Monday 8th July
Raby Castle

Annie Garthwaite – Celebrating Cecily and the launch of ‘The Kings Mother’

Be the first to meet The King’s Mother at the childhood home of its central character, Raby’s own Cecily Neville. Annie will be in conversation with Julie Biddlecombe Brown, Curator of Raby, and introduced by Philippa Langley of ‘Finding Richard’ and ‘The Missing Princes’.

The King’s Mother takes us from the Wars of the Roses to the dawn of the Tudor age – and tells the story of those era-defining wars through the eyes of four women who shaped and suffered them: Cecily Neville, King’s Mother; Marguerite of Anjou, deposed Queen; Elizabeth Woodville, betrayed wife; and Margaret Beaufort, mother to an exiled son.

Reading from The King’s Mother Annie will describe all that these women did and were driven to do to win the crown for their sons and become King’s Mother themselves. “As the novel opens, Cecily is at the height of her success, but three other women will challenge her supremacy,” says Annie. “This is a story of mothers and sons; of maternal ferocity and female ambition – and of all the terrors that families can inflict upon themselves.”

And, by focusing on what these women wanted, suffered, knew and did, The King’s Mother gives us a fresh take on some of English history’s most enduring mysteries: Was Edward IV’s marriage bigamous and his children bastards? Why did he order the execution of his brother George, years after forgiving his treason? And did Richard III murder his brother’s children, the Princes in the Tower? The women were there – and they know the truth.

Annie’s first novel, Cecily, was named a ‘top pick’ by The Times and Sunday Times, a ‘Best Book of 2021’ by independent bookshops and Waterstones, and has recently been optioned for TV.

‘Elegant and propulsive . . . I had to fight myself to put it down’ A.K. Blakemore
‘Vivid, compelling and utterly addictive’ Tracy Borman

‘History retold with all the page-turning compulsion of a thriller’ Tim Leach

‘Majestic in its portrayal of kings, traitors, queens and would-be queens’ Sara Sheridan

‘Surprising, entertaining and incredibly compelling – I adored it’ Costanza Casati

‘A vivid and gripping powerhouse of a novel’ Joanne Burn

‘Intense and personal, with stakes as great as kingdoms and a mother’s love’ Conn Iggulden


Raby Castle, Entrance Hall Photography by Daniel Casson
Raby Castle, County Durham Exterior
Raby Castle Deer Park Photography by Gareth Nixon

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