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.