Catherine is a Glasgow-based author whose fascination with the medieval period began during a History degree which included studies into witchcraft, women and the role of political propaganda. This kick-started an interest in hidden female voices which resulted in her debut novel, Blood and Roses. The novel brings a feminist perspective to the story of Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482, wife of Henry VI) and her pivotal role in the Wars of the Roses, exploring the relationship between Margaret and her son and her part in shaping the course of the bloody political rivalry of the fifteenth century.
Catherine also writes short stories – she was 3rd prize winner in the 2015 West Sussex Writers Short Story Competition and a finalist in the Scottish Arts Club 2015 Short Story Competition. She regularly blogs as Heroine Chic, casting a historical, and often hysterical, eye over women in history, popular culture and life in general. She is profiled in the March edition of Writing Magazine. For 2016 she has been awarded a place on the Scottish Book Trust Author Mentoring Programme to develop her second novel.
In her spare time she listens to loud music, watches far too many movies and tries to remember to talk to her husband and children.
Author Website: Catherine Hokin
Author Blogspot: https://www.catherinehokin.com/
Twitter: Twitter @cathokin
Website and social media: https://www.catherinehokin.com/
Blood and Roses – a novel of Margaret of Anjou and her pivotal role in the Wars of the Roses by Catherine Hokin.
The English Crown – a bloodied, restless prize.
The one contender strong enough to hold it? A woman. Margaret of Anjou: a French Queen in a hostile country, born to rule but refused the right, shackled to a King lost in a shadow-land.
When a craving for power becomes a crusade, when two rival dynasties rip the country apart in their desire to rule it and thrones are the spoils of a battlefield, the stakes can only rise. And if the highest stake you have is your son?
You play it.
Portraying the dynastic struggles of the Wars of the Roses as a medieval House of Cards, debut novelist Catherine Hokin re-interprets the story of Margaret of Anjou as a feminist re-telling of one of the bloodiest periods of English history. In a powerful revision of a woman frequently imagined only as the shadowy figure demonised by Shakespeare, Blood and Roses examines Margaret as a French Queen in a hostile country, born to rule but refused the right, as a wife trapped in marriage to a man born to be a saint and as a mother whose son meets a terrible fate she has set in motion. As Margaret desperately tries to stave off the judgement of history by writing her own truth—a desire she knows is almost certainly doomed – she unfolds a web of intrigue, shifting alliances and secrets and reveals herself as a woman forced to play the highest stakes to pull a throne from the spoils of the battlefield.
A key issue for historians has been the relationship between Margaret of Anjou and her husband Henry IV (who suffered from what has been described as narcolepsy, resulting in long periods of what are best described as coma) and the paternity of her son, born 8 years into what was a seemingly barren marriage.
Blood and Roses offers a solution to the paternity question rooted in Margaret’s political acumen and her relationship with Jacquetta Woodville – a friendship which ended in a betrayal that has never been fully explored.
This is a novel about power: winning it, the sacrifices made for it and its value. It is also a novel about a woman out of her time, playing a game ultimately no one can control.
Pitch to Publishers & Festival Organisers:
Reclaiming women’s voices through Historical Fiction, re-evaluating historical characters from a feminist perspective. Strong/dangerous women in literature.
Talk with readings from my novel and the works below followed by audience Q&A.
The talk would be built around the following themes:
- Political perceptions of Queenship in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, referencing key contemporary works with an emphasis on City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan.
- Margaret of Anjou and her political role in the Wars of the Roses: perceptions and reality. This would cover her portrayal by Shakespeare within the context of propaganda and its particular use against women during the middle ages.
- Bringing Margaret into the modern world – ongoing perceptions of powerful women and their roots.
- The feminist voice in historical fiction – challenging the genre. Making the invisible visible.
Awards & Prizes
Literary Festival Appearances
Aye Write Glasgow 2016 – reading at Sudden Fame 13 March and Spring Speakeasy 10 March
Contact email: email@example.com
Contact telephone: 07967 227853