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Cynthia S Haggard

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The Gilded Cage
by Cynthia S Haggard   

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Books by Cynthia S Haggard
· Thwarted Queen
· The Bride Price
· Two Murders Reaped
· Rose of Raby
· One Seed Sown
                >> View all


Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Spun Stories Press ISBN-10:  0984816925


Copyright:  October 23, 2011 ISBN-13:  9780984816927

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THE GILDED CAGE is the third in a series of four books about Cecylee Neville (1415-1495), mother of Richard III and Edward IV, Queen by Right and Abbess. The tale of Richard of York’s political career, and its tragic impact upon his wife Cecylee, will intrigue readers who enjoy political novels.

 It is 1445, and Cecylee is turning thirty. She and Richard are waiting for the new Queen of England to arrive from Paris. Everyone remarks on how close the Yorks are. Theirs seems a successful marriage, for Cecylee is constantly at her husband’s side, providing him with political counsel as well as comfort.


But matters are not as happy as they seem. Richard is devastated by her affair, but doesn’t lock her up. Instead, he keeps her firmly by his side and takes revenge by marrying their eldest daughter Nan off when she is only seven. This decision, done only for political gain, costs Cecylee her happiness.


Set during the end of the Hundred Years War and the beginning of the Wars of the Roses we see Richard inherit the political mantle of his mentor Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and become the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France. But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows. 


This book is filled with many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time. By their courageous acts, these fifteenth-century Londoners set the stage for American Democracy.

Chapter 1
Abbey of Beaumont-lès-Tours, Tours, France
Spring 1444
“Enchanted,” murmured William de la Pole, fourth
Earl of Suffolk, as he stooped to kiss the outstretched hand
of Marguerite d’Anjou. A vibrant young lady, her full lips
parted as she smiled, revealing perfect white teeth. The King
of England had already fallen in love with a secretly obtained
portrait of her, but in the flesh, this visage was intoxicating.
Her black hair had been braided into plaits and wound
around her head, and her eyes glowed like a stoked fire,
enormous and black. Marguerite d’Anjou was but fifteen
years old.
Suffolk had come to France at the urging of his
young master, the King of England, who had made him
promise to obtain the lady for him. His patron, Cardinal
Beaufort, had told him that the marriage would form the
centerpiece of the peace negotiations labored on for the past
two years. It was now Suffolk’s duty to interview the lady
herself and ascertain if she were truly fit to be England’s
queen. He offered his arm. “What do you know of

Professional Reviews

My favorite thus far
In this third segment the story escalates as it has a lot of political content. It gives more of an insight to Richard and his role in the governing of England. It stills touches delicately on Cecylee's mind and emotions as well her role as wife and mother. Many major characters are explored a little more in depth here that gives a base for the last book in the series which is next and I can't wait to read it! 4.5 stars as thus far this is my favorite.

Will intrigue all
Thwarted Queen divides into four books: book one THE BRIDE PRICE, book two ONE SEED SOWN, book three THE GILDED CAGE, book four TWO MURDERS REAPED.

THE GILDED CAGE is the story of Richard of Yorks political career, and the impact it has on his wife, Cecylee. Everyone seems to think Cecylee and Richard has a successful marriage, but it is not what is seems. Richard is still hurt from Cecylee's affair with Blaybourne, and keeps her close by his side to keep an eye on her. In a way he takes revenge by marrying his oldest daughter, Nan, at only seven years of age. This was done for political gain. Knowing how his wife feels about a woman having no choice to choose a husband he does it anyway, costing him the last of Cecylee's happiness. Richard gains political power from his mentor and becomes the peoples champion. Londoner's are not happy that their country is under misrule due to the Kings madness, and they are not happy how the Kings french wife is giving herself power, because she is responsible for England's losses.

This third book is filled with greed, jealousy, and the fight to gain political power any way they can. The characters are struggling with the best choices they can make. The historical details in this story are well done, the political stradgy to turn to the public when parliment started to lose power was very interesting. Cynthia Haggard knows her stuff and writes an engaging book that leaves you wanting more.

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