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.