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Virgin Widow [Kindle Edition]

Anne O'Brien
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

'I was a penniless, landless petitioner, my Neville blood a curse, my future dependent on the charity of those who despised me…

Anne Neville is the heiress and daughter of the greatest powerbroker in the land, Warwick the Kingmaker. Trapped in a deadly tangle of political intrigue, she is a pawn in an uncertain game, used by the houses of Neville, York and Lancaster alike.

In England’s glittering, treacherous court, not all wish to see the Nevilles raised high. The Earl of Warwick’s ambition and pride lead him into an attempt to depose the Yorkist King; his treason forces his family into exile.

Humiliated and powerless in a foreign land, Anne must find the courage and the wit to survive in such a dangerous man’s world.

Compulsively readable, Anne O’Brien vividly evokes the story of Richard III’s queen with a passion and vibrancy reminiscent of Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir.

Praise for Anne O’Brien:

‘Anne O’Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists’ Sunday Express

‘One of the best writers around…she outdoes even Philippa Gregory’ The Sun

‘Her writing is highly evocative of the time period… O’Brien has produced an epic tale’ Historical Novel Society

‘Anne O’Brien’s novels give a voice to the “silent” women of history’ Yorkshire Post

‘Once again O’Brien proves herself a medieval history magician, conjuring up a sizzling, sweeping story’ Lancashire Evening Post

‘An exciting and intriguing story of love and historical politics. If you enjoy Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir you will love Anne O'Brien’ We Love This Book

‘A brilliantly researched and well-told story; you won’t be able to put this book down’ Candis

‘A fast paced historical drama that is full of suspense.’ Essentials

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Product Description


'Better than Philippa Gregory.' --The Bookseller

Anne O'Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists. --Sunday Express

Anne O Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists. --Sunday Express

About the Author

Anne O'Brien turned to writing historical romance novels after retiring as a history schoolteacher. After living most of her life in Yorkshire, she now lives with her husband in an 18th century cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches.

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More About the Author

Anne O'Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a B.A. Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Masters in Education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding for many years as a teacher of history.

After leaving teaching, Anne decided to turn to novel writing and give voice to the women in history who fascinated her the most, beginning with Virgin Widow, which told the story of Anne Neville, the wife of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Since then, she has told the stories of Eleanor of Aquitaine in Devil's Consort, Alice Perrers, the mistress of Edward III, in The King's Concubine, Katherine de Valois, the child bride of Henry V, in The Forbidden Queen and Katherine Swynford, mistress of John of Gaunt, in The Scandalous Duchess. Her latest novel The King's Sister is the story of Elizabeth of Lancaster, caught up in dramatic and bloody family politics in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV.

Today Anne lives in an eighteenth century cottage in Herefordshire, an area full of inspiration for her work.

Visit Anne online at
Find Anne on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @anne_obrien

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Virgin Widow 21 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Anne O'Brien's The Virgin Widow centers on Anne Neville, a historical figure I knew little about. The youngest daughter of the Earl of Warwick, Anne is born into a fantastically wealthy and privileged family.

Her father, credited as "The Kingmaker", was instrumental in the deposition of Henry VI, elderly and suffering dementia, into the Tower of London as prisoner and the ascension of Edward IV of York to England's throne.

Anne grows up with a kind mother, a father she adores but often absent on embassies on behalf of Edward, and her older sister, Isabel, with whom she has a frequently acrimonious relationship.

Richard of York, Duke of Gloucester, Edward IV's youngest brother, arrives to reside at the Neville household when Anne was 8 years old, to learn combative skills and courtly manners necessary to his rank. He joins Francis Lovell, who is the Earl's permanent ward. These young boys will become men intertwined throughout Anne's life.

Anne and Isabel, are joint heiresses to their maternal grandparents' vast accumulation of lands, castles and religious houses. As such, both daughters are cream of the crop prospective brides and highly marketable.

Full of her own importance and self-arrogance, Anne often clashes with Richard. She decides at 10 she will marry Richard, but not because of love. She wants him because she can as Lady Anne Neville.

The first inkling of decline of the Neville house arises with Warwick's disagreement with Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. Soon Woodvilles surround the King and Warwick's advice is rejected. Warwick is still sent to broker alliances for Edward, but there is disagreement between them. Eventually, Warwick and the King are at odds.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written tale of love and woe! 28 Jan. 2014
After reading a couple of Anne O'Brien's other works when the opportunity arose to get this one I jumped at it as I have thoroughly enjoyed her work before and this book is no exception, it's totally enjoyable!

