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Biography & Autobiography Historical

So High a Blood

The Story of Margaret Douglas, the Tudor that Time Forgot

by (author) Morgan Ring

Bloomsbury USA
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price

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Niece to Henry VIII, heir to the throne, courtier at risk of being killed, spy-mistress, and ambitious political player, Lady Margaret Douglas is a vital new character in the Tudor story.
Amidst the Christmas revels of 1530, a fifteen-year-old girl arrived at the court of King Henry VIII. Half-English, half-Scottish, she was his niece, the Lady Margaret Douglas. For the next fifty years, Margaret held a unique and precarious position at the courts of Henry and his children. As the Protestant Reformations unfolded across the British Isles and the Tudor monarchs struggled to produce heirs, she had ambitions of her own. She wanted to see her family ruling a united, Catholic Britain. Through a Machiavellian combination of daring, spying, and luck, Margaret made her son into a suitor to her niece Mary, Queen of Scots. Together, they had a powerful claim to the English throne--so powerful that Queen Elizabeth I feared they would overthrow her and restore both England and Scotland to the Catholic faith. The marriage cost Margaret her position, her freedom, and her beloved son's life.
From the glittering Tudor court to the Tower of London, Lady Margaret Douglas weathered triumphs and tragedies in an era of tremendous change. Yet she never lost hope that she would see her family rule throughout the British Isles, which eventually happened when King James (I of England, VI of Scotland) united the crowns in 1603. Drawing on previously unexamined archival sources, So High a Blood presents a fascinating and dramatic portrait of this forgotten Tudor.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Morgan Ring was born and raised in Toronto. She moved to England in 2008 to read history at Cambridge where she won a Senior Scholarship and holds the Gonville studentship at Gonville and Caius College. So High a Blood is her first book. She lives and teaches in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Editorial Reviews

"A wealth of correspondence and a strong knowledge of the period combine in a capable book showing life at these strange medieval courts." - Kirkus Reviews
"The author compiles a plethora of research, including contemporary sources, to reveal Douglas's integral role in the Tudor and Stuart dynasties . . . Excellent. . . In addition to the many intriguing stories here, readers will enjoy Ring's ability to put them together into a captivating narrative." - Library Journal
"Ring’s account of [Margaret Douglas’s] life is packed with the politics and intrigue of the Tudor court in all its royal splendor and complexity . . . . An absorbing narrative. . . . Royalty buffs and fans of English history will treasure this well-wrought Tudor tapestry." - Booklist
"Morgan Ring has written an absorbing account of Margaret's life, and has found a fresh angle from which to view the Tudor court, which is no mean feat." - Times Literary Supplement
"[Ring] merges the familiar with the forgotten to tell one of the most well-known family sagas of all time from a different perspective. The reader will find the story gripping and a read that is mercifully less confusing, but a far faster story, than a typical Tudor television melodrama." - New York Journal of Books
"Morgan Ring's So High a Blood: The Story of Margaret Douglas, the Tudor that Time Forgot is a deft, rollicking history full of drama of the highest order. It is addicting in the same way as Game of Thrones, providing political intrigue, forbidden love, royal scandal, shocking reversals and murder . . . Ring has carefully grounded her dramatic narrative in historical fact . . . Ring creates a well-rounded, painfully human portrait of her leading lady . . . So High a Blood excites and entertains with grand historical drama and produces some potent pathos in the process." - Shelf Awareness
"A scholarly and comprehensive biography of Margaret Douglas. She paints a picture of life in the Tudor court with a great deal of interesting detail. This is a must read for any Tudorphile." - Historical Novels Review
"Historian Ring successfully details the life of Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII and grandmother of the first Stuart king. . . . a concise, entertaining narrative of the life of Margaret." - Choice