THE COMPELLING NOVEL FROM SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER PHILIPPA GREGORY
‘This is a man’s world, Jacquetta, and some women cannot march to the beat of a man’s drum. Do you understand?’
1435. Rouen. Jacquetta of Luxembourg is left a wealthy young widow when her husband, the Duke of Bedford, dies. Her only friend in the great household is Richard Woodville, the Duke’s squire, and it is not long before the two become lovers and marry in secret.
The Woodvilles return to the Lancaster court, where Jacquetta becomes close friends with young King Henry VI’s new queen. But she can sense a growing threat from the people of England, and the danger of royal rivals. The king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret, his queen, turns to untrustworthy favourites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty, the House of York.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen and her daughter Elizabeth Woodville, for whom she senses an extraordinary future.
A sweeping, powerful novel rich in passion and legend, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother to the White Queen.
Praise for Philippa Gregory:
‘Meticulously researched and deeply entertaining, this story of betrayal and divided loyalties is Gregory on top form’ Good Housekeeping
‘Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer…all of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men’ Sunday Times
‘Engrossing’ Sunday Express
‘Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told’ The Times
Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel (after The Red Queen), Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction. Her heroine-narrator, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, who possesses second sight, is but 14 when she witnesses the execution of Joan of Arc. Joan's persecutor, the duke of Bedford, marries Jacquetta the next year in a vain attempt to access her powers, but then leaves her a wealthy widow. Defying convention, Jacquetta chooses a new husband herself: the duke's handsome young squire, Richard Woodville, with whom she has a dozen children, including Elizabeth, the future queen. Richard serves at King Henry VI's court, and Jacquetta befriends his new queen. When the king's widowed mother weds Owen Tudor, tolerance spreads for women who defy convention. As in previous works, Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history (mostly accurate) come alive for readers (mostly women) by giving credence to persistent rumors that academic historians (mostly men) have brushed aside.
Lady of the Rivers
Brought this book to take on holiday, could not put ot down. Links into history are so well written, it is compulsive reading.
I've read all Philippa's books and can't wait for the next. I love the way she brings history to life from a woman's perspective. I feel I know the women after reading her books and am certainly better informed now about the history of our kings and queens than my state school education left me. I do wonder occasionally if religion wouldn't have loomed larger in the lives of these women and we don't hear much of the influence of bishops and cardinals, which must have been huge at that time. But maybe for the women it wasn't so much? In any case, the books feel true to life and I am sure she has characterised the people as well as anyone could, as well as creating credible and gripping storylines around historical fact.
The lady of the rivers
Quality read,absolutely magical, I can't put these books down