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Publisher's Summary

Until the mass hysteria of the 17th century, accusations of witchcraft in England were rare. However, four royal women, related in family and in court ties - Joan of Navarre, Eleanor Cobham, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, and Elizabeth Woodville - were accused of practicing witchcraft in order to kill or influence the king. 

Some of these women may have turned to the “dark arts” in order to divine the future or obtain healing potions, but the purpose of the accusations was purely political. Despite their status, these women were vulnerable because of their gender, as the men around them moved them like pawns for political gains.

In Royal Witches, Gemma Hollman explores the lives and the cases of these so-called witches, placing them in the historical context of 15th-century England, a setting rife with political upheaval and war. In a time when the line between science and magic was blurred, these trials offer tantalizing insight into how malicious magic would be used and would later cause such mass hysteria in centuries to come.

©2020 Gemma Hollman (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Royal Witches

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to

Loved the story, but i found the sing song delivery by the narrator difficult to listen to for any longer than a few minutes at a time. The raise in voice inflection at every breath became annoying

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well worth it!!

This was a great book. The narrator did a wonderful job presenting it and I would definitely listen to more of her work. The author did a great job presenting the background, the major players in the story, and their roles. It was really easy to follow along with, you knew who everyone was and what they were doing in relation to the story without it sounding overwhelming with to many dates and facts. I very much look forward to reading and/or hearing more from this author.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was… meh.

The author has clearly done her research, but has missed some key details in these women’s lives.

By the end of the book I literally cringed every time I head the words “However” or “Moreover”. They are used far to often.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

HOWEVER

Interesting although dry, succinct narration but holy hannah could we find some alternative sentence structure that doesn’t depend on the word “however” being used to hastily attach a predictable clause onto the end of obvious statements. Starts to get painful right around Jacquetta’s chapters. Good for a pre-sleep lull.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Did these women justice!

Gemma Holman did an excellent job! This book was very well written and facts were presented with out bias or prejudice. Wonderfully done!!
Heather Wilds did an extraordinary job of narrating!

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Just another history lesson.

Just another history lesson. Rarely any witch craft mentioned. I regret this purchase. Here's another 15 words.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An eye opening history!

I love the angle taken by this author. By looking at these women, their history, their connections, and the culture of their time you get a very interesting window into time. Looking at the construct of women and power and how that power influences and intimidates the men around them was especially poignant given the time period. The author has a well rounded and informed history of the women that combines well with the history of witchcraft and development of that accusation. If you want a history of powerful women with a twist this is it!

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic read, great timeline following

I enjoyed this book very, very much. The timeline was properly adhered to, with proper reference points to documents and daily living at the time. It's also a dream for court genealogists

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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If you like Historical Biographies, try it

The name of this book is misleading, but I enjoyed it anyway. While this book did an amazing job of adding life and context to the histories of four royal women who were accused of witchcraft, very little of the book actually talks about the witchcraft itself. It goes more into who the women were, how they rose to power, and what their lives were like before the charges against them impacted them.

If I had been trying to read this rather than listen to it, I'm not sure I could have gotten through it. As other reviews mentioned, there is a heavy use of "However" and "Moreover" that makes the information a bit cringe-worthy. The "shopping list" style of describing who got what gifts from whom is also a bit clunky.

Despite the clunkiness and misleading title, I still enjoyed this. The book is clearly well researched, well organized, and it was nice to learn more about women's history. The narrator's engaging tones saved the book for me; but as other readers mention, it is a bit sing song. I recommend listening to a sample first to see if you enjoy it or not. If you like historical biographies regarding royalty, especially queens and duchesses, this book is worth a try if only for the rarity of information surrounding women in history.

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More extensive than the title implies

The actress' voice was very annoying, but the text was great. I would have liked more about the mechanisms and motivations behind the three women profiled, and less background. Still, very good, even for those new to the era.