Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses

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Basic Books, Feb 26, 2013 - History - 432 pages
11 Reviews
To contemporaries, the Wars of the Roses were known collectively as a “cousins’ war.” The series of dynastic conflicts that tore apart the ruling Plantagenet family in fifteenth-century England was truly a domestic drama, as fraught and intimate as any family feud before or since.

As acclaimed historian Sarah Gristwood reveals in Blood Sisters, while the events of this turbulent time are usually described in terms of the male leads who fought and died seeking the throne, a handful of powerful women would prove just as decisive as their kinfolks’ clashing armies. These mothers, wives, and daughters were locked in a web of loyalty and betrayal that would ultimately change the course of English history. In a captivating, multigenerational narrative, Gristwood traces the rise and rule of the seven most critical women in the wars: from Marguerite of Anjou, wife of the Lancastrian Henry VI, who steered the kingdom in her insane husband’s stead; to Cecily Neville, matriarch of the rival Yorkist clan, whose son Edward IV murdered his own brother to maintain power; to Margaret Beaufort, who gave up her own claim to the throne in favor of her son, a man who would become the first of a new line of Tudor kings.

A richly drawn, absorbing epic, Blood Sisters is a tale of hopeful births alongside bloody deaths, of romance as well as brutal pragmatism. It is a story of how women, and the power that women could wield, helped to end the Wars of the Roses, paving the way for the Tudor age—and the creation of modern England.
  

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Review: Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses

User Review  - Just A. Bean - Goodreads

I actually only read half of this right now. I read the other half in November or something, and for up to about the death of Edward IV, and then had to give it back to the library, and by the time I ... Read full review

Review: Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses

User Review  - Tiffany - Goodreads

"Blood Sisters" is a non-fiction look at the dense and multiplex relationships among the main female participants in the Wars of the Roses. Gristwood has obviously done her research, and she does an ... Read full review

Contents

Fatal Marriage
3
The Red Rose and the White
17
A Womans Fear
23
No Womens Matters
35
Captain Margaret
47
Mightiness Meets Misery
57
To Love a King
69
Fortunes Pageant
85
Look to Your Wife
203
Anne My Wife
213
In Bosworth Field
223
True Succeeders
235
Golden Sovereignty
251
The Edge of Traitors
265
Civil Wounds
275
Like a Queen Inter Me
287

Domestic Broils
97
That Was a Queen
105
My Lovely Queen
117
Fortunes Womb 131 13 Mother of Griefs
141
A Golden Sorrow
153
Weeping Queens
171
Innocent Blood
187
Our Noble Mother
303
Epilogue
321
Acknowledgments
327
Notes
333
Selected Bibliography
365
Illustration Credits
371
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Biographer and journalist Sarah Gristwood attended Oxford University and has been a regular contributor to the London Times, Telegraph, Guardian, and Independent. She is the author of seven previous books, including the best-selling Arbella: England’s Lost Queen and Elizabeth and Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics. Gristwood lives in London and Kent.

Bibliographic information