Queen by Right, Smith’s fourth historic novel about fifteenth-century Britain and the royal Plantagenet family, tells the story of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, who was the mother of two kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Smith’s three earlier novels were A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, and The King’s Grace. Smith takes delight in meticulous research, and even travels to the places her historic characters lived and worked so that she can describe the locations vividly and accurately. “I use the skeleton of history; then I elaborate on that with dialogue and scenes,” Smith says.
Smith specializes in strong female protagonists, and in Queen by Right (Touchstone Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster), her portrait of Cecily Neville fits the bill. As Smith says in a video interview on her website, www.anneeastersmith.com, she believes that Cecily and her husband, Richard, Duke of York, had one of the great love stories, which was very rare among the arranged marriages common for the aristocracy in the fifteenth century.
“In my novels, I strive to serve those readers who are looking for accuracy in historical fact,” Smith says, “and yet also engage those who are looking for a good story with strong characters, a little romance, and lots of period detail.”
Chapters Bookstore is at 78 North St. in Pittsfield, Mass. For more information, call 413.443.2665 or visit www.chapterspittsfield.com. Saturday’s event is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served.