Review: Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth

by Sandra Worth

Release Date: February 1, 2011
Berkley Trade


It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has set royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty. With the support of Scotland's King James IV, Richard-known to most of England as Perkin Warbeck-has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Stepping finally onto English soil, Lady Catherine Gordon has no doubt that her husband will succeed in his quest.

But rather than assuming the throne, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would be stamped as an imposter. With Richard facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, must find the courage to spurn a cruel monarch, shape her own destiny, and win the admiration of a nation. 


I’ve got one word for Sandra Worth’s new novel Pale Rose of England – PHENOMENAL! At times heartwarming and at others heart wrenching, this novel runs the gamut of emotions and magnificently details the lives of Catherine Gordon and the man whose identity was at the heart of one of the biggest controversies in England’s history.

Whether Perkin Warbeck was in fact the lost prince in the tower is a mystery which may never be solved. Worth’s belief that the man who returned to England in 1495 calling himself Richard Plantagenet was truly the one time heir to the English throne was quite convincing and it’s from this point of view that the novel is written.

Backed by his aunt Margaret, the Duchess of Burgundy and his uncle by marriage King James IV of Scotland, Richard sets out to England with his pregnant wife Catherine to claim his crown back from Henry Tudor. But the couple’s initial hopefulness is dimmed when the English people fail to rally to his cause and they finally realize that Richard’s youth and inexperience are no match to the merciless and tough as nails Henry VII. Ultimately, both Richard and Catherine become prisoners of Henry’s, where they are subjected to humiliation and degradation at court, culminating to a horrendous ending for Richard.

Despite all the fighting and drama, at the heart of Pale Rose of England is love. The love shared between Catherine and Richard was legendary and as the reader you can feel all the genuineness and devotion reverberating off the page. In fact, the one sentence that has been attributed to Catherine Gordon was her refusal to accept a gift and proposal from Henry VII (whom had fallen in love with her), stating “It is the man, and not the king, I love.” Catherine’s courage and resilience regardless of the circumstances set before her was inspiring, her belief in her husband was unwavering and her love for him unfaltering. This was truly one of the most touching and beautiful novels I have read to date! My only advice…keep some Kleenex handy!

If you’re like me you’ll want to know more about the Perkin Warbeck story and Worth has recommended both Ann Wroe’s book The Perfect Prince and Mary Shelley’s The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck: A Romance.

Favorite Quote: “Love is worth everything we have to pay.”

For more information, please visit Sandra Worth's WEBSITE.

Check out the Passages to the Past interview with Sandra Worth in honor of the release of Pale Rose of England!



  1. It sounds so good :) But yes I do fear the sadness that will be there

  2. I'm looking forward to reading this one - thanks for the kleenex warning!!

  3. I bought this book for my birthday, can't wait till it arrives by mail!

  4. I hope to get this one! I read Lady of the Roses and found it a very good book as well.

  5. WOW, high praise from you for this one! I love the story of Catherine and Richard- glad to see it treated so well here!

  6. Haven't seen a bad review of this one yet. I think I might have to pick it up as a b-day present for myself :)


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