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

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Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory joins two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.

In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who ...

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

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Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory joins two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.

In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established 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 of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor.

Beautifully illustrated throughout with rare portraits and source materials, The Women of the Cousins’ War offers fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction and will appeal to all with an interest in this epic period.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This tripartite account treats three formidable women for their roles in the dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. Bestselling historical novelist Gregory tells the story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Henry VIII's great-grandmother. The staunch Lancastrian made her peace with Yorkist Edward IV when he seized power and saw her fortunes soar after he married her daughter Elizabeth Woodville. But later her second husband and their son were executed by the rebel leader earl of Warwick, who tried Jacquetta for witchcraft. University of Leicester historian Baldwin relates the life of Jacquetta's plucky daughter, Elizabeth Woodville, Henry VIII's grandmother, who did her utmost to secure the throne for her son Edward and may have been involved in a rebellion against son-in-law Henry. British historian Jones recounts the story of Margaret Beaufort, a formidable plotter whose personal piety never interfered with her ambition for her son—who became Henry VII despite a tenuous claim to the throne. Although this collection is often repetitious and lacks a consistent voice and cohesive overview on the origins of the Wars of the Roses, it's an engrossing introduction to three courageous matriarchs who shaped English history. Illus.; maps. (Sept.)
The Post and Courier (Charleston)
“An engaging and interesting read . . . Fans of Gregory’s novels should enjoy this glimpse into both her creative process and her essays on the three women who served as inspiration for her ‘Wars of the Roses’ novels.”
Los Angeles Times
“The publication of two books this season by Philippa Gregory gives us not only two more fascinating portraits of the English Wars of the Roses, it also opens a window onto the way the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl applies her craft.”
From the Publisher
"[Gregory] again brings insight to English history, recreating the power struggle between two of the nation's most notable women in a tale fresh for modern readers. There's no question that she is the best at what she does." —Associated Press
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451629552
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 98,917
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.
David Baldwin taught history at the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham for many years, and is the author of four books detailing the Wars of the Roses, including the acclaimed Elizabeth Woodville, Mother of the Princes in the Tower.
Michael Jones wrote his dissertation on the Beaufort family and taught at the University of South West England, the University of Glasgow, and Winchester College. He is the author of six books, including The King’s Mother, which was shortlisted for the Whitfield Prize.

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    1. Hometown:
      Yorkshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 9, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
    1. Education:
      B.A. in history, Sussex University, 1982; Ph.D., 18th-century popular fiction, Edinburgh, 1984
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Family Tree: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother viii

Battles in the Cousins' War: timeline and map xi

Introduction Philippa Gregory 1

Jacquetta of Luxembourg Philippa Gregory 47

Elizabeth Woodville David Baldwin 151

Margaret Beaufort Michael Jones 241

Index 323

Illustration acknowledgments 341

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    BookHounds

    This book is an excellent companion piece to the series of books about the women who probably had more to do with the Tudor dynasty than they are given credit for. The book is broken into three parts, each written by a different author to give a place in history to these fascinating women. The wonderful introduction by Gregory explains that women were very rarely mentioned and record keeping about them, is spotty at best. By piecing together historical documents, letters and conjecture, it is possible to recreate the importance these women had in the history of the ruling class.

    The first section written by Gregory sparkles with her familiar style of bringing history to life and covers Jaquetta, the Duchess of Bedford and her rise in English Royalty. The next section written by Baldwin details the ascent of Elizabeth Woodville answers many questions about her life, but it lacked a bit in the sparkle department. The last section, written by Jones, reveals Margaret Beaufort, who I disliked in The Red Queen, but now understand a bit better. This is a must read for anyone that wants a better understanding of the lives of these women.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    engaging biographical collection

    "Jacquetta of Luxembourg" by Philippa Gregory. The ultimate survivor (including giving birth to ten children in fifteen years), Jacquetta the Lancastrian married twice but it was her daughter from her second marriage, Elizabeth who enabled her to live prosperously in spite of reign change and constant war. That is until Warwick accused her of witchcraft and executed her husband and son without a trial.

    "Elizabeth Woodville" by David Baldwin. The ultimate commoner, Elizabeth married the king of England as her second husband. She loved King Edward IV in spite of his womanizing and had four children with him (plus two from her first marriage). When he died she risked all to insure her young son Edward V would sit on the throne. Her brother-in-law Richard the Protector sent Edward and his younger brother to the Tower.

    "Margaret Beaufort" by Michael Jones. The ultimate matriarch, Margaret married four times, but it is her second marriage to Edmund Tudor that impacted history. Deeply religious yet as deeply ambitious she insister her son Henry was the rightful king of England though his claim was weak. He became Henry VII and started the House of Tudor.

    This engaging biographical collection makes a strong case that women played major roles in the War of the Roses leading to the rise of the House of Tudor. The three bios are well written, filled with facts, references, pictures and maps. Although a brief treatise on what led to the Cousins' War would have anchored the scenario that enabled three courageous women to influence the future of England, readers will relish learning the impact of these intrepid females.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011

    A must read for Philippa Gregory fans!!

    I have been a PG fan since reading" The Other Boleyn Girl". I read all the books connected with the Tudor Dynasty. When I realized "The Red Queen" and "The White Queen" were the opposite sides to the same story, I read them for a second time going from one chapter in one book to the complimenting chapter in other book.It made very interesting reading. This book really ties the story of the War of the Roses together very nicely and answers a lot of questions in history that I didn't even know that I had especially the relationship of France and England. I'm looking forward to reading "The Lady Rivers" when it comes out next month. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to get a full understanding of the story, behind the story!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Brings readers into the lives of the family that preceded the Tudors

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    I nteresting read

    I'm a fan of Philippa Gregory's historical fiction, and bought this book out of curiousity to read a non-fic tional account of the wonen of the cousin's war. It was am interesting book, with a surprising amount of information, considering the fact that women's lives weren't well documented in the medieval world. It made a good companion piece to Gregory's historical fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Check it Out!

    Only part of the way through it, but so far (especially after reading Philippa Gregory's novel series) I really enjoy seeing the actual history. I consider myself and anglophile and am always interested in histories.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    Every Good For History Lovers

    The author rights a side of history not many people get to her about, the womens side.every intresting. also makes the Cousin's War Series easier to uniderstand.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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