The Women of the Wars of the Roses: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort & Elizabeth of Yorkby Alicia Carter
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The Tudor dynasty traditionally starts with Henry VII’s victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. In reality, however, the story of England’s most popular dynasty starts much earlier—and it starts with three courageous women who shaped their own destiny. The Tudor dynasty traces its origin to Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth of York—women who waged through blood and loss in order to finally emerge as the ultimate female survivors of the Wars of the Roses.
Their posthumous images, however, couldn't be more different, and their lives are still shrouded in mystery. Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a King of England, is chiefly remembered as a greedy queen who elevated her huge family, causing a stir in the realm. Margaret Beaufort, mother of the victorious Henry Tudor, is immortalised in history as an overly ambitious, scheming woman who ran her son’s court, pushing his wife aside. Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV, is perceived as a queen subjected to her mother-in-law and trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who ousted the last Yorkist King. It is time to dispel some of the most enduring myths about these extraordinary women who ultimately shaped the early Tudor dynasty.
- Why were Elizabeth Woodville and her mother accused of witchcraft?
- Was Margaret Beaufort a “mother-in-law from hell”?
- Did Elizabeth of York have an incestuous relationship with her uncle, Richard III?
These are only a few of the controversial questions discussed in this book. Within these pages, you will learn much more about the three women who emerged victorious from the Wars of the Roses, who tried to rebuild their lives while adjusting to the new, post-war Tudor era, and who founded a dynasty that would reign for more than a century.
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It would have been better is this book had never been written. If Ms. Carter is a historian, she give little evidence of this fact. The book is written in an almost childish manner, filled with weak suppositions, frequent repetitions and leaving the reader no wiser about these three women. Although there are many brilliant female historian-authors to be found who have written about this and other eras, Ms. Carter is not one of them. Like some other female historians, she appears to have an agenda, namely to white-wash women who lived in the past, simply because they were women and to create the impression that they thought about life, their environment, their place in society like their counterparts in the 20th and 21st century.
Repeats the same idia more than once. But worth reading.