In 1464 Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville, a woman who offered him no diplomatic or material advantages as his queen. Why Edward chose Elizabeth when he might have married a French or Spanish princess is a mystery that has long intrigued students of history. Now we have an innovative new study of the meaning behind the king's unorthodox union that explains not only his motivations, but also why some of his subjects objected so strenuously to the match that they followed Richard earl of Warwick into rebellion. Hatred of Elizabeth and her Woodville relations fueled the anger of the English nobility. Surprisingly, however, it was not the alleged dabbling in witchcraft of the queen and her mother Jacquetta of Luxembourg that created tension at court as is commonly assumed. Rather it was spiritual alchemy, an interest shared by the Woodvilles and Edward IV, that rocked English politics during the rule of the house of York. In addition, hitherto unimagined sexual liaisons of members of the nobility - Richard duke of York, Edmund duke of Somerset, and Margaret countess of Richmond - are discussed and shown to be crucial for understanding widespread noble discontent. Finally, in a shocking denouement we learn what happened to Edward V and his younger brother Richard following their disappearance from the Tower of London during the usurpation of Richard III. With its fresh interpretations supported by a wealth of historical detail, The Secrets of the House of York offers a depth of understanding not commonly found in studies of the period.
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