In recent years there have been a few books about Anne Neville and her part in the War Of The Roses, most notable probably Philippa Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter, which I read and enjoyed too. I must admit that I actually prefer this version of the tale.

The book takes place in the period of Anne's life running up to her marriage to Richard Of Gloucester and as Anne's real life is a bit of a mystery the author has the opportunity to tell the tale in the way she wants and I appreciate that she had chosen the more romantic approach in this instance.

I like this approach for Anne as she probably had a pretty rough life leading up the marriage to Richard. She was pawn to her father's ambition for himself and his family, betrothed several times for political reasons, firstly to Richard of Gloucester, who she has loved since she was a child and then to Edward of Lancaster who she is forced to marry and has no feelings for whatsoever and who has none for her, he still thinks of his new wife as his enemy. She's emotionally tortured my the circumstances she finds herself in, over and over by both her new husband and his mother until she finds herself alone with no family, no husband and no support whatsoever after Edward of Lancaster's premature death. Anne is placed into the household of his sister Isabel and her husband, Richard of Gloucester's turncoat brother George of Clarence and Anne is kept as a virtual prisoner and treated as an enemy of York because of the marriage she never wanted and the inheritance she is entitle too that Clarence wants for himself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant historical page turner 1 Jun. 2014
I usually do not like books being compared to other ones, however little the effort may be to be better than an other author, but if Philippa Gregory stands for a standard in wide selling historical novels, this book is really light years better than The Kingmaker's Daughter and only stands a step behind Penman's The Sunne in Splendour because of the more limited time line described in future Richard III's and above all in his wife Anne's life.

The story starts shortly after Edward is acclaimed King after defeating the Lancastrian armies early in 1461 and his youngest brother Richard is sent to his most powerful ally's (Richard Neville Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker) Middleham Castle for knighthood training. There he meets the Earl's daughters and a strong affection grows between Anne and Richard later to develop in passion. Yet the bethrotal is called off when the Earl defies the king, flees to France and has Anne wed the Lancastrian heir to the throne to seal his switch of allegiance to the one time archenemy Lancastrian queen Margaret of Anjou. The marriage will not be consummated and after the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury Anne will find herself a penniless orphaned virgin widow under house arrest in her own sister's household, wife to Richard's brother George of Clarence who tries to prevent Anne from remarrying to anyone, especially to Richard, in order to seize the entire inheritance. Richard eventually rescues Anne, weds her and happy ending sees Anne cradling their newly born son under Richard's loving eyes.

Concentrating on a shorter time span, the author gives detailed description of events and psychological behavioural pattern of the main characters thus making up a 600 pages paperback that you will not want to put down once started.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
holiday reading
Published 5 days ago by Christine Greenhough
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 1 month ago by Ms W
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
Fantastic book about the much forgotten Anne Neville. The second daughter of the Earl of Warwick, her life was made an almost unbearable torment by the Cousins War. Read more
Published 2 months ago by H. Haughton
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Took a lot of getting into but quite enjoyed it the further on I got into it .
Published 2 months ago by Joan Charlesworth
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Could not get into it at all. I normally enjoy this type of novel, but it wasn't what I was expecting.
Published 2 months ago by Celia McCrea
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Enjoyable read if you like historical fiction especially as Richard Iii is so much in the news.
Published 2 months ago by MRS S M ARROWSMITH
3.0 out of 5 stars its a good book and really romantic you can tell anne Neville ...
its a good book and really romantic you can tell anne Neville has been through a ordeal but if it wasn't like a history novel it would be really good and I enjoyed it but for that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rebecca Swain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A brilliant read, I love her books. Recommend if you like Philippa Gregory.
Published 3 months ago by C M.
5.0 out of 5 stars ... very entertaining book which held the interest and provided...
A very entertaining book which held the interest and provided enjoyment. Interesting development of the Richard the 3rd story which proved to be very topical at the same time.
Published 4 months ago by Gail Hardman-Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars but then I always loved History, I also follow Richard III reburial on...
I find it fascinating, but then I always loved History, I also follow Richard III reburial on T.V.
Published 4 months ago by Eleonore Goodrich
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