The Women of the Cousins' War: Book summary and reviews of The Women of the Cousins' War by Philippa Gregory, et al

The Women of the Cousins' War

The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother

By Philippa Gregory, et al

The Women of the Cousins' War
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2011,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

Philippa Gregory and her fellow historians describe the extraordinary lives of the heroines of her Cousins' War books: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV; and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.

In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king of England for love; and Michael Jones, fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor.

In the introduction, Gregory writes revealingly about the differences between history and historical fiction. How much of a role does speculation play in writing each? How much fiction and how much fact should there be in a historical novel? How are female historians changing our view of women in history?

The Women of the Cousins' War is beautifully illustrated with rare portraits and source materials. As well as offering fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction, it will appeal to all with an interest in this period.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Although this collection is often repetitious and lacks a consistent voice and cohesive overview on the origins of the Wars of the Roses, it's an engrossing introduction to three courageous matriarchs who shaped English history." - Publishers Weekly

"[Gregory] again brings insight to English history, recreating the power struggle between two of the nation's most notable women in a tale fresh for modern readers. There's no question that she is the best at what she does." - Associated Press

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Author Information

Philippa Gregory, et al Author Biography

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama, and a major film. Now, six novels later, she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds. She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire where she keeps horses, hens and ducks.

Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of this very dry and poor African country, and thousands of school children have been able to learn market gardening in the school gardens watered by the wells. The ...

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