The Lady Of The Rivers
Length Of Time In Possession : 1 day
I've had a cold this last week and I've been miserable so I rewarded myself with what I class as 'easy reading' in two Philippa Gregory's, this The Lady Of The Rivers and The White Princess reviewed below.
The Lady Of The Rivers is a prequel and takes us back to the very start of the Cousins War as seen through the eyes of Jacquetta Of Luxembourg, a young woman of a noble house who draws the attention of the Duke Of Bedford then the most powerful man in France which was under English rule. Having married the Duke Of Bedford Jacquetta finds herself a senior member of the English Royal Family and the House Of Lancaster and from there on is at the centre of most of the big events of that time despite very little being known of her historically.
This is the point of most of Philippa Gregory's history novels, how little there is on record of the women who were part of the big events of the day and how much they shaped them. Through Jacquetta she says a lot about women, how they had to be careful not to appear 'too clever' is the eyes of men, how they had to be above suspicion and yet how they could alter the course of events in their own way without men really realising.The strength that Margaret Of Anjou exhibits in the face of adversity is shown equally to be her downfall as the people of London shun a woman out of keeping with her place in the world.
Jacquetta is constantly mindful of drawing attention to herself because she has inherited The Sight and fears being burned as a witch like Joan Of Arc before her. The Tarot Card The Wheel Of Fortune runs as a symbol throughout the book as a symbol of the fortunes of the men and the women they took along with them on the journey as they rise very high and fall very low.
A strong, likeable, character who features across The Cousins War novels Jacquetta is easy to respect and admire, to marvel at in terms of how extraordinary her life was. I did find it so odd that in the end she was the undoing of her own best friend and how that must have felt for her & whether she just accepted it as the hand that Fate dealt them all.
History is full of interesting women about whom little is known and I hope Gregory keeps up this documentation (albeit within fictional parameters) of them.
I liked this one.
Verdict : 8/10
Destination : ebook storage