DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Aug 3 2015

Are You Familiar with the Cousins’ War?

by Jencey G

How many of you know what the Cousins’ War is about? I will give you a hint. You studied it in school under a different name. If you said the War of the Roses, then you are correct!

The author Philippa Gregory has written a series of novels about the War of the Roses, but her series is named The Cousins’ War. When you think about it, it makes sense. You might want to check out the family tree. All of the cousins were related in one way or the other. Philippa Gregory in her writing focuses on the women of this time period. The women are Lady Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Lady Margaret Beaufort; Queen Elizabeth Woodville; Queen Anne Neville, and Princess Elizabeth of York.

The story of the war begins with Jacquetta’s story about the Lancaster throne and what happened to cause the Yorks’ uprising against the Lancasters. It ends with Princess Elizabeth marrying King Henry (Margaret Beaufort’s son of the Lancastrian line).

Women of the Cousins' WarI found some other books in the DCPL catalog specifically relating to the women of the Cousins’ War. The first book is The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King’s Mother by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, and Michael Jones. This book specifically focuses on Jacquetta, the Duchess of Bedford; the White Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and King Henry’s mother Margaret Beaufort. Each of these women played an important role and helped shape the events of this war. This book delves into the history of each woman. You might enjoy this video available on YouTube, Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Mike Jones discuss Women of the Cousins’ War.

The next book is Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood, who also explores the women behind the Cousins’ War. This book explores women such as Margaret of Anjou; Cecile Neville, the mother of the Yorks, and Margaret Beaufort. Gristwood discusses what each woman was willing to do to attain power during this period in history.

Wars of the Roses by Dan JonesThe final book is The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones. It explores how the Plantagenet family fought to the death for the right to rule England. A specific focus is given to Catherine of Valois, Margaret of Anjou, and Elizabeth Woodville, and their fight to secure the throne for their offspring. This book truly tells the story of these three great families.

You can check out more on the women of the Cousins’ War in the books mentioned above and in these books by Philippa Gregory: The White Queen, The Red Queen, Lady of the Rivers, The Kingmaker’s Daughter, and The White Princess.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dea Anne M August 3, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Thanks for the very interesting post, Jencey! This is such a fascinating period of history filled with equally fascinating women as major players.

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