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Publisher's Summary

In this unique illustrated presentation, Gregory and her fellow historians describe the extraordinary lives of the heroines of her Cousins’ War books: 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 was to survive two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established author 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 Foreword 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 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.

©2011 Philippa Gregory, Mike Jones, David Baldwin (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Audio. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"[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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
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For the devout Gregory fans only

This book is best for people who've already read her other books - or like me have read them all. It's a terrific conversation about the differences between a novel and a history book. I wish that more writer's of Gregory's abilities wrote history books.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great book

Very informative book and I am happy someone is taking the time to write about these women as there is not much out there and I find them so interesting. I love Phillipa Gregory's style. She keeps me interested, my favorite book is the Queens Fool but I truly love all her work. I am planning to listen a second time in case I missed anything. I am always wishing there were more. For any fan I recommend this book.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great women in a dark time!

A good, well researched look at three women who played a pivotal role in this intriguing time in English history. Its not overly long but it gives an intimate portrayal of these women's lives. The narration is impeccable. If you like history and the medieval age in particular, you will love this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The rest of the story

Would you consider the audio edition of The Women of the Cousins' War to be better than the print version?

I have no idea how this compares to the printed version, but the narratives make it very interesting and I couldn't stop once I started listening. It was very interesting to learn how the historical novels are filled out from the known facts, which can sometimes be pretty flimsy, especially when women are involved. It requires some good detective work and supposition to tie facts and events together into a likely, logical course of events.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Women of the Cousins' War?

The insight into the thinking of the medieval times based on available letters and other documents that still exist or are referenced by other documentation.

Have you listened to any of Bianca Amato’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

She does a fantastic job of narrating an interesting story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It makes me grateful to live in the times I do-women in medieval times had to be very clever and creative to make up for being treated as chattel and property during very turbulent times. The wrong alliances could cost your life if not your freedom. Marriage to a man who would be kind and respectful was by chance, and often they were by necessity not for love but for political or financial reasons.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very informative.

Another great Historical Novel. So interesting to see how all the lives inter twine. If you enjoy history and amazing women. This is for you!:)

  • Overall
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Laudible and seemingly historically correct.

These women deserve credit for being instrumental in helping to change the course of history...especially Margaret Beaufort who founded the Tudor dynasty.

  • Overall
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This was an audio history book.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This was a mistake for me. I enjoy Philippa Gregory books because they are told in a spellbinding story form. Just narrating history bored me to death. I should have read the synopsis more closely before I purchased.

What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I wish this had been spelled out a little more carefully that this was not an historical novel. For some reason I thought the author would weave the three characters together.

What three words best describe Bianca Amato’s performance?

Her performance is fine. It was the material I found confusing. When there isn't a storyline to follow, the characters in history become confusing. The Duke of this and the Duke of that and what families they belong and who married who to get what property becomes boring to me and my mind wanders. I felt like I was taking a class!

What character would you cut from The Women of the Cousins' War?

None, they were all important---just BORING to hear about without the intrigue of a storyline.

Any additional comments?

Wish I hadn't bought it.

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  • BBraun
  • Topock, AZ, United States
  • 08-27-16

A different view

I truly enjoyed this writing. I learned so much on how she writes and why she writes the way she does. This one gives a pure history or the characters and how she came to develop the facts that can not be known. As always, Bianca is wonderful to listen to and I get lost in her voice and truly enjoy listening to her read.

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Not exacly what I expected

This wasn't necessarily bad, but it wasn't what I expected either. For starters the author spent the first hour of the book trying to justify historical fiction. That would be fine but this book isn't historical fiction and so in my opinion that much time shouldn't have been spent on that subject. The main objection I have though is that even though this is billed as biographies of the women mentioned, the story is told in a lot of places through the eyes of the men in their lives. I understand that there might not have been a lot of information on the women available but I still felt like this was a little bit of false advertising.

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Historical Wrap Up

This book completely answers many questions I had left over after reading the Red, & White Queens. I was able to learn some important details about some of the characters that were left out of the main novels due to lack of information or just not enough time to delve into characters that weren't key. This novel read more like a history book but it had great information about many people mentioned in the White Queen series.