on 19 July 2005
This book was a true joy to read, if like me you love the Wars Of The Roses period of history and have always wanted to know more about Elizabeth Wydeville, queen to Edward IV.
The author is very thorough in all her arguments that should hopefully reach a wider audience in time and rewrite the false "slandered" history of this remarkable queen, and the life she lived, with all the stresses and strains that era brought to her position.
There is a lot information on King Edward IV and his brothers and on the trials and tribulations of Elizabeth's family, but all of it is totally relevant and backed up with information on Elizabeth's position and what influence she may have had on certain events.
The only slight negative point about this book, is in places you feel the author is too biased in favour of Elizabeth AND Edward IV. She dismisses the idea that Edward was illegitimate when recent research has 99% genuine written proof of the case...from christening records from a French cathedral.
That tiny nitpick out of the way, this is a very good book and accessible to all levels of history enthusiasts. It provides a wonderful insight into court life in Elizabeth's time and some of the under currents and machinations of other leading figures in relation to the queen. As a reader you can't help but empathize with her and feel a touch of sadness at how lowly she left this world, after achieving so much.
It's so good to know that other "hidden" queens of history will be uncovered in this series. A wonderful start! 5 stars!
Elizabeth Wydeville: The Slandered Queen is the first book of a series on England' s forgotten Queens, a series edited by famous royal biographer Alision Weir. And the series got an excellent start!!
Elizabeth Wydeville was Queen Consort to King Edward IV., is mostly known as the mother of the Princes in the Tower and she was - through her daughter, another Elizabeth - the " maternal grandmother" of the Tudor dynasty. However, there is much more to her than just being wife, mother or grandmother of. Her general historical reputation is however one of a clever and beautiful woman which is marrying above her station, clever and greedy for herself and her family. Not particuarly a good reputation.
Arlene Okerlund clearly states what the purpose of her biography is: to set the record straight on this Queen. She feels that Elizabeth was slandered by her adversaries. The subtitle "The Slandered Queen" leaves on doubt about this. And she has a point! Arlene Okerlund put things into perspective, shows motivation for slandering her, shows precedences how important females were treated at the time, sweps certain historical myths away. One starts to understand where Elizabeth Wydeville came from, learns about her background, her interest, her role as Queen and her legacy to her children and grandchildren. This is extremely interesting to read and understand. However, I feel that Arlene Okerlund does a bit too much in this direction. It is a bit of a whitewash, a bit too unbalanced. But maybe that is necessary because the historical reputation is unbalanced in the other direction. It is - as Alison Weit states in the introduction - provocative, but it is openly done and the reader can easy form its own opinion.
All in all I did enjoy reading very much this biography. I learned a lot and my views on this Queen Elizabeth has changed.
It is a great start to the new series and I am looking forward to the second part.
5 stars well deserved!