Tuesday, 17 January 2012

LADY ELEANOR FACTUAL REVIEW: The Women of the Cousin's War - Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones

Release Date: 15/09/11


Elizabeth Woodville, The White Queen (2009), Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen (2010), and Jacquetta, Lady Rivers, The Rivers Woman (2011) are the subjects of the first three novels in Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series, and of the three biographical essays in this book. Philippa Gregory and two historians, leading experts in their field who helped Philippa to research the novels, tell the extraordinary 'true' stories of the life of these women who until now have been largely forgotten by history, their background and times, highlighting questions which are raised in the fiction and illuminating the novels. With a foreword by Philippa Gregory - in which Philippa writes revealingly about the differences between history and fiction and examines the gaps in the historical record - and beautifully illustrated with rare portraits, The Women of the Cousins' War is an exciting new addition to the Philippa Gregory oeuvre.


Knowing Philippa’s name from the historical fiction part of the bookshop, I had high hopes for this, the factual representation of the female characters to which the current series pertains. What unfortunately happens is a presented title that is a little higgledy-piggledy with no real background and some of the facts that for me were quite important missed out almost as if they weren’t important when in a factual historical document lineage and wills can shape the future of all. Add to this that there isn’t a lot of detail known and perhaps it’s a title that would have been best to leave well enough alone and stick to historical fiction where a certain amount of leeway is acceptable and where for me, the Philippa’s talents lie.

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