The Women of the Cousins' War

The Duchess, the Queen and the King's Mother
Narrated by: Bianca Amato
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (401 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

9 people found this 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.

18 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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Not My Favorite

Not a huge fan of this book and wouldn’t recommend it. The first 7 chapters are a long rambling diatribe about women in history. I’m a woman. I get it. Women were powerless throughout much of the past and glossed over if mentioned at all in history books. But it went on and on and on. I also didn’t realize she was a Richard III apologist.

I LOVE Elizabeth Woodville and the time period around the Wars of the Roses and still didn’t enjoy this book.

1 person found this 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 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant Women In A Challenging Time

What a wonderful collection of great women with new insights to their journey of life, love, war and peace. Speaks to their challenges and accomplishments which transcends time and space. Bravo!!

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Philippa Gregory never disappoints

Great reader, riveting historical accounts. If you have read her other books on the subject or seen any of the TV series this is a great reference to what happened.

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good book

I love this narrator! I look for books with her voice. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this from the outset but it really is a good read

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Interesting

If you have never read the main line story, start here. Definitely a book worth reading a few times to get the whole picture.