The Women of the Cousins' War
The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother
PHILIPPA GREGORY and her fellow historians describe the extraordinary lives of the heroines of her Cousins’ War books: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV; and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.
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.
In the introduction, Gregory writes revealingly about the differences between history and historical fiction. How much of a role does speculation play in writing each? How much fiction and how much fact should there be in a historical novel? How are female historians changing our view of women in history?
The Women of the Cousins’ War is beautifully illustrated with rare portraits and source materials. As well as offering fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction, it will appeal to all with an interest in this period.
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The Women of the Cousins' War
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Reading Group Guide
The Women of the Cousins’ War is a three-part biography of the heroines of Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War books. Together with the historians David Baldwin and Michael Jones, Gregory re-creates the extraordinary lives and times of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the matriarch of the House of Tudor.
In her introduction, Gregory writes revealingly about the differences among history, fiction, and historical fiction. She looks at why women have been excluded from the production of history and from history itself. How are fictional and historical narratives shaped by their authors? By turning her attention to three women, whose remarkable lives have gone largely unexamined by scholars, Gregory restores them to the historical record and raises important questions about the responsibility of the historian and the significance of women in medieval English society.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dr. Philippa Gregory studied history at the University of Sussex and received a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. She is a recognized author on women’s history; the author of several bestselling n see more