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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

By: Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones
Publisher: Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2954-5
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: August 30, 2011

In this non-fiction book, the author, with the help of two prominent historians, tells readers about the true lives of the remarkable ladies who are the heroines of The Women of the Cousins' War series: First is Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford (the Lady of the Rivers); Second, Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England; and, last Margaret Beaufort, Founder of the Tudor Dynasty. These three biographical essays written by three different authors tell the stories of the inspirational women depicted in these pages.

Philippa Gregory writes the first essay about Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford. The author uses documents and histories to create the first biography of a very young Duchess who lived long enough to survive two reigns and two wars, to become the 'first lady' at two rival courts. Ms. Gregory has written many books about the history of the women of these times and their places in the history of their countries. She tells about the differences between real history and historical fiction and the roles of women in each element of writing. One question she likes to ask the readers is: Why has history traditionally ignored, vilified, or exalted most women? and, How have women historians and writers finally begun to change our understanding of women previously "hidden from history?"

David Baldwin, an authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a King of England for love; and Michael Jones, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes about Margaret Beaufort the elder lady of the House of Tudor who contrived to hide her treason against an ordained King of England.

Quill Says: These non-fiction essays by three extremely able historians bring readers into the lives of the family that preceded the Tudors to the throne of England and tells of the battles and infighting that was more commonly known as the Wars of the Roses. A must read for people who enjoy English History.

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