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The Women of the Cousins' War

The Women of the Cousins' War

The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother

  • reading group guide
#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory joins two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history: 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 survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority 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.

Beautifully illustrated throughout with rare portraits and source materials, The Women of the Cousins’ War offers fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction and will appeal to all with an interest in this epic period.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451629552 | 
  • January 2013
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The Women of the Cousins' War

Hear Phillipa Gregory discuss THE WOMEN OF THE COUSINS' WAR. A beautifully illustrated work with rare portraits and source materials, as well as fascinating insights into the inspiration behind Philippa's writing.

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Reading Group Guide

This teaching guide for The Women of the Cousins' War includes an introduction and discussion questions for enhancing your book club. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


INTRODUCTION

The Women of the Cousins’ War
is a three-part biography of the heroines of Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War books. Together with the historians David Baldwin and Michael Jones, Gregory re-creates the extraordinary lives and times of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the matriarch of the House of Tudor.

In her introduction, Gregory writes revealingly about the differences among history, fiction, and historical fiction. She looks at why women have been excluded from the production of history and from history itself. How are fictional and historical narratives shaped by their authors? By turning her attention to three women, whose remarkable lives have gone largely unexamined by scholars, Gregory restores them to the historical record and raises important questions about the responsibility of the historian and the significance of women in medieval English society.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Dr. Philippa Gregory studied history at the University of Sussex and received a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. She is a recognized author on women’s history; the author of several bestselling n see more

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About the Authors

Philippa Gregory
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Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

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David Baldwin

David Baldwin taught history at the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham for many years, and is the author of four books dealing with people and events of the Wars of the Roses, including the acclaimed Elizabeth Woodville, Mother of the Princes in the Tower.

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Michael Jones

Michael Jones did his Ph.D. on the Beaufort family, and subsequently taught at the University of South West England, the University of Glasgow, and Winchester College.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and now works as a writer and media presenter.  He is the author of six books, including The King's Mother, a highly praised biography of Margaret Beaufort, which was shortlisted for the Whitfield Prize.

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