Richard of York and his youngest son Richard III die in a similar fashion. What drove both men to act in such a way as to cause their own deaths? Do you think this reflects their personalities, or were other factors at play.
- Cecylee outlives her husband by thirty-five years. Without her husband by her side, she has unparalleled freedom for a woman in 1400s England. Do you think she used that freedom well? Or do you think she needed Richard of York at her side to save her from herself?
- During the lifetime of King Edward IV, Richard III behaves as a model brother, always loyal, always reliable. Yet after the death of King Edward, Richard’s behavior suddenly changes. Why do you think Richard changes his behavior?
- Richard III has a short and difficult reign as King of England. What would you say was the biggest mistake he made as King?
- This novel traces out seventy-one years of one person’s life. Cecylee begins the novel as a high-spirited nine-year-old. She ends as a sad, yet beloved, eighty-year-old. Which events in her life changed her the most?