Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Women in Wars of The Roses Part I: Books and Overview

Finally, I’m going back to writing about History! It has been a while since I last blogged about it.

I don’t really know how accurate my sources are but I’m purely going to write this post based on these references below and on memory. In case you don’t know, I’ve read all of these books right before I sleep and every time I’m free in Cambridge, even if it’s just for 15 minutes because reading is my sole entertainment. So writing this is just recounting my thoughts on what I’ve been reading for leisure when in UK:

Based on these references, written mostly based on memory:-

1. White Queen Series (drama) by Phillipa Gregory

2. Documentary of the 4 White Queen women figureheads also by Phillipa Gregory

3. Books by Phillipa Gregory featuring

a. Queen Elizabeth Woodville, by The White Queen

b. Jacquetta Woodville, by The Lady of The Rivers

c. Anne Neville, by The Kingmaker’s Daughter

d. Queen Elizabeth of York, by The White Princess

e. Lady Margaret Beaufort, by The Red Queen

4. YouTube videos, Wikipedia, and random sessions of getting lost in the internet

The historical accuracy in some aspects are questionable and since my knowledge in most of these historical stories are based on such soaps, I will only claim that I am historically correct (at least what the general public accepts to be a historical fact) in a pretty basic to intermediate level. This is because I did check on Wikipedia to verify its historical accuracy and was rather amazed by the level of detail that is actually correct. It is only the unsolved mysteries that were claimed as possible true alternatives for the sake of completing a book. For example, the Princes in the Tower and some other stuff to bring characters to life. However even minute details are sometimes historically in sync with academic journals.


I’ve been obsessed with the Tudor Era of England for a good period of time, sporadically a fanatic for a span of a few months per session. After a few years of reading countless of books such as

1. Queen’s Gambit, based on Queen Katherine sixth wife of Henry VIII

2. Constant Princess, based on Queen Catharine of Aragon first wife of Henry VIII

3. Another Boleyn Girl, based on Queen Anne Boleyn second wife of Henry VIII

4. The White Princess, based on Queen Elizabeth of York mother of Henry VIII

5. The Queen’s Fool, based on Queen Mary I daughter of Henry VIII

6. The Boleyn Inheritance, based on Queen Katherine Howard fourth wife of Henry VIII

I realized that there was a good deal of drama during the Wars of the Roses, leading to the fall of the House of Plantagenet, ruling family of England for centuries. So after reading about the three generations of House Tudor, it was time for me to take two generation steps back to what happened before the surprising flourish of the Tudor Dynasty, and the fall of what was once the strongest households in Plantagenet England. In essence, the fall was due to a Cousins’ War between House of York and the ruling House of Lancaster. The Game of Thrones is partly inspired by this war, as you can tell by the somewhat similar name of House Lannister. This war was sparked by a Mad King (just like GoT) Henry VI with his cousin planning to overthrow him and his tyrannical wife Queen Margaret of Anjou and his murderous “claimed-to-be-son-but-may-be-a-Duke’s” Prince Edward of Wales, sole heir to the House of Lancaster, before his distant relative Henry Tudor become claimant to the Lancastrian inheritance. The citizens did not like the French Queen partly because of the royal family’s poor governance and loss of control in the Hundred Years of War. Which cousin would like to have a Mad King with his enemy wife who may have not have given the king a true heir to rule the country when he has a good claim to the throne of England?

Above are the books I’ve read during my second gap year. Since I’m currently into books, below is the list of books I am yet to read:-

1. The Virgin’s Lover, based on Queen Elizabeth I

2. The Other Queen, based on Mary Queen of Scots

3. The King’s Curse, based on Lady Margaret Pole

As you can see I am a die-hard fan of Phillipa Gregory for the past 3-4 years because I’ve also read her Wideacre Trilogy (which was a bit gory). I am yet to read her other book series but we all know that History is my favourite genre, and her books, fiction or no fiction, are all based around the same sort of theme. I hope to meet her one day in the UK and hope to read many more books from various other historical novelists (doesn’t mean they depict absolute historical accuracy by the way, I believe that you can never know the absolute minuscule truth unless you were there).

And wow! Have I read a lot of books about this! Only noticed this after listing down the books based on this era. Well you won’t really realize it if you’re enjoying the activity anyway. No wonder I no longer have any more space to keep my books in the UK and need to get a Kindle Paperwhite to save space and money. I was so obsessed that I would just walk into Oxfam to check whichever books I haven’t read. I would then re-donate it back to them after I’m done reading, also because I really do not have any more keeping space.

Overview: Women in Wars of the Roses

My following post on the Wars of the Roses series will be based on these women

1. Jacquetta of Luxemborg, mother of Queen Elizabeth Woodville

2. Queen Elizabeth Woodville, mother of the Princes in the Tower

3. Queen Elizabeth of York, heiress of House of York

4. Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII

5. Anne Neville, wife of King Richard III

1 comment:

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