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Elizabeth R. Ash (Toronto Canada)
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Blood Sisters: The Hidden Lives of the Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
Blood Sisters: The Hidden Lives of the Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
by Sarah Gristwood
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Sisters more interesting than others, 10 Oct. 2012
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Blood Sisters is written from an interesting perspective, that of the royal women during the Wars of the Roses.

Unfortunately, women even at that exalted level, held only secondary power, through their male relatives. It was men who went to war, men who lead the armies, men who made the decisions political and military, men who held the purse strings. Elizabeth of York found herself borrowing against her plate because Henry V11 was so ungenerous with her allowance. Edward 1V was the opposite, everything depended on the men.

Lists of household items bought, servants wages paid and dresses ordered have a limited appeal, and while a lot is known about Cecily Neville virtually nothing is know about Anne Neville making the book uneven.

However it is a well written book, offering a different view of power and makes the reader appreciate the difficulties faced and the achievements gained by the future Queen Elizabeth.

The author is particulary interesting on the vexed subject of who killed the Princes in the Tower.
I would recommend her book on Arabella: England's Lost Queen before this one.


Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
by Josephine Wilkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.70

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different angle on Anne Boleyn, 28 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Anne Boleyn (Paperback)
This book takes the interesting path of examining the men Anne Boleyn might have married and the life she might have led if she had not caught the eye of a king. The author also examines the character and personalities of Anne and her brother George and Henrys' ulterior motives for having them executed. At a hundred and sixty odd pages it is short but well written.


An Accidental Tragedy: The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots
An Accidental Tragedy: The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots
by Roderick Graham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.08

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more personal biography of Mary Stuart, 20 Aug. 2010
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This book about Mary Stuart is a more personal biography. The author looks at her childhood, her relationships with friends, servants, and the powerful members of the de Medici court, she does not seem to have absorbed any useful lessons from them or her wily Guise uncles. This he postulates was the reason for her disatrous choice of husbands and dreadful political decisions. Against all advice she threw herself on the mercy of Elizabeth when a safe haven was perfectly reachable in France. He makes a very sympathetic case for her personally. the small parcels and cards that she sent to her son in Scotland with little hope he would receive them, the tattered shreds of her dignity as queen that she insisted on retaining, the life long charm that softened most of her jailors. In the end he makes you like her in spite of the awful mess she left her native country to deal with. The book is very readable and would be interesting to a wide audience.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2014 1:02 AM GMT


Margaret Pole, 1473-1541: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership
Margaret Pole, 1473-1541: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership
by Hazel Pierce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.89

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a disappointing book, 14 Dec. 2009
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This book started as a Ph.D. thesis and it shows. The author sticks to the dry facts with long lists of manors owned and servants employed within them. This does not help the reader to create in their mind the person Margaret Pole must have been. Some speculation, some imagination would have helped to create her character and establish her place in the Tudor hierarchy. In the end the reader is left with the impression that the material available on the subject is enough to support a thesis but not a book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2013 10:07 PM BST


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