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The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen and the King's Mother

The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen and the King's Mother [Kindle Edition]

Philippa Gregory , David Baldwin , Michael Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"An engrossing introduction to three courageous matriarchs who shaped English history." -"Publisher's Weekly"""

Product Description

Elizabeth Woodville, The White Queen (2009), Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen (2010), and Jacquetta, Lady Rivers, The Rivers Woman (2011) are the subjects of the first three novels in Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series, and of the three biographical essays in this book. Philippa Gregory and two historians, leading experts in their field who helped Philippa to research the novels, tell the extraordinary 'true' stories of the life of these women who until now have been largely forgotten by history, their background and times, highlighting questions which are raised in the fiction and illuminating the novels.
With a foreword by Philippa Gregory - in which Philippa writes revealingly about the differences between history and fiction and examines the gaps in the historical record - and beautifully illustrated with rare portraits, The Women of the Cousins' War is an exciting new addition to the Philippa Gregory oeuvre.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1394 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (15 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GTQ0SQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,084 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

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 for the primary schools of this poor African country.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gregory the weak link 2 May 2012
This is an interesting take on a little-studied subject. It encompasses three biographical essays about the central characters of Philippa Gregory's historical fiction series on the Cousins' War, or the Wars of the Roses - Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort. As the 'star' name among the writers, Philippa Gregory goes first with an introduction and the first essay. However, although most people will buy the book on the basis of Gregory's name being on the cover, her essay on Jacquetta of Luxembourg is by far the weakest. To be honest, she had the hardest task - there are few sources of information about Jaquetta. However, although Gregory claims to have delved into the archives to research for her fiction book, the essay is merely a narrative of the events of the wars with speculative comments interspersed like Jacquetta "probably was" or "was likely to have" been in various places. I'm afraid that such a difficult historical personality probably requires more time and expertise to do her justice - Gregory admits herself that she wrote the essay in this book while juggling the novel at the same time. David Baldwin and Michael Jones are on better ground with their essays, and Jones' on Margaret Beaufort is probably the best at analysing his subject. I'm sure that with a slightly amended structure and approach, this could have been a great book. Unfortunately, it is slightly disappointing as it is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the women of the cousin's war 16 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book shows something of the characters who are the main characters in the "cousins war" series, but about whom little is known. As with her novels PG's book is well researched. I would recommend this to any-one not a historian, but who loves history, especially this period.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Novelist Plus Two Historians 4 April 2012
By takingadayoff VINE VOICE
When I saw a book by Philippa Gregory in the nonfiction section I thought it had been mis-shelved. And what was the Cousins' War? I've read a few books about the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Britain and Europe, but here was a war I'd never heard of.

I have to admit I have little interest in historical fiction, and haven't read any of Gregory's novels, but I was drawn in by the concept of this book. In doing research for her series about the Wars of the Roses, she found there were few primary sources dedicated to the women of the period. Secondary sources often downplayed the importance and influence of women. But there was no doubt that many women of the era were well-educated, politically savvy, and ambitious.

So Gregory decided to tackle some historical non-fiction for a change. Little has been written about the first subject of the book, Jacquetta of Luxembourg. As the mother of Elizabeth Woodville, she had a front row seat at the onset of the Wars of the Roses. I can imagine that anyone doing future research of Jacquetta will start with Gregory's book, which distills as much as is known of the Duchess into a readable narrative. Gregory doesn't speculate (any more than other historians) and while she chooses to skip footnotes as too academic for a book intended for general readers, she does include notes on sources and a bibliography.

Her other two subjects, Elizabeth Woodville (wife of Edward IV, mother of the two Princes in the Tower) and Margaret Beaufort (mother of Henry VII) already have academic biographies written by current historians, so Gregory enlisted those authors to write short, non-academic bios of the women.
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66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately disappointing 30 Oct 2011
By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE
For as long as men have been writing history, important women have been lost from its pages. Restoring all of them would be an impossible, lifetimes-consuming feat, but that doesn't mean some historians can't try. Building on the success of Philippa Gregory's novels set during the Wars of the Roses (which she calls "The Cousins' War"), she and two historians have written a book spotlighting three of the most important women during the war - The Duchess, Jacquetta, her daughter Elizabeth Woodville, the Queen, and Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort, The Queen's Mother.

While reading this review, it's probably worth keeping in mind that I know a lot about the Wars of the Roses, even counting what I've forgotten since I actually finished studying it intensively, and have read many many books and articles on the subject, both popular and academic history. I have also been trained to write history myself. My experience may not match yours.

I love the idea of The Women of the Cousins' War in theory, but I'm ever so wary of it in actual historical practice. Unfortunately, this book actually justified my wariness. The introduction, written by Gregory, is very appealing. Starting off first with the difference, in her mind, between history and historical fiction, and followed up by why she chooses to write fiction, was actually a fascinating glimpse into her head. I didn't agree with everything she said about the writing of history itself, but I appreciated such a bold introduction that really argued her case. It had me looking forward to the book.

At that point, unfortunately, I began to be disappointed. None of the essays use footnotes OR endnotes, which left me wondering where on earth they'd actually got their information from.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 3 days ago by Pat Grubb
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and researched
Very well written and researched, as you would expect from Philippa Gregory.
Published 10 days ago by I. G. Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars intersecting information
Interesting views and research on the three important women of the time. I enjoyed the background reading provided to inform the other books.
Published 18 days ago by Esmerelda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
not read this one but I am sure I will enjoy
Published 27 days ago by mrs g roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Women of the Cousins War
It actually put the Tudor story in perspective and was quite interesting as I love history anyway. An easy read
Published 1 month ago by Glenda Liess
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I thought I would be reading a boring history book. Although it is a history book it has been written by all three authors that I really enjoyed reading it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. S. M. Booth
4.0 out of 5 stars Gregory at her best
Once again Gregory has written a fab book in her own fab style. This is making history so easy to learn and telling a great story same time
Published 2 months ago by pat jeavons
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
An interesting book about three important women during the Wars of the Roses. Nice to see women as a focus of a b
Published 2 months ago by asdteacher
4.0 out of 5 stars The Women of the Cousins' War. The Duchess, the Queen and the King's...
Philippa Gregory certainly knows how to portray her chosen subjects, bringing them to life and giving them character.
A good read and so informative.
Published 2 months ago by Pauline W.
5.0 out of 5 stars History: Fact or Fiction?
If you're interested in the War of the Roses (Cousins War) and enjoy reading Gregory's historical novels, this is great background reading, informing the reader about what is known... Read more
Published 2 months ago by RP
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