By William Welsh The life of Margaret of Anjou was not that of a meek noblewoman content with the companionship of her ladies in waiting. Rather, it was the story of a woman driven by the desire to do everything in her power to ensure that her husband, Henry VI—wracked by fits of madness in which he withdrew from the outer world to do combat with inner demons—remained king of England long enough for her only son to inherit the throne. Married at the Truce of Tours From the highs of leading armies into battle, to the lows of wandering penniless along the rockbound coast of Northern England, Margaret led a remarkable life. She was the daughter of Rene, Duke of Anjou, and Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine. At the age of 14, her uncle, King Charles VII, and Henry VI’s chief minister, William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, arranged her marriage to the young English king to cement the Truce of Tours in 1444. The two were married on April 23, 1445. Since she was French, it was only logical that she pushed her husband to make peace, rather than prolong hostilities, with her home country. This quickly brought her into conflict with Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He scorned her, and she returned his spite. Margaret’s role in political affairs grew rapidly as the royal court was rocked by events in the next decade. The English lost Normandy in 1450 and then Gascony in 1453. After Gascony fell, Henry suffered a severe bout of mental illness that rendered him incapable of ruli


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