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The Kingmaker's Sisters [Hardcover]

David Baldwin
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 20.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
A history of the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind some of the key participants

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The Kingmaker's Sisters + Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes in the Tower
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750950765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750950763
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 657,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Baldwin teaches medieval history and is the author of "Elizabeth Woodville: Mother of the Princes of the Tower" and "The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York."

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The point of this was????? 10 May 2010
By catwolf
I foolishly assumed that as the title was The Kingmakers Sisters it would in fact be about the said sisters, however as the writer sums up that there is practically no information left about them I am left wondering why then write a book about them? There are tiny bits he has found but mostly it's guess work. It's also largely about what their husbands and sons did with odd references to 'this might have affected them...' which became quite irritating. The overview of the Wars of the Roses is just that and has been done far better in several other places, overall I have to say this was at best readable filler with no real fresh insights.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This is supposed to be a book about six powerful women at the time of the War of the Roses - the sisters of the legendary Kingmaker, Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. But the book does not keep its promise!

So first who are these ladies: they were the daughters of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, and Alice Montague:

- Cecily, who married Henry de Beauchamp, 1st Duke of Warwick,
- Joan, who married William FitzAlan, 16th Earl of Arundel,
- Katherine , who married first William Bonville, 6th Baron Harington
and second William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings
- Eleanor, who married Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby
- Alice, who married Henry FitzHugh, 6th Lord FitzHugh
and finally
- Margaret who married John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford

Typically for the age the ladies of the peerage were married off - for the good (power and wealth) of the family - to other members of the peerage. And here the Neville family did well. They were commodities of the marriage market. During the War of the Roses the peerage was often split and changing sides. The Neville Family was right in the centre of it and their relatives got involved. But the six ladies followed the destiny of their husbands. They were no political players themselves. Of course in her roles as Duchess, Countess or Baroness they exercised their role and powers of lady of the manor, but that was domestic power, not political one. None of the ladies were players in the great drama of the time like Queen Margaret of Anjou, Queen Elisabeth Woodville or Lady Margaret Beaufort. It only mattered from whom they descended and to whom they were married.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read 9 Sep 2009
Another interesting book from David Baldwin. The house of Neville were famous for marrying its daughters well in the period known as the Wars of the Roses and this book gives an insight into what that meant during this troubled period when families supported different factions. Like many other women the sisters found themselves married to men from different sides Yorkist and Lancastrian, and one, Eleanor, to Thomas Lord Stanley who managed to support the winners every time without ever really faouring any. Through the activities of their husband's David Baldwin has managed to give a good idea of what life was like for Joan the wife of William FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, Cecily, married first to Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick and later to John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, Alice to Henry, Lord FitxHugh, Katherine to William, Lord Hastings and Margaret married to John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.

It is a difficult task to write about women at this time since they tended to be kept in the background, but David Baldwin has written an interesting book from a different perspective. What a refreshing change from more soley about the men of the period.

Pauline Harrison Pogmore
Secretary. Richard III Society. Yorkshire Branch.
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